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COMP25212: System Architecture (2011-2012)

This is an archived syllabus from 2011-2012

System Architecture
Level: 2
Credit rating: 10
Pre-requisites: COMP25111 and COMP15111
Co-requisites: No Co-requisites
Lecturers: Alasdair Rawsthorne, DANIEL GOODMAN
Course lecturers: Alasdair Rawsthorne

DANIEL GOODMAN

Additional staff: view all staff
Timetable
SemesterEventLocationDayTimeGroup
Sem 2 Lecture Simon BASEMENT TH (B.41) Wed 12:00 - 13:00 -
Sem 2 w2+ Lecture Schuster MOSELEY TH (G64) Thu 13:00 - 14:00 -
Sem 2 B Lab UNIX Thu 11:00 - 13:00 H
Sem 2 B Lab G23 Fri 13:00 - 15:00 I
Assessment Breakdown
Exam: 80%
Coursework: 0%
Lab: 20%

Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Computer Architecture

Introduction

The basic architecture of computer systems has been covered in first year course units which detailed both the instruction set architecture and the micro-architecture (hardware structure) of simple processors. Although these principle underlie the vast majority of modern computers, there are a wide range of both hardware and software techniques which are employed to increase the performance, reliability and flexibility of systems.

Aims

The aims of this course are to introduce the most important system architecture approaches. To give a wider understanding of how real systems operate and, from that understanding, the ability to optimise their use.

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have knowledge and understanding of techniques which are employed in modern processors to increase their performance, reliability and flexibility.
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the following architectural principle: Caching.
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the following architectural principle: Pipelining.
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the following architectural principle: Multi-Threading & Multi-Core.
  • Lab assessment
  • Examination
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the following architectural principles: File System Support (RAID).
  • Lab assessment
  • Examination
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the following architectural principles: Virtual Machines.
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
A3 B1 B2 B3 C6Have the ability to model architectural principles via simulation.
  • Lab assessment
  • Examination

Syllabus

Introduction


The motivation behind advanced architectural techniques.

Caching


The need to overcome latency. Caching as a principle, examples of caching in practice. Processor cache structure and operation.

Pipelining


Principles of pipelining. Implementation of a processor pipeline and its properties. Pipelining requirements and limitations. Additional support for pipelining.

Multi-Threading


Basic multi-threading principles. Processor support for multi-threading. Simultaneous multi-threading.

Multi-Core


Motivation for multi-core. Possible multi-core structures. Cache coherence.

File System Support


Implementation of file systems. RAID

Virtual Machines


Motivation for Virtual Machines. Language Virtual Machines. System Virtual Machines. Virtual Machine implementation. Binary Translation

Reading List

Supplementary Text
Title: Virtual machines: versatile platforms for systems and processes
Author: Smith, Jim and Ravi Nair
ISBN: 9781558609105
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Edition:
Year: 2005


Supplementary Text
Title: Computer organization and design: the hardware/software interface (5th edition)
Author: Patterson, David A. and John L. Hennessy
ISBN: 9780124077263
Publisher: Elsevier
Edition: 5th
Year: 2014