Computer Architecture

Instructor Information

Instructor: Larry Shi(external link)
Office Location:PGH 348
Telephone: Office – 713-743-3045
E-mail: $_ = "wshi3XXuhYYedu"; s/XX/@/; s/YY/./;
Office Hours: TuTh. 2:30pm – 3:30pm or by appointment made at least 24 hours prior


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: Kelvin Gao
Office Location: PGH 348
E-mail: zgao5@uh.edu
Office Hours: By appointment made at least 24 hours prior



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

Course Purpose:

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.


Reading Assignments 10% 1-page summary. Hard copy required. Collected in the first 5 minutes of due day in class. No late turn-in accepted.
Homework 1 10% Handwriten answers to a set of questions. Hard copy required. Collected in the first 5 minutes of due day in class. No late turn-in accepted.
Homework 2 20% Programming assignment. No late turn-in accepted.
Homework 3 20% Programming assignment. No late turn-in accepted.
Midterm Exam 20% Closed books, closed notes, no calculator unless stated otherwise.
Final Exam 20% Closed books, closed notes, no calculator unless stated otherwise.

General Rules

  • For any assignment or exam submitted in class, a submission confirmation form will be available for you to sign when you hand in your work.
  • If you do not sign the submission confirmation form, then your work will not be considered to have been submitted on time.
  • All work done in this course must be completed individually. That means no collaboration. You may discuss, but do not copy.
  • Non-adherance to any of the stated homework, exam and reading requirements will result in point deductions. Please read and follow the provided instructions carefully.


Homework 1

  • Homework 1,
  • source code,
  • hw1_report.docx
  • Submission: Zip and send my_predictor.h and your report. Upload it here(external link). File name format should be: your_name_your_pid.zip (e.g. kelvin_gao_123456.zip)
  • Grading policy
    • The program doesn't contain any compiling error. (60% - 65%)
    • The program doesn't contain any runtime error. (10%)
    • The algorithm that is used in the program is logical. (10%)
    • Report. (10%)
    • Avg MPKI. (5%)
    • Late submission. (5% per day)

Homework 2


Homework 3


Exam 1


Final Exam

  • Sample questions will be posted.


Class Schedule and Slides

Date Topic Slides Reading Schedule Assignments out/due
1/17 Introduction Introduction(pdf), Introduction(pptx) Gordon Moore's 1965 Paper
1/19 Pipeline Pipeline(pdf), Pipeline(pptx) Chapter 1, Appendix A, B. ILP Paper Readings
1/24 ILP ILP(pdf), ILP(pptx) Chapter 2, ILP Paper Readings, ISA Paper Readings Colwell paper(external link) summary due
1/26 ISA ISA(pdf), ISA(pptx), chip manufacturing video(external link) Amdahl's Paper Readings
1/31 Performance Performance(pdf), Performance(pptx) Cache Paper Readings
2/2 Multicore Performance Performance and Multicore(pdf), Performance and Multicore(pptx) Jouppi paper(external link) summary due
2/7 Cache Cache and Memory(pdf), Cache and Memory(pptx)
2/14 Virtual Memory Virtual Memory(pdf), Virtual Memory(pptx)
2/16 Branch Prediction Branch Prediction(pdf), Branch Prediction(pptx)
2/21 Branch Prediction 2 (pdf), Branch Prediction 2 (pptx)
2/23 Branch Target Prediction and Trace Cache Branch Target Prediction and Trace Cache (pdf), Branch Prediction(pptx)
2/28 Out of Order Execution Out of Order Prediction(pdf), Branch Prediction(pptx)
3/2 ROB ROB(pdf), ROB(pptx)
3/7 Review for Exam 1
3/9 Exam 1 - In Class
3/10 Hacking Oil Rigs for Profit Optional - not official class https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hacking-oil-rigs-for-profit-tickets-32414781484/amp(external link)
3/21 VLIW and EPIC VLIW and EPIC(pdf), VLIW and EPIC(pptx)
3/23 VLIW and EPIC VLIW and EPIC(pdf), VLIW and EPIC(pptx)
3/30 GPU GPU(pdf), GPU(pptx)
4/13 Cache Coherence Cache Coherence(pdf), Cache Coherence(pptx)
4/18 Cache Coherence 2 Cache Coherence(pdf), Cache Coherence(pptx)
4/20 HW3
4/25 Vector Processor and Thread Level Parallelism Vector Machine (pdf), Vector Machine (pptx)
4/27 Review for Final
5/9 Final Exam
5/13 HW3 Due


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: Wednesday 10 of May, 2017 23:34:52 UTC by kelvingao. (Version 140)