227-2210-00L  Computer Architecture

SemesterAutumn Semester 2020
LecturersO. Mutlu
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


227-2210-00 GComputer Architecture
The lecturers will communicate the exact lesson times of ONLINE courses.
6 hrs
Thu12-15ON LI NE »
Fri13-16ON LI NE »
O. Mutlu
227-2210-00 AComputer Architecture1 hrsO. Mutlu

Catalogue data

AbstractComputer architecture is the science & art of designing and optimizing hardware components and the hardware/software interface to create a computer that meets design goals. This course covers basic components of a modern computing system (processors, memory, interconnects, accelerators). The course takes a hardware/software cooperative approach to understanding and designing computing systems.
ObjectiveWe will learn the fundamental concepts of the different parts of modern computing systems, as well as the latest trends by exploring the recent research in Industry and Academia. We will extensively cover memory technologies (including DRAM and new Non-Volatile Memory technologies), memory scheduling, parallel computing systems (including multicore processors and GPUs), heterogeneous computing, processing-in-memory, interconnection networks, specialized systems for major data-intensive workloads (e.g. graph processing, bioinformatics, machine learning), etc.
ContentThe principles presented in the lecture are reinforced in the laboratory through 1) the design and implementation of a cycle-accurate simulator, where we will explore different components of a modern computing system (e.g., pipeline, memory hierarchy, branch prediction, prefetching, caches, multithreading), and 2) the extension of state-of-the-art research simulators (e.g., Ramulator) for more in-depth understanding of specific system components (e.g., memory scheduling, prefetching).
Lecture notesAll the materials (including lecture slides) will be provided on the course website: https://safari.ethz.ch/architecture/
The video recordings of the lectures are expected to be made available after lectures.
LiteratureWe will provide required and recommended readings in every lecture. They will mainly consist of research papers presented in major Computer Architecture and related conferences and journals.
Prerequisites / NoticeDigital Design and Computer Architecture.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits8 credits
ExaminersO. Mutlu
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationOne exam of 180 min (35%)
Lab assignments with submission and face-to-face interviews (50%)
Homeworks (15%)

No books, papers, computers, phones, calculators or other electronic devices are allowed.
Maximum 10 A4 hand-written pages with notes are allowed for the final exam.

Learning materials

Main linkInformation
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

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