CAP 5106 -Advanced Computer Architecture

Fall 2016

Class description: Modern processor design, instruction-level parallelism, thread-level parallelism, data-level parallelism, memory hierarchy, and I/O.
Instructor: Dr. Lotzi Bölöni
Office: HEC - 319
Phone: (407) 243-8256 (on last resort)
E-mail: (preferred means of communication)
Grader: Nahal Norouzi -
Web Site:
The assignments and the other announcements will be posted on the course web site
Classroom: HEC 0117
Class Hours: Mon, Wed 6:00PM - 7:15PM
Office Hours: Mon, Wed 4:30PM - 6:15PM
Pre-requisites: EEL 4768C or equivalent undergraduate computer organization class
Textbook: Hennessy and Patterson: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach 5th edition
Grading: Homeworks: 25%, Quizzes: 5%
Midterm 1: 20%, Midterm 2: 20%, Final: 30%. Grading formula:
        HW = (HW1 + HW2 + HW3 + ...+ HWn) / n
        Q = (Q1 + ... + Qn) / n
        Overall = 0.25 * HW + 0.05 * Q + 0.2 * M1 + 0.2 * M2 + 0.3 * F
HW2, M2 etc are exactly the number you got, so if you got 112, that is what you put in.
Standard 90/80/70/60 scale will be used for final grades (curved if necessary).
All the exams are open book, open notes.
Integrity: The department, college, and University are committed to honesty and integrity in all academic matters. We do not tolerate academic misconduct by students in any form, including cheating, plagiarism and commercial use of academic materials. Please consult the Golden Rule Handbook for the procedures which will be applied.
Verification of engagement: As of Fall 2014, all faculty members are required to document students' academic activity at the beginning of each course. In order to document that you began this course, please complete the following academic activity by the end of the first week of classes, or as soon as possible after adding the course, but no later than August 27. Failure to do so will result in a delay in the disbursement of your financial aid.
To satisfy this requirement, you must finish the first quiz posted online. Log in to Webcourses, choose CAP 5636, and submit your answers online.


Lecture Notes, Readings, Homeworks
Mon, Aug 22
Basics: Computer organization
  • Components of computers
  • How do we measure performance?

[slides] Review-01 - Computer organization and performance
Wed, Aug 24
Basics: Instruction sets
  • The MIPS instruction set

[slides] Review-02 - Instruction sets
Mon, Aug 29
  • Comparing instruction sets (MIPS, ARM, x86)

Wed, Aug 31
Basics: Processor architecture
[slides] Review-03 - Processor architecture
Mon, Sep. 5
Labor day - no class

Wed, Sept. 7
Basics: Processor pipelining

Mon, Sept. 12
Basics: Pipeline hazards

Wed, Sept. 14 Basics: Memory hierarchies
[slides] Review-04 - Memory hierarchies
Mon, Sept. 19
Memory hierarchies cont'd

Wed, Sept. 21
Memory hierarchies cont'd

Mon, Sept. 26
Basics: Virtual memory

Wed, Sept. 28
Midterm exam review
[homework] Homework 1 - due October 12

Mon, Oct. 3

Wed, Oct. 5
Cancelled because of Hurricane Matthew

Mon, Oct. 10

Wed, Oct. 12
Memory and cache optimization
[slides] Memory optimizations
Mon, Oct. 17
Memory and cache optimization - cont'd

Wed, Oct. 19
Instruction-level parallelism
[slides] Instruction-level parallelism
Mon, Oct. 24
Instruction-level parallelism - cont'd
Wed, Oct. 26
Data-level parallelism
[slides] Data-level parallelism
Mon, Oct. 31
Data-level parallelism - cont'd

Wed, Nov. 1
Thread-level parallelism
[slides] Thread-level parallelism
Mon, Nov. 7
Thread-level parallelism - cont'd

Wed, Nov. 9
Midterm 2

Mon, Nov. 14
Thread level parallelism - cont'd [homework] Homework 2 - due Nov 28

Wed, Nov. 16
Request level parallelism
The architecture of data centers
Introduction to cloud computing
[slides] Cloud Computing
Mon, Nov. 21
Cloud computing models
Advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing
Map-Reduce and its implications
[homework] Homework 3 - due Dec 3
[slides] MapReduce - the paradigm
[slides] MapReduce - examples
[slides] MapReduce - scheduling
[slides] MapReduce - fault tolerance
[slides] MapReduce - scheduling queues
Wed, Nov. 23
Request level parallelism
VMs, Containers, Kubernetes
Micro-service architectures

Mon, Nov. 28
Request level parallelism
Serverless models, Amazon Lambda

Wed, Nov. 30
Review for the exam

Final exam Wednesday, December 07, 2016, 4:00 PM - 6:50 PM