Computer Science 252: Graduate Computer Architecture

University of California
Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
David E. Culler
TA: tbd
Spring 2005
Announcements | Description | Organization | Projects | Schedule (daily) | Handouts | Related | Links


Course evaluation on May 3.
Seth Goldstein guest lecture on May 5
Project Presentations on May 10

Catalog Description  (online schedule)

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 or equivalent.

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.

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 systems, as well as techniques for analyzing and comparing alternative computer organizations.  We will take the broad view of computer architecture as it evolves - not just CPU design, but the places where hardware and software come together from tiny embedded devices to massive internet service platforms.  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, multiprocessors, and VLSI scaling concerns will be introduced and discussed. Cutting-edge paradigms such as low-power wireless, network processors, reliability, and scalable systems will be explored

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.

<>This term I will try mixing a lecture format to cover the wealth of conceptual background with extensive class discussion.    We have a very good text and a solid basis of original papers.  You must do the reading assigned in the schedule for each class prior to the class meeting and bring one question raised by what you have read.  Questions will be collected at the beginning of class.  The first part ofthe class will be in lecture format, but the last third will try to answer outstanding questions.

Course Grading

15% Class Participation, including discussion questions.
15% Homeworks (work in pairs)
35% Examinations (1 Quiz, 1 Take home)
35% Research Project (work in pairs)

Departmental Grading Guidelines for Graduate courses


 Professor David E. Culler
  627 Soda Hall, 643-7572,
 Office Hours: Tues 1:00 - 2:00, Fri 11-12, or by appt.
contact Willa Walker, 643-2568, 
willa@EECS.Berkeley.EDU, 626 Soda, for appt.


Lecture: Tu,Th 11-12:30 320 Soda Hall


The class newsgroup is ucb.class.cs252


Computer Arch. J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 3rd Edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 2002. 
readings (recommended, readings will be available on-line)
Readings in Computer Architecture, Mark Hill (Editor), Norman Jouppi (Editor), Gurindar Sohi (Editor), Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 1999

Course Schedule

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 2005 UCB."  Permission is granted to alter and distribute this material provided that the following credit line is included: "Adapted from (complete bibliographic citation). Copyright 2005 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.

Date Topic Reading HW
1 Tu 18-Jan Introduction (ppt, pdf)
H&P Ch 1&2 In class debate on 1/25
2 Th 20-Jan Review: proc, pipeline, cache (ppt,pdf)
H&P App A.1-3, ch 3.1, ch 5.1-3
3 Tu 25-Jan ISA debate IBM 360,B5000, RISC,

4 Th 27-Jan ControlFlow, Pipeline Traps, Banch Prediction (ppt, pdf)diction App A.4-6, 3.4-5,4.2 HW 1, due Feb 3 start of class
5 Tu 1-Feb Out-of-order Completion (ppt, pdf) 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, A8, Cray-1, CDC6600
Bring 1 question on each paper
6 Th 3-Feb Catch up (ppt, pdf)

7 Tu 8-Feb Dynamic Inst. Scheduling (ppt, pdf) Ch 3.2-3, Tomasulo HW1 due
8 Th 10-Feb Loop Level Parallelism (ppt, pdf) ch 3.8-9, 4.3-4
9 Tu 15-Feb Precise exceptions (ppt, pdf)
Smith,Sohi HW 2
10 Th 17-Feb Vector Processing (ppt, pdf)
3.7-9, 3.13,4.5-7, app G
11 Tu 22-Feb Review (ppt, pdf)

HW2 due

Wed 23-Feb mid term I (solution)

12 Th 24-Feb Cache design (ppt, pdf)
Ch 5.4-18
13 Tu 1-Mar Shared Memory (ppt, pdf 6.1-4, MPR handout

14 Th 3-Mar SMPs, Embedded Proc

15 Tu 8-Mar Multithreading (notes)
ch 6.9,6.12, SMT, optional horizon, analysis

16 Th 10-Mar slack (consumed)

17 Tu 15-Mar Distributed Memory Multiprocessors [ppt,pdf]
ch 6.5-6, 6.11, scaling
Project Proposals
18 Th 17-Mar Modern Supercomputing Field Trip to NERSC - Bill Kramer
science-driven arch, deep data

Tu 22-Mar Spring

Th 24-Mar Break

19 Tu 29-Mar Memory Consistency, Synchronization [ppt, pdf]
ch 6.7-8, tutorial
20 Th 31-Mar Power Management in Wireless Sensor Networks
Telos, BMAC. Prometheus
Project Topic Finalized
21 Tu 5-Apr Cray-3 (Seymore video)

22 Th 7-Apr Project Pitches

23 Tu 12-Apr Storage Technology and I/O [ppt, pdf]
5.8-9, 7.1-6
Project Annotated Bibliography

Wed 13-Apr mid term II (poster 4/17, due 4/27)

24 Th 14-Apr network processors Spalink SOSP, Crowley ICS, Kounavis
25 Tu 19-Apr low power design Low-power CMOS, Variable-Voltage Core-Based Systems
26 Th 21-Apr Clusters, Internet Service Architectures
8.12, Brewer
Project Preliminary Results
27 Tu 26-Apr Project meetings

28 Th 28-Apr no class, faculty retreat

29 Tu 3-May Whatever happened to Dataflow
ETS, Retrospective (if you have time)
Course Survey
30 Th 5-May Seth Goldstein: Claytronics -realizing programmable matter

31 Tu 10-May Project Presentations

Course Projects (under construction).

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