CS/ECE 752 Advanced Computer Architecture I

Spring 2007
Instructor: Karu Sankaralingam; URL: http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~karu
Meeting time: MECH ENGR 1143, 01:00 PM - 02:15 PM, MWF
Office hours: Monday,Wednesday 3-4pm, Thursday: 11-12am
TA: Derek Hower
Course URL: http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~karu/courses/cs752/Spring2007/
Mailing list: compsci752-1-s07@lists.wisc.edu



Course title | Instructor | TA | Class meeting | Class information | Required Texts and References | Prerequisites
Course objective | Evaluation | Academic Misconduct Policy


Course title

Advanced Computer Architecture 1
CS/ECE 752



Karu Sankaralingam



Derek Hower



MECH ENGR 1143, 01:00 PM - 02:15 PM, MWF


Class information

Web: http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~karu/courses/cs752/Spring2007
Email list: You should already be subscribed to compsci752-1-s07@lists.wisc.edu


Required Texts and References

John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Fourth Edition, 2006.


Mark D. Hill, Norman P. Jouppi, and Gurindar S. Sohi Readings in Computer Architecture Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2000.



Students must have graduate standing and have successfully completed an undergraduate-level computer architecture course and be well-versed in how a basic computer works, assembly language programming, pipelining, caching, and virtual memory. Students lacking this knowledge may be able to catch up by reviewing the prior material during the first week of the semester. CS/ECE 552 as is taught is the important prerequisite. CS 537 is also a prerequisite, but it is less important.


Course objective

Computer architecture is the science and art of selecting and interconnecting hardware components to create a computer that meets functional, performance and cost goals. This course qualitatively and quantitatively examines computer design tradeoffs. We will learn, for example, how uniprocessors execute many instructions concurrently and why state-of-the-art memory systems are nearly as complex as processors. We will also learn how VLSI technology has evolved and influenced the design of ISAs and the internal working of processors. At the end of this course you will be able to appreciate, the technical rationale behind the clock-speed race in the 90s, reason for its demise, and the reasons why industry is moving towards multi-core chips.


This course will involve a large project component and a significant amount of paper reading. In the project you will undertake an analysis of processor microarchitecture and write up a conference style paper. You will need to submit a short paper review at the begining of each class.



Your performance in this class will be evaluated through class participation, homework assignments, two in-class exams, and a final project. Your performance in this class will be determined by you! It will require a strong dedication to learning the material and could require a substantial time commitment to complete the assignments and project. The weights of each of these components is listed below:


  • 40% Project
  • 20% Exam 1
  • 20% Exam 2
  • 15% Homework & Reviews
  • 5% Class Participation

A substantial component of this course is the project. The final project will be due at the end of the semester with a project proposal and a progress report required during the course of the semester. Dates are posted on the class schedule page and project page.


There will be 2 in-class exams. The first is scheduled for March 5th and will cover material presented up to and including March 2nd. The second exam is scheduled for April 18th and will cover all the material presented in the course.


Homework assignments will be assigned approximately every other week and are due at the begining of class. Submit clearly legible hand-written or machine-printed assignments. You have a "late account" of 3 days for the semester which you can spend any way you choose. For example, you can turn in three homework assignments one day late each, or one homework assignment 3 days late, without penalty. Once you have exhausted your late account, no late assignments will be accepted. Late account days cannot be applied to the project.


The course schedule lists reading material for each lecture. You are responsible for reading this material prior to the lecture. The text will be supplemented by conference and journal papers available in a course reader listed on the course page. These reading assignments are required and the papers will be discussed in class. You should read these papers before class and submit a short review of each paper by email before class. The reviews will be evaluated. The class participation grade will be assigned based on students contributions in class during the paper discussions and lectures.


Academic Misconduct Policy

All students should adhere to UW Student Code of Conduct. University and L&S Policies will be followed strictly in this course.