TDT4260 - Computer Architecture


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
work 30/100
Home examination 70/100 4 hours

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 and caches. Multiprocessors, thread-level parallelism, shared memory architectures, distributed shared memory, synchronization, and multithreading. On-chip interconnection networks and clusters.

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 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 be able to evaluate architectural choices with simulators and draw sensible conclusions based on these studies.
- The student should be able to differentiate between general purpose CPUs, general purpose graphic processing units (GPGPUs), and application specific accelerators in terms of their specific advantages and disadvantages.

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, exercise, mini-project, and self-study.
Training in writing scientific articles as well as critical evaluation of their contents.
All lectures and teaching material will be given in English.

Further on evaluation

Exercise, mini-project, article writing, and peer-evaluation counts 30% and written exam counts 70%. Final grade (A to F) given at end of the semester.
The exam will be in English. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English when answering questions on the exam.
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, 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
SIF8064 7.5
DT8803 7.5 01.09.2008

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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

No.of lecture hours: 3
Lab hours: 2
No.of specialization hours: 7

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Computers
  • Computer Systems
  • Informatics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

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 *
Summer UTS work 30/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD work 30/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home examination 70/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Home examination 70/100

Release 2021-06-11

Submission 2021-06-11

Release 09:00

Submission 13:00

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.

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

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