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

Spring 1998

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



All project comments and final grades have been mailed. If you have not received this, mail me soon. If it is possible for you to make your project paper available to others outside the Berkeley domain, please do so. Remember, though, if you have something that you are not supposed to distribute (for example, BDTI code), make available only the parts that are OK to distribute.


252 poster session area information is available.


Quiz 2 stats are available.


NOW login instructions are available.


Here's how to domain-limit web access for projects.

Older Announcements

In the interests of making this page more readable, older announcments have been moved.

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
30% Homeworks (work in pairs)
30% Examinations (2 Quizzes)
30% Research Project (work in pairs)

Departmental Grading Guidelines for Graduate courses

Instructors, Spring 1998

Lecturer: Professor David Patterson
Teaching Assistant: Joe Gebis


Lecture: Wed, Fri 2 - 3:30 PM, 203 McLaughlin Hall


Click here to see who's who.


Past quizzes and solutions are available.


The class newsgroup is ucb.class.cs252


J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 2nd Edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 1996 
ISBN: 1558603298 

Here's one place to buy a copy of the book

Note that the 2nd edition is significantly different than the 1st edition, and it is not recommended that you attempt to use the 1st edition as a textbook for this course.

The errata sheet is available!!!

The first reader to report an error in the book 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 errata sheet first.) Typically these bugs are reviewed by the both publisher and the authors about once a year before checks are issued, so please be patient.

Course Projects

Click here to see a list of suggested projects.
Project web pages for Spring 1998.
Project presentation schedule

Course Schedule

Lecture notes will be available in postscript, pdf, and powerpoint formats. Postscript files are good for printing, but pdf files are usually better for viewing on the screen. (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 PowerPoint 4.0. A few lectures I have also put up in the newer Office 98 Powerpoint--98, not 97--also on a Mac, in case that helps Microserfs.)

Note that sometimes ghostview has trouble properly displaying postscript files, although they often print okay even when that occurs. 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 1998 UCB." Permission is granted to alter and distribute this material provided that the following credit line is included: "Adapted from (complete bibliographic citation). Copyright 1998 UCB."

This material may not be copied or distributed for commercial purposes without express written permission of the copyright holder. 
Week Lect. Date Day Lecture Notes Due Chptr(s)
READ ME FIRST: hints on how to improve this material for instructors using these lectures  ps, pdf, ppt
1 1 21-Jan Wed Review: Performance, Cost, DLX Instruction Set  ps, pdf, ppt 1, 2
2 23-Jan Fri Review: Pipeline, Cache, Branch Prediction ps, pdf, ppt 2, 3
2 28-Jan Wed Prerequisite Quiz
3 30-Jan Fri CPU#1: ILP, loop unrolling, scoreboard  ps, pdf, ppt , (ppt  in  Office 98 format), (handout in ps 4
3 4 4-Feb Wed CPU#2: ILP, Tomasulo , Dynamic Branch Prediction ps, pdf, ppt , (ppt in  Office 98 format), (handout in ps 4
5 6-Feb Fri CPU#3: ILP, trace scheduling, Speculation ps, pdf, ppt  4
4 6 11-Feb Wed Vector processors #1 ps, pdf, ppt  Apndx. B
12-Feb Thu HW #1 due by 5:00 PM in 283 Soda HW #1
7 13-Feb Fri Vector processors #2 ps, pdf, ppt  Apndx. B
5 16-Feb Mon Pick project partner and choice, submit by e-mail Proj. choice
8 18-Feb Wed DSP/Multimedia Processors #1 ps, pdf, ppt 
9 20-Feb Fri DSP/Multimedia Processors #2 Part 1: pdf
Part 2: pdf
6 10 25-Feb Wed Memory Hierachy: Caches
Project Survey due by 5:00 PM in 635 doorbox
ps, pdf, ppt  Meeting signup
Project survey
24-Feb Thurs HW #2 due by 5:00 PM in 283 Soda Hall HW #2 due
Proj. meetings
11 25-Feb Fri Cache+Memory Hierarchy Example  ps, pdf, ppt  5
7 4-Mar Wed Quiz 1 (5:30PM - 8:30PM, 306 Soda)
12 6-Mar Fri Reconfigurable Computing and BRASS Wawrzynek
8 13 11-Mar Wed I/O 1: Trends, Metrics, Interfaces  ps, pdf, ppt  6
14 13-Mar Fri I/O 2: Queuing theory and RAID  ps, pdf, ppt  6
9 15 18-Mar Wed I/O 3: I/O Benchmarks and Busses  ps, pdf, ppt  Proj. Survey #2
16 20-Mar Fri Computer Pioneers and Pioneer Computers  Gordon Bell (Video) 
10 23-Mar Mon Spring Break  Vacation
11 17 1-Apr Wed Interconnection networks 1: Definitions, Metrics, Interfaces  ps, pdf, ppt  7
2-Apr Thu HW 3 Due by 5PM in 283 Soda HW3
18 3-Apr Fri Interconnection networks 2: Protocols, Examples and Intro to Parallel Processing ps, pdf, ppt , (ppt in  Office 98 format 8
12 19 8-Apr Wed Multiprocessor 1  ps, pdf, ppt  8
20 10-Apr Fri Multiprocessor 2  ps, pdf, ppt , (ppt in  Office 98 format Proj. Checkpoint 8
13 21 15-Apr Wed 20 minute Project Review
(no lecture)
16-Apr Thu HW #4 due by 5:00 PM HW #4
17-Apr Fri Searching the Computer Science Literature: Techniques & Tips by Camille Wanat, Engineering Library Camille Wanat 
14 22-Apr Wed Quiz 2 (5:30 - 8:30 PM, 306 Soda)
22 24-Apr Fri How to Have a Bad Academic Career ps, pdf, ppt  "Technology and Courage" in ps, in pdf
15 30-Apr Thu Oral Presentations 1PM-7PM (no lecture), 611 Soda
1-May Fri Oral Presentations 1PM-5PM (no lecture), 611 Soda
16 6-May Wed Poster Session (1:00 - 2:30 PM)
6th floor Soda Corridor
(no lecture)
23 8-May Fri Goodbye to Computer Architecture & Cal Cultural Heritage (2:00-3:15)/
End of class celebration at LaVal's (3:15-4:30)
ps, pdf, ppt 
17 11-May Mon Project Papers/URLs due by 4:30 PM


Homework 1
Project Suggestions
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.

Fall 1997

Fall 1996

Spring 1996

Fall 1995

Fall 1994

Other Useful Links

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Last Modified, 18-Jan-1998