Course syllabus

Computer Architecture

EITF20, 7,5 credits, G2 (First Cycle)

Valid for: 2015/16
Decided by: Education Board A
Date of Decision: 2015-04-10

General Information

Elective for: C4-sec, D4-dpd, D4-is, E4, F4, MSOC1
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English on demand


The goal of this course is to introduce the operation of computer systems at the level of Instruction Set Architectures (ISA). It aims to provide a basic understanding of the design principles that govern modern computer architectures and their components. Especially it pays attention to (super scalar) pipelining and memory hierarchy techniques including caches. Implementation and efficiency issues are exemplified. Metrical performance analysis methods are discussed to evaluate architectural alternatives.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

- understand a computer architecture

- know how to quantify the potential performance of a computer

- have an overview of the architectural alternatives and technological restrictions to solve a computing problem.

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

· Be skilled in establishing computer functionality

· Be well-versed in system simulation

· Be experienced in architecture quantification

· Have an operational knowledge of architectures

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must

have learnt trade-offs in creating computer support for solving problems


The course introduces the foundations of low-level computer functioning. The course syllabus includes, among other things, the main parts of computer system and low-level programming techniques and the techniques of RISC-processors and pipelining, cache memory and virtual memory. The course also illuminates the alternative design principles of modern computer architectures in order to provide an understanding of their impact on performance. Quantitative methods to evaluate design principles for performance constitutes an important subject of the course. In coarse overview the lectures treat:

· Performance

· ISA principles

· Pipelining

· Memory Systems

- I/O

Examination details

Grading scale: TH
Assessment: Examination through approved labs and electronic quizes followed by a successful written examination.

Code: 0112. Name: Examination.
Credits: 4. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: Written exam.
Code: 0212. Name: Laboratory Work.
Credits: 3,5. Grading scale: UG. Assessment: Passed laboratory work.


Admission requirements:

The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: EIT090

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Universitetslektor Anders Ardö,
Course coordinator: Liang Liu,
Course homepage: