Advanced Computer Architecture

Description: Lecture, four hours; outside study, eight hours. Requisite: course M151B. Recommended: course 111. Design and implementation of high-performance systems, advanced memory hierarchy techniques, static and dynamic pipelining, superscalar and VLIW processors, branch prediction, speculative execution, software support for instruction-level parallelism, simulation-based performance analysis and evaluation, state-of-art design examples, introduction to parallel architectures. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 3.0/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 3.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2022 - Lectures: I enjoyed his lecturing style (slow, engaging) but not the way he organizes his lectures and slides. He presented some concepts at the beginning of the course and then never got back into them until the end, so it was pretty confusing to hear about them so early. Exams: They require mainly written answers with some thought required. They also require calculators, as is reasonable for an architecture course with contents like FSM and tag bits and whatnot. He asked some questions that required quite a deep level of understanding on the midterm, and we all did badly. So, for the final he asked more questions that were straightforward instead or needed calculations, with a few that required thought. Paper (noted in the syllabus): In a team of 2, read 3 recent research articles and summarize them in a 5-page double-column paper and additionally provide your own critique. He assigned this in week 7 or 8 and it was due the weekend after finals week. Assignments: Readings and 1-4 homework problems, consisting of mainly his own questions and some Hennessy and Patterson problems, essentially every week. Also “experimentally” assigned 1 mini-project for teams of 2, which was to determine the size of the L1 cache using a C program. Project was not completely relevant to exams. HWs also are not completely representative of exam problems; calculation problems are most similar between them. Overall, I would recommend this course if you successfully understood your undergrad computer architecture course and enjoyed it enough to subject yourself to it again.
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