Course Info



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Office Hours:

Montek Singh

245 Sitterson
Mon./Wed., 3:15-4:15pm, and by appointment
(919) 962-1832


Required Text:

John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Computer Architecture:  A Quantitative Approach (3rd Edition), Morgan Kaufmann (2002).  Please be sure not to buy the 2nd edition!


This book is available from several online bookstores, including:

Additional readings may be assigned, comprising of journal and magazine articles, other texts, as well as Web-based material.  All such supplementary reading material will either be handed out in class, or made available in electronic form.


  1. COMP 120 (Computer Organization) or equivalent coursework covering processor design, assembly language, pipelining, caches, and basic I/O.
  2. PHYS 102 (Electronics II) or equivalent coursework in basic digital logic.

Representative books (available in Brauer Library):

bulletPatterson & Hennessy: Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface (2nd edition).  Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1997
bulletBaron & Higbie: Computer Architecture.  Addison Wesley, 1992
bulletKuck: The Structure of Computers and Computations (Vol. 1).  Wiley 1978
bulletStallings: Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance (4th edition).  Prentice Hall, 1996

If you are not sure you satisfy the prerequisites, please see the instructor.

Grading Policy:

Your grade in this class will be determined by your performance on the following:

bullethomework (25%)
bulletmid-term exam (25%)
bulletfinal exam (35%)
bulletsmall project (15%)
bulletno hardware system building or extensive programming involved

Any material covered in the lectures, handouts, assigned readings, or homework assignments may appear in exam questions.

Course Policy

Late Policy:  Homework assignments are due at beginning of class on the due date, unless specified otherwise.  Late assignments will be assessed a penalty of 20% per day.  If you have a compelling reason for seeking an extension, please do so well in advance.  I would prefer to give an extension to the entire class, rather than to an individual student.

Honor Code:  You are encouraged to discuss with other students any of the concepts discussed in class.  However, all work on exams and homework assignments must be your own; collaboration on solutions is not allowed.  For more details, you may refer to the following document:  Honor Code Observation in Computer Science Courses.