COMP10211: The Underlying Machine (2008-2009)
This course introduces digital logic and its application in computer organisation and design.
The major emphasis is on practical design work and, in the laboratory, state-of-the-art computer-aided design tools are used to support the design of digital hardware systems. Students' designs are simulated and then implemented using electrically reconfigurable gate arrays.
The lectures initially support the laboratories but progress to a wider overview of the design and interaction of computer hardware systems. Ultimately a complete - if simple - computer is described as constructed from simple gates.
A student completing this course unit should:
Have an understanding of the hierarchical design of complex digital systems including processors and memory. (A3,B3)
Have a knowledge of gate-level logic design. (A2)
Be able to design combinatorial circuits and small FSMs. (B1,B2)
Be able to use CAD support tools including design entry and simulation. (C6)
Assessment of Learning outcomesLearning outcome (1) is not assessed directly in this course.
Learning outcomes (2), (3) and (4) are assessed in the laboratory.
Contribution to Programme Learning OutcomesA2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C6
Basic logic functions (5)
Register Transfer Level (3)
The `three box' computer model (1)
Types of memory
Addressing and interfacing
Alternative computational models (2)
Title: Computer systems architecture: a networking approach
Author: Williams, Rob
An alternative coverage of hardware topics.
Title: Principles of computer hardware (4th edition)
Author: Clements, Alan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
A good coverage of basic computer hardware reaching beyond the scope of this course. Also covers the ARM processor.