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CS752: Advanced Computer Architecture I - Fall 2007


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CS752: Advanced Computer Architecture I - Fall 2007

Fall 2007
Instructor: Karu Sankaralingam; URL:
Email: Include 752 in subject line
Meeting time: ENGR HALL 2540 01:00 PM - 02:15 PM, TR
Office hours: M noon-1, W 11-12, Th 2:15-4
TA: Marc de Kruijf (Office hours: W 9-10:30)
Course URL:
Mailing list:

News updated 09/02.

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.

You will learn all the details of a how a processor works, starting from the low-level transistor technology to how they can be integrated to build a full microprocessor. The course includes a large project component in which you will design/analyze a component of a processor. Projects will be in-depth and high impact - you will learn a lot about actual system design. Two projects from the Spring 2007 resulted in conference papers:

  • MapReduce on Cell by Marc de Kruijf PDF report
  • Intrusion Prevention/Detection processing using GPUs by Justin Ormont and Neelam Goyal [ email for PDF report ]


Examining tradeoffs requires that you already know how to design a correct computer. CS/ECE 552 as is taught is the important prerequisite. CS 537 is also a prerequisite, but it is less important, and may be taken concurrently or adequately covered with external reading.

Learn@UW links for this course.

I am using some parts of the Learn@UW system. You can view your grades and use the discussion board. Go to Learn@UW.

Page last modified on September 05, 2007

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