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EECE 476: Computer Architecture
Slide Set #1: Introduction
Instructor: Tor Aamodt
Computer Architecture: What?
Problem
Algorithm
Program ( + OS + Network )
ISA (Instruction Set Arch)
Microarchitecture
Circuits
Electronic Devices
Computer Architecture: Where?
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Computer Architecture: Why?
"What a Computer is to me: is the most remarkable tool that we
have ever come up with, and it is like the equivalent of a bicycle to
our minds” -- Steve Jobs
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1971: Intel
4004
2007: iPhone
Advancing Computer Systems without Technology Progress
DARPA/ISAT Workshop, March 26-27, 2012
Mark Hill & Christos Kozyrakis
2012:
1981: IBM 5150
Datacenter
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Computer Architecture: How?
Market
Opportunities &
Requirements
Achievable
Product
Architecture Design
(result ~ block diagram)
hardware
design
implementation
constraints (area, frequency, power)
How to evaluate architecture designs? Cycle-level
timing simulator usually developed “in house”.
Public (academic research) simulators:
SimpleScalar, Marss86, gem5, GPGPU-Sim
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Computer Architecture: When?
Architecture
Design:
- Cycle level
simulator
Hardware
Design:
- VHDL/Verilog
- circuit design
- layout
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Image: Justin Rattner
Qualcomm (multi-site team), March 2012
Position: “SoC Architect”
• Architect market-leading mobile SoC products
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…. provide quantitative justification for architectural directions;
Directly apply computer architecture knowledge of CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, cache
coherency, virtual memory, etc.;
Skills
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Hands-on experience in using and modifying simulators and performance/power
models…
Proficiency in C/C++/SystemC programming.
0-3 years post-educational work experience
Education
Bachelor’s or Master’s, Computer Science, Electrical, and/or Computer
Engineering; Ph.D. is a plus
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EECE 476 Topics
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Fundamentals of Computer Design
Instruction Set Architecture Design
Pipelining
Out of order execution
Branch prediction
Superscalar instruction issue
Speculative execution
Caches
Virtual Memory
Cache Coherence
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EECE 476 Marks
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Participation (clickers / flipped classroom quizzes)
Assignments (alone or in pairs)
Quizzes (best 2 of 3; study group bonus)
Midterm: Mon. Oct. 28 in lecture
Exam:
5%
20%
10%
20%
45%
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Complexity vs. Ambiguity
• WARNING: Questions may contain ambiguities
• Why?
– Computers are complex systems
– We tend to abstract lower level design details to
focus on higher level design
• On the job you might ask for clarifications.
• On quiz/midterm/exam: please state your assumptions.
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Textbook?
OPTIONAL: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative
Approach, John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Morgan
Kaufmann, 5th Edition.
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Clickers (Required)
• 5% of final grade. Count number of questions
answered (participation, not correctness).
• Answer 90% of questions to get full 5%.
• Start counting next week.
• Register your clicker online.
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Flipped Class?
• Zero or more lectures may be delivered by video and
we will work through examples in the regular lecture
time in a participatory manner.
• Will give you at least 48 hours notice (probably more).
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Course Website?
http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~aamodt/teach/476-2013/
Check here frequently for important news.
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