Computer Architecture

Credits
6
Types
Compulsory
Requirements
  • Prerequisite: EC
  • Prerequisite: SO
  • Precorequisite: PE
Department
AC

Teachers

Person in charge

  • Josep Llosa Espuny ( )

Others

  • Antonio Juan Hormigo ( )
  • Carlos Alvarez Martinez ( )
  • Fermin Sánchez Carracedo ( )
  • Ramon Canal Corretger ( )
  • Teresa Monreal Arnal ( )

Weekly hours

Theory
2
Problems
1
Laboratory
1
Guided learning
0.4
Autonomous learning
5.6

Competences

Technical Competences

Common technical competencies

  • CT2 - To use properly theories, procedures and tools in the professional development of the informatics engineering in all its fields (specification, design, implementation, deployment and products evaluation) demonstrating the comprehension of the adopted compromises in the design decisions.
    • CT2.3 - To design, develop, select and evaluate computer applications, systems and services and, at the same time, ensure its reliability, security and quality in function of ethical principles and the current legislation and normative.
    • CT2.4 - To demonstrate knowledge and capacity to apply the needed tools for storage, processing and access to the information system, even if they are web-based systems.
  • CT3 - To demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the organizational, economic and legal context where her work is developed (proper knowledge about the company concept, the institutional and legal framework of the company and its organization and management)
    • CT3.6 - To demonstrate knowledge about the ethical dimension of the company: in general, the social and corporative responsibility and, concretely, the civil and professional responsibilities of the informatics engineer.
  • CT5 - To analyse, design, build and maintain applications in a robust, secure and efficient way, choosing the most adequate paradigm and programming languages.
    • CT5.2 - To know, design and use efficiently the most adequate data types and data structures to solve a problem.
  • CT6 - To demonstrate knowledge and comprehension about the internal operation of a computer and about the operation of communications between computers.
    • CT6.2 - To demonstrate knowledge, comprehension and capacity to evaluate the structure and architecture of computers, and the basic components that compound them.
  • CT7 - To evaluate and select hardware and software production platforms for executing applications and computer services.
    • CT7.1 - To demonstrate knowledge about metrics of quality and be able to use them.
    • CT7.2 - To evaluate hardware/software systems in function of a determined criteria of quality.
    • CT7.3 - To determine the factors that affect negatively the security and reliability of a hardware/software system, and minimize its effects.
  • CT8 - To plan, conceive, deploy and manage computer projects, services and systems in every field, to lead the start-up, the continuous improvement and to value the economical and social impact.
    • CT8.1 - To identify current and emerging technologies and evaluate if they are applicable, to satisfy the users needs.
    • CT8.4 - To elaborate the list of technical conditions for a computers installation fulfilling all the current standards and normative.

Transversal Competences

Sustainability and social commitment

  • G2 - To know and understand the complexity of the economic and social phenomena typical of the welfare society. To be capable of analyse and evaluate the social and environmental impact.
    • G2.2 - To apply sustainability criteria and the deontological codes of the profession in the design and evaluation of technological solutions. To identify the necessity to apply the legislation, regulations and normatives, specially the ones affecting the technical informatics engineer profession. To analyse and evaluate the environmental impact of the technical solutions in the ICT field.

Objectives

  1. Students shuldbe able to translate routines and high-level code fragments to assembly of a real machine (IA32) and link routines in assembler with a high-level language (C) using the Linux Application Binary Interface
    Related competences: CT5.2,
  2. Students should be able to describe the internal structure and operation of the main components of the memory hierarchy and the techniques to improve their performance.
    Related competences: CT8.1, CT7.2, CT6.2,
  3. Students should be able to describe the operation and to use the main mechanisms for error detection and correction.
    Related competences: CT7.3, CT2.3,
  4. Students should be able to describe the structure and operation of data storage systems and evaluate their reliability.
    Related competences: CT8.1, CT7.2, CT7.3, CT6.2, CT2.4,
  5. Students should be able to describe the taxonomy of instruction sets ​​(ISA) and the characteristics of the different paradigms (such as RISC-CISC).
    Related competences: CT7.2, CT6.2,
  6. Students should be able to describe the techniques used in computer design based on parallelism (such as pipelining, superscalar processors, VLIW processors, vector SIMD extensions, multithreading processors, multiprocessors and multicomputers) and their principles of operation.
    Related competences: CT7.2, CT6.2, CT2.3,
  7. Students should be able to evaluate the performance of code fragments and/or applications (both in assembler and high level) taking into account components such as: memory hierarchy, storage systems, instruction set architecture (ISA) and the main processor design techniques based on parallelism.
    Related competences: CT7.1, CT7.2, CT6.2, CT5.2, CT2.3,
  8. Students should be able to assess the impact on power and energy consumption of code fragments and/or applications (in both assembler and high level) taking into account components such as: memory hierarchy, storage systems, the design of the instruction set architecture (ISA) and the main processor design techniques based on parallelism.
    Related competences: G2.2, CT7.1, CT7.2, CT6.2, CT8.4, CT3.6,
  9. Students should be able to apply simple optimizations to code fragments to improve their performance and/or power consumption taking into account: the memory hierarchy, storage systems, the design of the instruction set architecture (ISA) and the main processor design techniques based on parallelism.
    Related competences: CT7.1, CT5.2,

Contents

  1. Fundamentals of computer design and evaluation
  2. High-level / assembler language interface
  3. Memory Hierarchy
  4. Storage Systems
  5. Instruction Set Architecture Design
  6. Pipelining and parallelism in computer design

Activities

Activity Evaluation act


C1


Objectives: 1 7 8 9
Week: 5 (Outside class hours)
Type: theory exam
Theory
0h
Problems
0h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
1h
Autonomous learning
3h

Fundamentals of computer design and evaluation


Objectives: 7 8
Contents:
Theory
2h
Problems
1h
Laboratory
1h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
6h

C2


Objectives: 1 2 7 8 9
Week: 9 (Outside class hours)
Type: theory exam
Theory
0h
Problems
0h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
2h
Autonomous learning
3h

High-level/assembly language interface


Objectives: 1 7 8 9
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
3h
Laboratory
5h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
20h

C3


Objectives: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Week: 14 (Outside class hours)
Type: theory exam
Theory
0h
Problems
0h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
3h
Autonomous learning
4h

Memory Hierarchy


Objectives: 2 3 7 8 9
Contents:
Theory
10h
Problems
5h
Laboratory
4h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
28h

Storage Systems


Objectives: 3 4 7 8 9
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
1h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
10h

Instruction set design


Objectives: 5 7 8 9
Contents:
Theory
2h
Problems
1h
Laboratory
1h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
6h

Pipelining and parallelism in computer design


Objectives: 6 7 8 9
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
1h
Laboratory
1h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Theory
2h
Problems
0h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
0h

Teaching methodology

Theory lectures interleaved with small problems. In the theory classes homework will be assigned to students for the next practice class.

Problem-solving classes are based on group activities. Using problems solved individually at home, students will work together in small groups to resolve the doubts that may have emerged. Because the methodology used in practice classes it is recommended that students do not enroll to courses that overlap with this one.

The laboratory classes support the theory. Students have the documentation available before each practice session. It is mandatory that students prepare the session beforehand (read the documentation, study the concepts used, etc.). It is also recommended, once the session ends, to review the concepts seen. Students have to prepare a preliminary work that will be delivered at the beginning of each session. The lab sessions are performed on-site and used to produce the lab grade, so it is essential that there is no overlap of the laboratory with any other course.

Evaluation methodology

The course grade is based on the three tests (C1, C2 and C3) and the laboratory grade (L).

The final grade (NF) is calculated (with a single decimal and rounded to nearest even) as: NF = 0.15 * C1 + 0.25 * C2 + 0.4 * C3 + 0.2 * L

Students may opt for up to 10% additional grade based on their participation and activity in the practice class.

Bibliography

Basic:

Complementary:

Previous capacities

Students are expected to have an understanding of statistics and probability, operating systems, digital circuits and computer organization.