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COMP12111 Fundamentals of Computer Engineering syllabus 2018-2019

COMP12111 materials

COMP12111 Fundamentals of Computer Engineering

Level 1
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 213

Course leader: Paul Nutter


Additional staff: view all staff

Additional requirements

  • Students who are not from the School of Computer Science must have permission from both Computer Science and their home School to enrol.

Assessment methods

  • 50% Written exam
  • 50% Practical skills assessment
Timetable
SemesterEventLocationDayTimeGroup
Sem 1 Lecture 1.1 Fri 10:00 - 11:00 -
Sem 1 Lecture Hum Bridge St CORDINGLEY TH Mon 16:00 - 17:00 -
Sem 1 w2+ Lab Toot 1 Mon 09:00 - 11:00 V
Sem 1 w2+ Lab Toot 1 Thu 09:00 - 11:00 X
Sem 1 w2+ Lab Toot 1 Fri 11:00 - 13:00 Y
Sem 1 w2+ Lab Toot 1 Tue 11:00 - 13:00 W
Sem 1 w2+ Lab Toot 1 Thu 14:00 - 16:00 Z

Overview

This course introduces digital logic and its application in computer organisation and design.

The major emphasis is on practical design work. 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 on in-house programmable gate array boards.

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.

Aims

The main aim of this course is to give students a basic understanding of the hardware which underpins computing systems.

Further aims include:

  • Introduction to basic logic and logic gates
  • Partitioning of simple systems into combinatorial and sequential blocks
  • To introduce basic CAD tools to aid in the design of a basic computer system
  • To provide an overview of hardware description languages with particular emphasis on Verilog
  • Introducing logic level implementation of a simple processor
  • Discussion of how computer systems interact with memory and I/O devices

Syllabus

1.Introduction

Course unit overview and introduction to the lab.

2.Introduction to logic

Digital signals, data representation, Boolean logic and functions, De Morgan’s theorem, logic gates, multiplexers, binary arithmetic, abstraction & hierarchy, clocks, sequential systems.

3.Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Complexity and design – the need for CAD tools, testing & simulation,

4.Hardware description languages - Verilog

Introduction to Verilog, Verilog assignments, the always block and sensitivity list, design of combinatorial and sequential circuits in Verilog.

5.Register Transfer Level (RTL) Design

The synchronous paradigm, introduction to sequential systems, RTL view of design, the register, datapath and control,

6.Finite State Machines (FSM)

Introduction to the FSM, state transition diagrams, state transition tables, implementation in Verilog.

7.Processor Design

Overview of the three-box model: CPU, Memory, I/O, processor operation, instruction execution – fetch/decode/execute – and the sequencing of actions, program counter, instruction register, condition code register.

8.The Manchester University 0 (MU0) Processor

Introduction to MU0 - instruction set and operation, arithmetic logic unit (ALU) design and critical path, design of the MU0 datapath and control.

9.Memory

Von Neumann and Harvard architecture, tri-state buffers and bidirectional buses, memory map, address decoding schemes – one dimensional and two-dimensional, memory architectures, address decoders.

10.Memory hierarchy

Memory hierarchy and relationship between speed, cost and capacity, cache, SRAM, DRAM, ROM, Flash, HDD and optical storage.

11.Input and output

The I/O interface, communication and I/O devices, parallel and serial communications, polling and interrupts, implementing and servicing interrupts, direct memory access, universal serial bus (USB),

12.Examples of I/O

Examples of input peripheral, output peripheral and communications using optical fibres.

Teaching methods

Lectures

22 in total, 2 per week

Laboratories

20 hours in total, 10 2-hour sessions

Feedback methods

Feedback is provided by the automated marking of submitted work. In addition, face-to-face demonstration of submitted work is undertaken for each exercise, where a demonstrator provides one-to-one feedback on the work submitted.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam (2 hours)
  • Lectures (44 hours)
  • Practical classes & workshops (20 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Innovation/creativity
  • Problem solving

Learning outcomes

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A1Convert between different number bases and perform the process of binary addition and subtraction.
A1Manipulate Boolean expressions and illustrate their implementation using simple combinatorial circuits.
A1Compare approaches to digital design and produce simple testing strategies for evaluating the correctness of designs.
A1Identify the key features of the Verilog language and use it to design simple combinatorial and sequential circuits.
A1Explain the operation of sequential system and create simple finites state machine designs.
A1Identify the key functional components of a processor and explain how they work together to execute instructions.
A1Distinguish between the various components of the memory hierarchy and contrast their different features and methods of operation.
A1Explain the role of input and output in a modern computer system and discuss the key functional elements of the peripheral interface.
A1Give examples of simple input/output devices and discuss their operation.

Reading list

TitleAuthorISBNPublisherYearCore
Digital design with RTL design, Verilog and VHDL (2nd edition)Vahid, Frank9780470531082Wiley2010
Principles of computer hardware (4th edition)Clements, Alan9780199273133Oxford University Press2006
Computer systems architecture: a networking approachWilliams, Rob0201648598Addison-Wesley2001
Fundamentals of logic design (6th edition)Roth, Charles H. and Larry L. Kinney9780495667766Brooks and Cole2009
Digital design (4th edition)Morris Mano, M. and Michael D. Ciletti9780132340434Pearson2007

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.