CS 3339 - Computer Architecture

Course Description:

Use of fundamental hardware components. Topics include ALUs, single and multiple cycle datapath and control, RISC vs. CISC, pipelining, caches, I/O, virtual memory, and related performance issues.


Prerequisite: CS 2318 or EE 3420 either with a grade of "C" or better.

Course Objectives:


The student will understand how computers work at many different levels of abstraction, primarily focused on datapath and control of RISC and CISC instruction sets with a look at ALUs, caches, virtual memory, and I/O.


The student will learn about the terminology used to sell computers (e.g., clock rate, MIPs, SPEC ratings) and measure performance (e.g., CPI, instruction count) and be able to detect marketing hype and understand what they are buying.


Abstraction is a guiding principle used to understand this material, and students should come away from this class with the ability to work comfortably at many different levels of abstraction.

Section Info:

Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 hours lecture, 0 hours lab
Offered: Very frequently.