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4CCS1CS1 Computer Systems I

Credit value: 15
Lecturers: Dr Matthew Howard, Dr Hongbin Liu, Dr Ernest Kamavuako (office hours)
Semester: 1
Teaching pattern: weekly three-hour lecture; two-hour practical lab session every other week


Learning aims
To provide an introduction to single machine organisation, architecture and operation.

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, you should be able to demonstrably understand how instructions get executed in a sequential processor; be able to perform arithmetic operations in binary and conversions between number systems; be able to compose and analyse small assembly-language programs; explain and illustrate memory concepts and performance improvement measures.

Computer system organization (introducing pointers to further topics):
  • Processor data path
  • Memory organization overview
  • Input/Output
  • Communication
  • Performance measures
Computer Arithmetic:
  • Number systems (decimal, binary, octal, hexadecimal) and conversions from one to others
  • Signed and unsigned numbers, floating point numbers
  • Addition, subtraction, s+m, 1's complement, 2's complement, excess systems
  • Logical operations
Assembly Level Programs:
  • Instruction formats
  • Addressing modes
  • Instruction types
  • Flow of control
Improving performance:
  • Instruction level parallelism
  • Processor level parallelism
The Memory Hierarchy:
  • Cache memory
  • Virtual memory
  • Effective access time

Suggested Reading and Resources (Link to MyReadingLists)

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