18-640   Foundations of Computer Architecture

Location: Pittsburgh

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Fall, Spring

Course description

Computer Architecture deals with the art and science of designing modern computer systems, defines the HW/SW interface (Instruction Set Architecture), and codifies a large body of implementation techniques for achieving performance improvement and power efficiency. This graduate level course covers the three main subsystems of Processor, Memory, and I/O, and addresses Performance and Power optimizations. Processor design is the primary focus covering: pipelined and superscalar processor design; multi-core and multi-processor systems; special-purpose processors. Memory and I/O topics include: memory hierarchy and virtual memory; shared-memory model and cache coherence; I/O devices and storage systems. Performance and Power topics include: instruction-level, memory-level and thread-level parallelisms; instruction flow and data flow optimizations; performance vs. power tradeoffs; iron laws governing performance, power, and energy efficiency.

Prerequisites

Undergraduate course on Computer Architecture

Course format: Online

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