TDT4255 - Computer Design


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2017/2018

Course content

Advanced topics in hardware design. Design issues including datapath, control and pipelining as well as implementation issues including assembly programming, high-level programming, hardware description languages, specification, partitioning, testing and verification. Embedded Systems, Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and advanced Microprocessor instruction sets.

Learning outcome

- The student should have a thorough understanding of the construction and mode of operation of simple processors.
- The student should understand how a processor is constructed using building blocks at different levels of abstraction like registers, register files, multiplexers, gates, ALUs, etc.
- The student should know of advanced performance improvement techniques for scalar processor cores.
- The student should know of important trade-offs regarding instruction set design.
- The student should have a thorough understanding of the construction and mode of operation of caches.

- The student should be able to construct simple processors using a hardware description language.
- The student should be able to analyze instruction set design problems.

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

Learning methods and activities

Auditorium lectures, self-study. Compulsory in-class assignments and compulsory warm-up laboratory exercise. All teaching will be in English. Portfolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portfolio includes a written 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.

Compulsory assignments

  • In-class exercises

Further on evaluation

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.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy: "Computer Organization and Design - the hardware/software interface". Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. Other relevant text 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


Detailed timetable


  • * 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.