Kuwait University
College of Engineering and Petroleum

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 468: Computer Architecture (3-0-3)


Catalog Description

Evolution of computers _ Design methodology: Design levels, design models - Memory system design: Cache and Virtual memories - Pipeline design techniques - RISC architecture - Superscalar architecture - Vector computers - Introduction to Multiprocessor systems.

Prerequisite: 0612-368.

Text Book:

Hennessy and Paterson, "Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware Software Interface, Second Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 1997.


(1) To teach students the basics of computer architecture.

(2) To introduce students to fundamental concepts of memory system design.

(3) To introduce students to fundamental concepts of pipeline design.

(4) To introduce students to fundamental concepts of RISC and Superscalar processor design.

(5) To introduce students to fundamental concepts of Parallel processing.


Introductiont & CPU Performance Measures. (2 hr.)
basic concepts, Performance measures.

Memory System Design (6 hr.)
General concepts, Cache memory, Virtual memory, Memory management, Performance issues.

Integer and Floating Point Arithmetic. (4 hr.)
basic concepts, Integer and floating point addition, Integer and floating point multiplication.

Pipeline Design Techniques. (5 hr.)
Basic concepts, Instruction pipelines, Arithmetic pipelines, Pipelines hazards, Superscalar processors, Performance issues.

Reduced Instruction Set Computers (RISCs). (3 hr.)
basic concepts, Semantic gap, RISC philosophy and design aspects, Some RISC examples, RISC versus CISC controversy.

Parallel Archictectures. (5 hr.)
General concepts, Array computers, MIMD machines, Programming and performance issues, Interconnection Networks, Dynamic and Static networks, Performance issues.

Computer Usage:


Laboratory Experiments:


Grading Policy:

20% Quizzes and Homeworks
15% Major Exam I (Tentatively scheduled during week 5)
15% Major Exam II (Tentatively scheduled during week 11)
10% Course Project
40% Final Exam (As scheduled by the Registrar)

ABET Category content:

Engineering Design: 2 credits or 67 %
Engineering Science: 1 credits or 33 %

Prepared by: Prof. Mostafa Abd-El-Barr. Date: January 1999.