Module Identifier CSM1110  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Mr Christopher Loftus  
Semester Available all semesters  
Pre-Requisite CSM1020 or some programming experience  
Course delivery Contact Hours   34 Hours plus about 45 hours of self study and practical work  
Assessment Course work     20%  
  Exam   2 Hours   80%  
Further details  

General description

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.


Introduction -
Why study architecture? What is hardware?

Logic and Number Systems -
Logic functions; notation; truth tables; Boolean relationships; De Morgan's theorem. Implementation: combinational logic and sequential logic. Binary arithmetic and its relationship to logic.

Basic Computer Hardware -
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.

Basic Computer Architecture -
Bus transactions. Programme execution. Internal architecture of a microprocessor: MBR, MAR, ALU, IR, PSR, control unit; interrupts; direct memory access (DMA). Mass storage devices. Cache memory.

Microprocessor Evolution -
Concept of a microprocessor family; CISC and RISC; single-chip processors.

Practical Work -
PC-based interactive courseware to reinforce the lectures.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
C S French. (1996) Computer Science. 5th. DP Publications, London 1858051649