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COSC3303 - COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE

STUDENT GUIDE LETOURNEAU UNIVERSITY

COURSE DESCRIPTION

COSC 3303 is a study of computer architecture, sometimes called computer organization. Computer architecture is the internal structure of a computer system -- the hardware resources that are available, the purposes they serve, and the relationships between them. Topics include machine organization, memory subsystem organization, interfacing concepts, issues arising in managing communication with the processor, and alternative computer architectures. A variety of assembly languages are studied and used to implement small programs.

INTRODUCTORY NOTES TO STUDENTS

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a historical perspective on the development of computer architectures and to familiarize the student with the languages used primarily for low-level computer programming. Some of the questions that this course seeks to address are "How are numeric constants and variables represented and stored inside a computer? How does the computer implement arithmetic, logical, and relational operators? How do we implement the normal sequential flow of control? How do we alter the flow of control to implement conditional branching and iteration? How is input/output implemented? How are the statements of a high-level language stored internally and executed? Why study computer architectures? What security concerns are introduced in the translation between source code and executable? "

Most of the material in the text will be covered. In addition to the text, we will consider topics relating to various architectures including Intel x86, MIPS, and ARM.

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES

The conceptual outcomes of this course include an intermediate understanding for the following concepts Machine instructions Value representation and computer arithmetic RISC instruction set architectures Accessing and evaluating performance Design principles Logic design Datapath and control Microprogramming control in hardware Pipelining Memory hierarchies System peripherals, networks, buses, and I/O system design Multiprocessors Assemblers, both RISC and CISC C language fundamentals

The practical learning outcomes require the student to design and implement a variety of assembly programs for both RISC and CISC instruction sets, using a MIPS simulator and x86 assemblers.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Discussion Board activity

must be completed by midnight on the date assigned. Timely discussion of the material is essential for this online course.

A Discussion Board question and one comment are required for each assigned reading.

All other assignments are due at midnight on the given due date. An assignment submitted after the due date will not receive credit. However, each student has an allowance of three (3) late days. Each late day extends the assignment due date by one class period (24 hours). Late days may be used in any quantity during the semester. If an assignment is submitted after the due date, the student must indicate how many late days are to be applied towards the assignment. Be careful to follow any assignment-specific instructions in order to receive full credit.

OPPORTUNITY DAYS

Three Opportunity Days will be offered. These will be opportunities for you to individually demonstrate your understanding of the course material.

TENTATIVE STUDENT EVALUATION CRITERIA

Component

Weight

Homework/Daily Assignments

35%

Programs

25%

Discussion Board

10%

Opportunity Days

20%

Final

10%

COURSE MATERIALS

TEXTBOOK:

Patterson & Hennessy, Computer Organization & Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, 4 th Ed., 2008, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, ISDN 978-0-12-374493-7

PROGRAMMING TOOLS SPIM or MARS MIPS Simulators, PathSim datapath simulator, Logisim circuit simulator, x86 assembler

datapath simulator, Logisim circuit simulator, x86 assembler REFERENCE MATERIALS Computer architecture and assembly

REFERENCE MATERIALS Computer architecture and assembly language reference material abound on the Internet. particularly good resource, let the instructor know so it can be added to the External Links area on Bb.

OTHER

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