Slide Set #1
Slide Set #1
EECE 476: Computer Architecture
Slide Set #1: Introduction
Instructor: Tor Aamodt
Computer Architecture: What?
Program ( + OS + Network )
ISA (Instruction Set Arch)
Computer Architecture: Where?
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
Advancing Computer Systems without Technology Progress
DARPA/ISAT Workshop, March 26-27, 2012
Mark Hill & Christos Kozyrakis
1981: IBM 5150
Computer Architecture: How?
(result ~ block diagram)
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
Computer Architecture: When?
- Cycle level
- circuit design
11 of 28
Image: Justin Rattner
Qualcomm (multi-site team), March 2012
Position: “SoC Architect”
• Architect market-leading mobile SoC products
…. provide quantitative justification for architectural directions;
Directly apply computer architecture knowledge of CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, cache
coherency, virtual memory, etc.;
Hands-on experience in using and modifying simulators and performance/power
Proficiency in C/C++/SystemC programming.
0-3 years post-educational work experience
Bachelor’s or Master’s, Computer Science, Electrical, and/or Computer
Engineering; Ph.D. is a plus
EECE 476 Topics
Fundamentals of Computer Design
Instruction Set Architecture Design
Out of order execution
Superscalar instruction issue
EECE 476 Marks
Participation (clickers / flipped classroom quizzes)
Assignments (alone or in pairs)
Quizzes (best 2 of 3; study group bonus)
Midterm: Mon. Oct. 28 in lecture
Complexity vs. Ambiguity
• WARNING: Questions may contain ambiguities
– 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.
OPTIONAL: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative
Approach, John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Morgan
Kaufmann, 5th Edition.
• 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.
• 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).
Check here frequently for important news.