Computer Architecture

Instructor Information

Instructor: Larry Shi(external link)
Office Location:PGH 567
Telephone: Office – 713-743-3045
Office Hours:Tue. 4:30pm – 6:30pm or by appointment


Course Information

Course Number: COSC6385
Course Name: Computer Architecture
Course Location: SEC 203
Class Times: TuTh 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Prerequisites: COSC 4330


Teaching Assistant

Name: Yuanfeng Wen
Office Location: PGH313
Telephone: Office – TBA
E-mail: wyf@cs.uh.edu
Office Hours: MW 12:00pm – 1:30pm or by appointment



Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach by John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson. The 4th edition, Morgan Kaufmann. 2006. ISBN 0-12-370490-1.

This course is designed to teach fundamentals of modern computer architectures. Topics include performance, ISA, instruction-level parallelism (ILP), thread-level parallelism (TLP), dynamic scheduling techniques, out-of-order execution, register renaming, exception handling, static scheduling (VLIW/EPIC), cache/memory/DRAM/storage hierarchy design, speculation techniques, advanced branch predictor design, multiprocessor coherency issues, memory consistency models, multicore processors, and case studies e.g., the seminal P6 microarchitecture, Netburst, Core, Itanium, EM64T, Alpha 21x64, UltraSparc, etc. Also may be included are topics of new, emerging trends in architecture/microarchitecture/software development in the face of physical design challenges.

Sample Questions for the Final

Sample questions


  • Homework assignments (10%)
  • Two exams 40%
    • Midterm 20%
    • Final 20%
  • Team Project 50%
    • Final report 20%
    • Class presentation 10%
    • Other efforts 20%


Homework 1

Homework 1

Sample Questions

Sample questions

Homework 1 solution

Homework 1 Solution (updated).doc
Homework 1 Solution (updated).pdf

Class Schedule and Slides

Date Topic Slide Reading Assignment
8/23 Intro Introduction(pdf), Introduction(ppt) Gordon Moore's 1965 Paper
8/25 Pipeline Pipeline(pdf), Pipeline(ppt) Chapter 1, Appendix A, B ILP Paper Readings
8/30 ILP, ISA ILP(pdf), ILP(ppt) ILP Paper Readings, ISA Paper Readings
9/01 Performance Performance(pdf), Performance(ppt) Amdahl's Paper Readings
9/06 Memory Memory System(pdf), Memory System(ppt) Cache Paper Readings
9/08 Memory Cache(pdf), Cache(ppt)
9/13 Cache and Virtual Memory Cache and VM (pdf), Cache and VM (ppt) VM & TLB Paper Readings
9/15 DRAM and Flash DRAM and Flash(pdf), DRAM and Flash(ppt) Memory Paper Readings
9/20 Branch Prediction Branch Prediction(ppt), Branch Prediction(pdf) BP Paper Readings
9/22 Instruction Fetch and Trace Cache Instruction Fetch and Trace Cache(ppt), Instruction Fetch and Trace Cache(pdf) Fetch Paper Readings
9/27 Dynamic Schedule Paper Readings
9/29 Dynamic Schedule Dynamic Scheduler(pdf), Dynamic Scheduler(ppt) Dynamic Schedule Paper Readings
10/04 Dynamic Schedule Dynamic Scheduler2(pdf), Dynamic Scheduler2(ppt) Precise Interrupt Paper Readings
10/06 Precise Interrupt, Load/Store Queue Precise Interrupt, Load/Store Queue (pdf), Precise Interrupt, Load/Store Queue (ppt) P4 Paper Readings
10/11 Simulator Tutorial
10/13 Midterm
10/18 P6 P6 and NetBurst Microarchitecture(pdf), P6 and NetBurst Microarchitecture (ppt) Dataflow Paper Readings
10/20 EPIC VLIW and Itanium(pdf), VLIW and Itanium(ppt) Itanium Paper Reading
10/25 EPIC VLIW and Itanium(pdf), VLIW and Itanium(ppt)
10/27 Vector Machine Vector Machine(pdf), Vector Machine(ppt) Vector Machine Paper Readings
11/01 GPU GPU(pdf), GPU(ppt) GPU and MIMD Paper Readings
11/03 SMT and Manycore SMT and Multicore (pdf), SMT and Multicore(ppt) SMT/Manycore Paper Readings
11/08 Memory Coherence Memory Coherence (pdf), Memory Coherence(ppt) MP Paper Readings
11/10 Memory Coherence Memory Coherence Paper Readings
11/15 Interconnect Interconnect (pdf), Interconnect(ppt)
11/17 Interconnect Interconnect (pdf), Interconnect(ppt)
11/22 Virtualization and Cloud Virtualization Paper Readings
11/29 Presentation
12/01 Review Final Review (PPT)
12/06 Final


Honor Code:

Students are expected to uphold the University of Houston Honor Code and to avoid any instances of academic misconduct in homework assignments and exams. Any violation will be immediately and directly reported to the Dean of Students' Affairs for further action.

Student with Disabilities:

Any student with a documented disability needing accommodations must speak with the instructor during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Center for Students with Disabilities. Please call 713-743-5400 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.

Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 27 of December, 2016 22:42:53 UTC by admin. (Version 72)


admin, 06:48, 2011-12-03: The final review is posted. Please check.
larryshi, 00:31, 2011-11-29: Deadline of Final Report: Dec 9th 2011
odatskova, 08:13, 2011-10-12: Solution to HW1 is posted. No submission will be accepted.
odatskova, 01:20, 2011-10-12: Deadline extends to 9:00pm, Oct 11. Hard deadline Submission will not be accepted at all after then. 5% bonus if submitted in class. Where to submit E-copy: wyf@cs.uh.edu Hard-copy: PGH 591
odatskova, 08:05, 2011-09-09: Your Linux accounts are ready! Please go to Systems office (PGH 541) or Laura's office (PGH527) with your UH picture ID and get the account and password.