263-2210-00L  Computer Architecture

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersO. Mutlu
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


263-2210-00 GComputer Architecture6 hrs
Wed12:15-15:00ML H 44 »
Thu12:15-15:00HG D 16.2 »
O. Mutlu
263-2210-00 AComputer Architecture1 hrsO. Mutlu

Catalogue data

AbstractComputer 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 introduces the basic components of a modern computing system (processors, memory, interconnects, storage). The course takes a hardware/software cooperative approach to understanding and evaluating computing systems.
ObjectiveWe will learn the fundamental concepts of the different parts of modern computing systems, as well as the latest trends by exploring the recent research in Industry and Academia. We will extensively cover memory technologies (including DRAM and new Non-Volatile Memory technologies), memory scheduling, parallel computing systems (including multicore processors and GPUs), heterogeneous computing, processing-in-memory, interconnection networks, etc.
ContentThe principles presented in the lecture are reinforced in the laboratory through the design and simulation of a register transfer (RT) implementation of a MIPS-like pipelined processor in System Verilog. In addition, we will develop a cycle-accurate simulator of this processor in C, and we will use this simulator to explore processor design options.
Lecture notesAll the materials (including lecture slides) will be provided on the course website: https://safari.ethz.ch/architecture/
The video recordings of the lectures are expected to be made available after lectures.
LiteratureWe will provide required and recommended readings in every lecture. They will be mostly recent research papers presented in major Computer Architecture conferences and journals.
Prerequisites / NoticeDesign of Digital Circuits

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits8 credits
ExaminersO. Mutlu
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationOne midterm exam of 180 min (15%)
One final exam of 180 min (25%)
Lab assignments with submission and face-to-face interviews (45%)
Homeworks (15%)

Information on written aids:
No books or papers are allowed.
No computers, phones, calculators or electronic devices are allowed.
Maximum 6 A4 hand-written pages with notes are allowed.

The deadline for deregistering from this course is October 14th! Students who are still registered after that date, but do not attend the course, will officially fail the course.

Learning materials

Main linkInformation
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

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