Computer Science 252: Graduate Computer Architecture

University of California
Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
David E. Culler
TA: Jason Hill
Spring 2002
Announcements | Description | Organization | Projects | Schedule | Handouts | Related | Links


Final Project reports due Wed 5/15
Second midterm quiz does out Tues 5/14, due Monday 5/20

Project Presentation Schedule
Tuesday 5/7 Thursday 5/9 Tuesday 5/14
Mukund Seshadri Yatish and Yury Will Plisker
David Garmire and Stephan Sorkin Ben and Jittat Donald Chai and Doug Densmore
Holly Fait and Dan Atkins Mani, Jason and Sourav Kaushik Raundran, Steve Singha & Satrajit Chaterjee
Kirsten, John and Xiaodong Ali, Haley, Rachael


CS grads: the faculty voted to change the Preliminary Breadth Courses requirements in Fall 2000 to be systems, theory, and systems meets theory: therefore CS 252 is included with a set of systems courses such as CS262 or CS267.

Grads from other departments and EECS undergrads interested in taking CS 252 in Spring, read this warning before class starts.

Catalog Description

Graduate survey of contemporary computer organizations covering: early systems, CPU design, instruction sets, control, processors, busses, ALU, memory, pipelined computers, multiprocessors, and case studies.
Term paper or project required.Three hours of lecture per week.
Prerequisites: CS 152.

Expanded Description

Computer architecture is a vibrant and ever changing area; this course will attempt to convey that to
students. It focuses on the design and implementation of computer architectures, as well as techniques for analyzing and comparing alternative computer organizations. Students will learn about styles of computer implementation and organization from a historical and modern perspective. Traditional concepts such as pipelining, instruction-level parallelism, memory hierarchies, and input/output architectures will be discussed. Further, modern issues such as data speculation, dynamic compilation, communication architecture, and VLSI scaling concerns will be introduced and discussed. Cutting-edge paradigms such as low-power wireless, nano and quantum computing will be examined.

In addition to the textbook, this course includes a number of readings from research papers. Such papers are important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to understand that design decisions are not always black and white. Students will also undertake a major computing systems analysis and design project of their own choosing.

Course Grading

10% Class Participation
10% Homeworks (work in pairs)
40% Examinations (2 Quizzes)
40% Research Project (work in pairs)

Departmental Grading Guidelines for Graduate courses


Lecturer: Professor David E. Culler
  • 626 Soda Hall, 643-7572,
  • Office Hours: Tues 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM, or by appt.

  • contact Michelle Willard, 643-2568, 
    mwillard@EECS.Berkeley.EDU, 626 Soda, for appt.


    Lecture: Tu, Th 2:00 - 3:30 405 Soda Hall


    The class newsgroup is ucb.class.cs252


    J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 3rd Edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 2001. 

    We will be using reprints of "pages" in final editing stages.  They are to be purchased from 387 Soda from Jeanette Cooke or Cindy 

    Readings in Computer Architecture

    Course Schedule

    Preminary Schedule
    # Date Topic slides Spkr Readings Handout Due
    1 T .11/22 Plan for the semester; Review: Key abstractions ppt, pdf P&H Ch1.
    IBM 360, B5000
    asmt 1
    2 Th.1 1/24 Review: Instruction Set Arch, CISC/RISC, pipeline, hazards, comp opt. ppt, pdf P&H Ch 2
    3 T .21/29 360 stack debate / Prereq quiz
    4 Th.2 1/31 Caches ppt,
    P&H 5.1-5.7
    5 T .32/5 Memory Technology ppt,
    philipb P&H 5.8-9, 5.14-15 asmt 2 asmt 1
    6 Th.3  2/7 Storage Technology ppt,
    jhill P&H 7.1-6
    7 T.42/12 Cache wrapup ppt,
    8 Th.4  2/14 Case Study: Network Embedded Architecture ppt,
    jhill TinyOS, MICA
    9 T .5 2/19 Latency Tolerance, Multithreading notes MT arch, MT anal, horizon asmt 2
    10 Th.5 2/21 Networks/NIs notes,
    Meiko CS-2, Paragon, P&H 8.1-7
    11 T. 6 2/26 Low-Power Design notes Low-power CMOS, PicoRadio, Variable-Voltage Core-Based Systems Prelim Prop
    12 Th.6  2/28 *Configurable* Architecture pdf Kurt Keutzer Safari
    13 T. 7 3/5 Proposal discussions Prop
    14 Th.7 3/7 Network Processor Arch pdf Chuck Narad eetimes, iXP2800
    15 T. 8 3/12 Micro Architecture - Hazards, Dynamic sched ppt,
    P&H Ch 3.1-3 asmt 3
    16 Th.8 3/14 Programming Pervasive Applns  Robert Grimm Final Prop
    17 T. 9 3/19 Superscalar Processor Design: Techniques pdf John Shen P&H Ch 3.4-15 asmt 3
    18 Th.9 3/21 Quiz
    T 3/26 Spring      
    Th 3/28 Break      
    19 T .10 4/2 BP + AR => ILP ppt,
    20 Th.10 4/4 PIII, PIV => SMT P&H 3.10-12 asmt 4 Prelim Res
    21 T .11  4/9 Vector Processors/MM inst ppt,
    Cray-1 Computer System, Russell (readings p 40-49 and intro p89)

    Media-Enhanced Vector Arch

    22 Th.11 4/11 MPs,CMPs P&H 6.1-4
    23 T .12 4/16
    Dan Sorin @ 3:30
    P&H 6.8
    asmt 4
    24 Th.12 4/18 Q&A in DSM and Availability P&H 6.5-7 bring a question
    25 T .13 4/23 Analysis of Perf, Results basic stats
    Art of Computer System Perf. Analysis, Ch 2, 13
    26 Th.13 4/25 CM2 vs RAW  The Raw Microprocessor
    27 T .14 4/30 Error Detection, handling SECDED on memory (hsiao, kaneda)
    disk (Blaum) &
    CRC & tool
    28 Th.14 5/2 Quantum Computing Fred Chongpractical arch
    29 T .15 5/7 Proj Presentations
    30 Th.15 5/9 Proj Presentations
    31 Tu 5/14 Proj Presentations Takehome

    Lec 27 reading:
    1.M. Y. Hsiao, A Class of Optimal Minimum Odd-weight-column SC-DED Codes, IBM J. Res Develop, vol 14, no 4, July 1970
       2.Shigeo Kaneda, A Class of Odd-Weight-Column SEC-DED-SbED Codes for Memory System Applications, IEEE Transactions on computers, vol c-33, no 8, August 1984
       3.M. Blaum, J. Brady, J. Bruck and J. Menon, EVENODD: an optimal scheme for tolerating double disk failures in RAID architectures, Proceedings of the 21st International
         Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), 1994

    Lecture notes will be available in pdf and powerpoint formats, with 6 per page for pdf for conventinent printing.. (Powerpoint is for instructors who want to give lectures themselves based on CS 252.)

    Every effort will be made to get the notes on the web prior to the lecture. Note, however, that the notes may be updated slightly following the lecture. Click here for instructions regarding how to view pdf files.

    Permission is granted to copy and distribute this material for educational purposes only, provided that the complete bibliographic citation and following credit line is included: "Copyright 2002 UCB." Permission is granted to alter and distribute this material provided that the following credit line is included: "Adapted from (complete bibliographic citation). Copyright 2001 UCB."

    This material may not be copied or distributed for commercial purposes without express written permission of the copyright holder. The only exception is for copies of these lecture notes for course readers from copy companies like Copymat or Kinkos.

    Course Projects

    Click here to see a list of suggested projects.

    Related Course Pages

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