Computer Science 252.
Graduate Computer Architecture.
(4 units)

Spring 2001

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Announcements | Description | Organization | Projects | Schedule | Handouts | Related | Links



Prepare for the Prerequisite Quiz before class starts.

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.

The first class meeting will be on Wednesday January 17.

Catalog Description

Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: CS 152. 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.

Expanded Description

This course focuses on the techniques of quantitative analysis and evaluation of modern computing systems, such as the selection of appropriate benchmarks to reveal and compare the performance of alternative design choices in system design. The emphasis is on the major component subsystems of high performance computers: pipelining, instruction level parallelism, memory hierarchies, input/output, and network-oriented interconnections. Students will undertake a major computing system 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 Patterson


Lecture: Wed, Fri 12:30 - 2 PM, 203 McLaughlin Hall


The class newsgroup is ucb.class.cs252


J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 3rd Edition, Beta draft, Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 2001. It will be distributed in class.


The first reader to report an error in the draft and supply a correction that the authors incorporate in a future printing will be rewarded with a $1.00 bounty. To submit a bug, send a message to with the page number and line number of the error in the subject line. (Check the beta test web page first.) There is also a survey needed at the end of every chapter which is a convenient place for bugs and typos. Typically these bugs are reviewed by the both publisher and the authors before checks are issued, so please be patient.

Course Projects

Click here to see a list of suggested projects.

Course Schedule

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. Note that I still use a Macintosh, so they were created in Office 98 Powerpoint--98, not 97--, in case that helps Microserfs.)

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 2001 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. 
Week Lect. Date Day Lecture Notes Due Chptr(s)
1 1 1/17/01 Wed Review: Pipeline, Performance, Cache, Virtual Memory pdf, ppt   1
  2 1/19/01 Fri Review: Moore's Law, Cost, Prerequisite Quiz pdf, ppt Moore's Law reading; Chapter 1 survery  
2 3 1/24/01 Wed Caches and Memory systems (Kubi) pdf, ppt   5
  4 1/26/01 Fri Memory Systems continued (Kubi) pdf, ppt Liptay Cache reading; Chapter 5 survery  
3 5 1/31/01 Wed Storage: Disks, Tapes, RAID pdf, ppt 6
  6 2/2/01 Fri Storage: Fault Terminology, Gray, Queuing Theory pdf, ppt Gray Turing reading  
4 7 2/7/01 Wed Storage:  Benchmarks, Examples pdf, ppt Hennessy Future reading; Chapter 6 survey  
  8 2/9/01 Fri Networks: Definitions, Metrics, Media, Projects pdf, ppt Homework #1 7
5   2/12/01 Mon Pick  partner and project, submit by e-mail   Partner, project selection  
  9 2/14/01 Wed Networks : Protocols, Routing, Wireless ppt Amdahl's Law reading; Chapter 7 survey  
  10 2/16/01 Fri Networks: Clusters, Google, Cell Phone ppt Meeting signup, Project Survey  
6 11 2/21/01 Wed Project Group Meetings (no lecture) Homework #2  
  12 2/23/01 Fri Multiprocessors: motivation, classification, apps pdf, ppt   8
7 13 2/28/01 Wed Multiprocessors: Snooping Protocol, Directory Protocol, Synchronization, Consistency  pdf, ppt Flash v. Flash , Flash Retrospective reading  
  14 3/2/01 Fri Multiprocessors: Measurements, Crosscutting Issues, Examples, Fallacies & Pitfalls pdf, ppt Chapter 8 survey  
8 15 3/7/01 Wed Quiz #1 (5:30-8:30PM 310 Soda); Pizza at LaVals      
  16 3/9/01 Fri Instruction Set: MIPS, DSP pdf, ppt   2
9 17 3/14/01 Wed Instruction Set: Vector, Multimedia (Kozyrakis) pdf, ppt Cray 1 reading; Chapter 2 survey Ap B, C
  18 3/16/01 Fri Dynamic Pipeline: Tomasulo, Reorder Buffers pdf, ppt Meeting signup, Project Survey 2 3
10 19 3/21/01 Wed Project Group Meetings (no lecture) Chapter 3 survey  
  20 3/23/01 Fri Dynamic Pipeline: Branch prediction, ILP limits pdf, ppt Emer genetic branch reading  
11   3/28/01 Wed Spring Break      
    3/30/01 Fri Spring Break      
12 21 4/4/01 Wed Dynamic Wrapup: Examples and SMT pdf, ppt Homework #3 4
  22 4/6/01 Fri Static Pipeline : VLIW, static branch prediction, IA-64 pdf, ppt VLIW, VLIW retrospective reading. Meeting signup, Project Survey 3  
13 23 4/11/01 Wed Project Group Meetings (no lecture) Chapter 4 survey  
  24 4/13/01 Fri Static Pipeline Wrapup: Transmeta and Trimedia, VLIW paper and Goobye to Computer Architecture (if time) pdf, ppt Flynn reading  
14 25 4/18/01 Wed Quiz #2 (5:30-8:30PM 310 Soda); Pizza at LaVals      
  26 4/20/01 Fri How to Have a Bad Academic Career, and Goobye to Computer Architecture pdf, ppt Oral presenatation signup; Sutherland's "Technology and Courage"  
 15 27 4/25/01 Wed Oral Presentations 8AM to 2 PM) 611 Soda; no lecture      
  28 4/27/01 Fri (no lecture)      
 16 29 5/2/01 Wed Poster Session 6th Floor (noon-2) Last class event      
30 5/4/01 Fri (no class)      
17 31 5/7/01 Mon Project Papers/URLs due by 4:30 PM      


Homework 1
Homework 2
Homework 3
Resources at your disposal for project work

Related Course Pages

This course is part of CalVIEW, Video Instruction for the Engineering World, which supports UC Berkeley's activity as a member school in the National Technological University, NTU, which is a consortium of 47 universities and colleges.

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Last Modified, 22-Feb-2001