TDT4260 - Computer Architecture


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Work 20/100
Written examination 80/100 4 hours D

Course content

Computer architecture fundamentals, trends, measuring performance, quantitative principles. Instruction set architectures and the role of compilers. Instruction-level parallelism, branch prediction, thread-level parallelism, VLIW and examples. Memory hierarchy design, cache, and storage systems. Multiprocessors, thread-level parallelism, shared memory architectures, distributed shared memory, synchronization, and multithreading. Interconnection networks, topologies, clusters, and case study.

Learning outcome

- The student should have a detailed understanding of how high-level building blocks like different varieties of processors, caches, interconnects, buses, etc. should be assembled into a complete computer system.
- The student should have a detailed understanding of the construction and mode of operation of modern memory systems.
- The student should be familiar with hardware security measures like virtual memory and trusted execution environment.
- The student should have a detailed understanding of how multiple processor cores can be assembled into parallel computer architectures. This includes homogeneous and heterogeneous multicore processors and multiprocessors.
- The student should know how the interplay between architecture, system software, and the application affects performance in parallel computer systems.

- The student should be able to evaluate architectural choices with simulators and draw sensible conclusions based on these studies.

General competence:
- The student should be able to leverage his knowledge of computer architecture in development projects at all levels of abstraction.

Learning methods and activities

Auditorium lectures and self-study. All lectures will be given in English.

Further on evaluation

Exercise counts 20% and written exam counts 80%. Final grade (A to F) given at end of semester.
The exam will be in English. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments.
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

Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 5th edition by John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson. Morgan Kaufmann. Eventually additional text announced at the start of the semester. All teaching materials will be in English.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
DT8803 7.5 2008-09-01
SIF8064 7.5


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Spring ORD Work 20/100
Spring ORD Written examination 80/100 D
  • * 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.