|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
|Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:
The progress of computer technologies from 1960 to today has been oustanding. In 1960, a computer was as big as an entire room. Today, a computer is as small as a tablet or a smartphone. In this course, students will study the principles of computer architecture, which played a crucial role in such evolution of computer system.
AIMS AND CONTENT
The course is a study of the evolution of computer architecture and the factors influencing the design of hardware and software elements of computer systems. The course covers the fundamentals of classical and modern processor design: performance and cost issues, instruction sets, pipelining, memory organization.
AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
The design and development of a computer requires one to address specific targets in terms of computational performance, size, cost, and power consumption. Accordingly, both a tablet and a data centre belong to the class of computers; on the other hand, they are definitely different when looking at the four attributes listed above. This module focuses on the design methodologies that allow one to target specific constraints when developing a computer. At the same time, students will be involved in practical classes, where professional tools for the design of digital electronic systems will be utilized. Overall, students will be able to improve their skill on computer architectures and computer systems.
At the end of the semester, students will be able to
- understand, describe, and analyze the architecture of a computer system;
- use hardware description languages (VHDL) to design and simulate a digital electronic system.
This teaching includes a combination of lectures and laboratory assignments. The contents are presented and discussed wit traditional teaching during the lessons, which students are exptected to attend. Besides, lab assignments will allow students to actively participate in the design and simulation of digital architectures by adopting professional tools.
Topics will include: introduction to computer architecture design; analysis of the major design issues: computational performance, power consumption, cost, size; computer arithmetic; instruction set design; processor: datapath and control unit; pipeline and parallelism; memory organization.
The lectures deal with topics such as the progress of electronics and microprocessors in the support of Society and Industry. Thus, this teaching contributes to the achievement of the following Targets of the UN SDGs 2030:
8.2 (Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors)
9.5 (Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending)
David Patterson, John Hennessy, "Computer Organization and Design", Morgan Kaufmann
David Harris, Sarah Harris, "Digital Design and Computer Architecture", Morgan Kaufmann
TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD
RODOLFO ZUNINO (President)
PAOLO GASTALDO (President Substitute)
L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.
Written exam with multiple choice tests.
The final score will be calculated by taking also into account the outcomes of the lab assignments
Students with learning disorders ("disturbi specifici di apprendimento", DSA) will be allowed to use specific modalities and supports that will be determined on a case-by-case basis in agreement with the delegate of the Engineering courses in the Committee for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities.
The assessment will be based on
1) Lab assignments. The goal is to evaluate the ability of properly exploiting the theoretical contents introduced in the lessons. In particular,
- the first assignment will assess the ongoing learning outcomes about computer architecture.
- the second assignment deals will assess the learning outcomes about design and simulation of digital systems.
2) Written exam. The goal is to evaluate the levels of comprehension of the theoretical contents introduced in the lessons with a specific focus on the learning outcomes about computer architecture. The exam includes both multiple choiche tests and open questions.The assessment of competences is certified in a progressive fashion:
- a group of baseline questions aims to verify the minimal contents required to pass the exam (18-22)
- a group of reference tests aims to validate the expected average of competence and notions (23-28)
- a group of challenging questions highlights the acquisition of original and high-level skills (29-30 e Lode)