Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

G54ARC Advanced Computer Architecture
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  11/12

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  Specialist MSc and Part III undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science. Also available to Part II undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science subject to Part I performance. Also available to students from other Schools with the agreement of the module convenor.  Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

Taught Semesters:

Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: Or equivalent foundational knowledge of computer architecture

G51CSA Computer Systems Architecture 

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  

This module is part of the Operating Systems and Architecture theme in the School of Computer Science.

This course deals with the design of modern computer processors. It covers the architectural concepts, their implementation and how we can evaluate their performance. We include an introduction to the underlying technology of Si chips, limitations and trends. Key architectural concepts to be covered are the memory hierarchy, cache architectures, virtual memory, pipelines, hazards, speculative execution, out-of-order, threading, multiprocessors, cache coherency, communications on and off chip, and instruction sets.

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Computing 11 weeks1 per week1 hour
Lecture 11 weeks2 per week1 hour

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Further Activity Details:
Plus associated practical coursework (non-assessed).

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Exam 1 100 2 hour written examination 

Professor D McAuley

Education Aims:  To provide and understanding of the design of modern processors, software (OS) implications, and the equip the student with the means to quantitatively evaluate design decisions.

Learning Outcomes:  
Knowledge and Understanding:
The properties of modern processors.

Intellectual Skills
Understand complex systems and perform quantitative performance analysis

Professional Skills
Evaluate available processors and select those that are fit for purpose within a given domain

Transferable Skills. Quantitative evaluation of systems.

Offering School:  Computer Science

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