TDT4255 - Computer Design


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Home examination 50/100 1 weeks A
work 50/100

Course content

Advanced topics in processor microarchitecture. Detailed discussion and implementation of simple pipelined CPUs. Introduction to the design and analysis of Instruction Set Architectures (ISAs). In-depth review of out-of-order execution, branch prediction, speculative execution, and performance modeling. Introduction to memory system design and computer arithmetic.

Learning outcome

- The student should have a thorough understanding of the construction and mode of operation of pipelined processors.
- The student should have a theoretical understanding of advanced performance improvement techniques for scalar processor cores including out-of-order execution, branch prediction, and speculative execution.
- The student should have a basic understanding of analytical performance models for out-of-order processors.
- The student should understand important trade-offs regarding instruction set design.
- The student should have a basic understanding of memory system design.

- The student should be able to implement optimised pipelined processors with a hardware description language.
- The student should be able to evaluate computer architecture optimisations with a quantitative approach.

General competence:
- The student should be proficient in computer design and be able to use this knowledge in projects at all levels of abstraction.

Learning methods and activities

Auditorium lectures, self-study. Voluntary warm-up laboratory exercise. Two laboratory exercises that count towards the final grade. In-class problem solving.

All teaching will be in English.

Further on evaluation

Portfolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portfolio includes a home exam (50%) and exercises (50%). The results for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portfolio is assigned a letter grade. All lectures are given in English. The written examination is only given in English.

If there is a re-sit examination the examination form may change from written to oral.

In the case that the student receives an F/Fail as a final grade after both ordinary and re-sit exam, then the student must retake the course in its entirety. Submitted work that counts towards the final grade will also have to be retaken

Course materials

John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson: "Computer Architecture - A Quantitative Approach, 6th Edition", Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. Other relevant texts will be announced at the start of the semester.
All teaching materials will be in English.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIF8062 7.5

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2020

No.of lecture hours: 4
No.of specialization hours: 8

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Informatics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Computer Science



Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD work 50/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS work 50/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Home examination (1) 50/100 A

Release 2020-12-01

Submission 2020-12-02

Release 09:00

Submission 14:00

Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home examination 50/100 A INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.
  • 1) Merk at eksamensform er endret som et smittevernstiltak i den pågående koronasituasjonen. Please note that the exam form has changed as a preventive measure in the ongoing corona situation

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU