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Advanced Computer Architecture 1
No required texts. We will use a set of papers and the Morgan Claypool Synthesis Lectures on Microarchitecture.
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.
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 beginning of each class. Reviews will be submitted by bringing to class a printed copy.
Your performance in this class will be evaluated through class participation (reviews) and a semester-long project in which you will build a full-fledged out-of-order processor. Your performance in this class will be determined by you. There will be no exams.
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.
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 bring to class a printed review. The reviews will be evaluated. The class participation grade will be assigned based on students contributions in class during the paper discussions and lectures.
All students should adhere to UW Student Code of Conduct. University and L&S Policies will be followed strictly in this course.
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