Computer Architecture

Instructor Information

Instructor: Larry Shi
Office Location:PGH 348
Telephone: Office – 713-743-3045
Office Hours:Th. 2:30pm – 4:30pm or by appointment


Course Information

Course Number: COSC3330
Course Name: Computer Architecture
Course Location: SEC 103
Class Times: TuTh 13:00 - 14:30
Prerequisites: COSC 2410 and MATH 3336


Teaching Assistant

Name: Yuanfeng Wen
Office Location: PGH591
Telephone: Office – TBA
E-mail: wyf@cs.uh.edu
Office Hours: MW 12:30pm-1:30pm or by appointment


Teaching Assistant

Name: Li Wei
Office Location: PGH309
Telephone: Office – TBA
E-mail: lwei3330@gmail.com
Office Hours: TuTh 11:30pm – 12:30pm or by appointment


Homework 3


Exam 2


Homework 2

Submission Guideline for HW2-Programming Part

What to Submit

  • my_predictor.h and a README file;
    • Pack them into a TAR file or a ZIP file;
    • Name the file as PSID_LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_HW2.tar/zip;
    • the README should highlight your design of the predictor

Where to Submit

  • Send the TAR/ZIP file to ;
  • Please use this as the SUBJECT of the email


Homework 1

Extra credit problems

  • Mechanical adder
    • Implement a 2-bit mechanical adder
    • Rules
      • can work in a team (2 students at most)
      • submission close midnight Feb 19
      • winners will be the fist five working designs
      • 4 points if the design works
      • 4 points if you can build it and demonstrate in class
    • Note
      • Feb 19 is the deadline for submitting your design not implementation
  • Mechanical gates
    • Problem
      • Design and build a mechanical XOR gate
      • Free to use any mechanical parts such as
        • tubes, rods, wheels, valves, pipes
      • No magnets and electronic components allowed
    • Competition rule
      • Send your design by Wednesday midnight
      • First five working designs will get 3 points on the final grades
      • 3 additional points if the winner can build it and demonstrate it in class
    • Notes
      • Please show detailed diagrams
      • Describe how it works and why it implements XOR
      • Provide enough justification that it can actually work



Patterson and Hennessey, Computer Organization & Design: The Hardware/Software Interface.


Logic design, principles of operation of digital computers, and analysis of its major components: arithmetic, ALU, DRAM memory, control and input/output units, instruction pipelining, out-of-order processor, branch prediction, memory hierarchy, VLIW and vector machine architecture, SIMD and multiprocessor systems.


  • Three homework assignments (one with programming. Individual work. Collected in the first 5 minutes of due day in class. No late turn-in accepted.) (15%, 15%, 10%)
  • Two in-class exams (Closed books, closed notes, no calculator unless said otherwise. Each exam focuses on the material covered since the last exam.) (40%)
  • Final exam (Closed books, closed notes, no calculator unless said otherwise.Cover mostly the material since the last exam) (20%)

FPGA Projects


Class Schedule and Slides

Date Topic Slide Reading Assignment
1/15 Introduction CompArch-Lec0-Intro.pdf, CompArch-Lec0-Intro.pptx
1/17 No Class
1/22 Number System and Gates CompArch-Lec01-Number-System-and-Gates.pdf, CompArch-Lec01-Number-System-and-Gates.pptx
1/24 Combinational Logic CompArch-Lec02-Combinational-Logic.pptx,CompArch-Lec02-Combinational-Logic.pdf
1/29 Sequential Logic CompArch-Lec03-Sequential-Logic.pptx,CompArch-Lec03-Sequential-Logic.pdf
1/31 Memory CompArch-Lec04-Memory-and-MIPS.pptx,CompArch-Lec04-Memory-and-MIPS.pdf,cosc3330-homework1-2013.pdf
2/5 MIPS CompArch-Lec05-MIPS.ppt, CompArch-Lec05-MIPS.pdf Ch2.4-2.7, 2.8-2.10, 2.13, 2.17, 2.19
2/7 Datapath CompArch-Lec06-Datapath.pptx,CompArch-Lec06-Datapath.pdf Ch2.4-2.7, 2.8-2.10, 2.13, 2.17, 2.19
2/12 Datapath CompArch-Lec07-Datapath.pptx,CompArch-Lec07-Datapath.pdf Ch4.1 to 4.4
2/14 Performance CompArch-Lec08-Performance.pptx,CompArch-Lec08-Performance.pdf
2/19 Pipelining CompArch-Lec09-Pipelining.pptx,CompArch-Lec09-Pipelining.pdf Ch4.5 - 4.8
2/21 Pipelining 2 CompArch-Lec10-Pipeline-Hazards.pptx,CompArch-Lec10-Pipeline-Hazards.pdf
2/26 Exam 1
2/28 ILP CompArch-Lec11-ILP.pptx, CompArch-Lec11-ILP.pdf
3/5 ILP 2 CompArch-Lec12-ILP-2.pptx,CompArch-Lec12-ILP-2.pdf
3/7 Out-of-Order Execution CompArch-Lec13-and-14-OoO.pptx,CompArch-Lec13-and-14-OoO.pdf page 397-401
3/19 OoO Cont'd
3/21 Branch Prediction CompArch-Lec15-and-Lec16-Branch-Prediction.ppt, CompArch-Lec15-and-Lec16-Branch-Prediction.pdf
3/26 Branch Prediction Cont'd
3/28 VLIW CompArch-Lec17-VLIW.ppt
4/2 VLIW \& Vector Machine CompArch-Lec18-Vector.ppt
4/4 Vector Machine Ch5.1-5.3, 5.5
4/9 Cache CompArch-Cache.ppt Ch5.7 - 5.12
4/11 Exam 2
4/16 Cache Ch5.4
4/18 Cache and Virtual Memory CompArch-Lec22-Virtual-Memory.ppt Ch7.5
4/23 Threading CompArch-Lec23-Threading.ppt Ch7.2, 7.3
4/25 Many-core CompArch-Lec24-Multicore.ppt
4/30 Exam 3 Review, Presentations
5/9 Final Exam

Acknowledgement: Some of the class presentations are based on classes taught by Prof. Hsien-Hsin Sean Lee, Prof. Gabriel H. Loh, Prof. Milos Prvulovic, and Prof. Taeweon Suh.

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 22:43:33 UTC by admin. (Version 152)


yuanfeng, 19:30, 2013-05-06: Final Exam: 2:00pm-3:30pm Thursday (05/09/2013), SEC103
larryshi, 00:14, 2013-04-30: Sample problems for hw3
yuanfeng, 06:47, 2013-04-16: The deadline of HW2 programming part is extended to 11:59pm Thursday (04/18).
larryshi, 18:58, 2013-02-07: in class demo today
larryshi, 11:30, 2013-02-02: Homework 1 posted