|Module Title||COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Myra Wilson|
|Course delivery||Lecture||22 Hours|
|Practical||8 Hours 8 x 2 hours|
|Resit assessment||Supplementary examination will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy.|
There is a relationship between software design, hardware design and the performance of a system as a whole. Those who build software systems need some understanding of this relationship, at the level of principles rather than fine detail. No prior knowledge of the subject area is required; the course begins with the basic ideas of number systems, simple electrical laws, logic functions and their electrical equivalents. The course then looks at how more complex devices can be created from these primitive building blocks. Having arrived at the principal components of a microprocessor based system, we look at the way these components interact and their roles in the execution of simple programs. The laboratory work associated with the course is designed to consolidate the lecture material using PC-based training tools.
Students successfully completing this module will have a broad functional understanding of computer architecture, an awareness of the hardware software interface, an understanding of the trade-offs between hardware and software, and an understanding of the factors that affect system performance.
On successful completion of this module students will:
1. Introduction - 1 Lecture
Why study architecture? What is hardware?
2. Logic and Number Systems - 5 Lectures, 1 Practical
Logic functions; notation; truth tables; Boolean relationships; De Morgan's theorem. Implementation: combinational logic and sequential logic. Binary arithmetic and its relationship to logic.
3. Basic Computer Hardware - 5 Lectures
Principal components of a microprocessor based system; CPU; RAM; ROM; I/O; buses. Memory organisation: memory maps; memory decoding. Bus timing; synchronous and asynchronous operation.
4. Basic Computer Operation - 10 Lectures, 6 Practicals
Bus transactions. Machine code. Internal architecture of a microprocessor: MBR, MAR, ALU, IR, PSR, control unit; interrupts; direct memory access (DMA). Mass storage devices. Cache memory.
5. Microprocessor Evolution - 1 Lecture
Concept of a microprocessor family; CISC and RISC; single-chip processors.
** Recommended Text
Ronald J. Tocci and Frank J. Ambrosio. (2000) Microprocessors and Microcomputers: Hardware and software.. 5th. Prentice Hall ISBN 0130104949
Irv Englander. (2000) The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software. 2nd. Wiley ISBN 0-471-36206-3