CSE 240A:
Graduate Computer Architecture

Announcements - Assignments - Project

Last updated: Monday, 01-Apr-2013 20:51:14 PDT


Michael B. Taylor
EBU 3B 3202 office

Teaching Assistant

Manoj Mardithaya

Class Meetings

Lecture TuTh 2p-3:20p Pepper Canyon Hall 122
Final Th 3p-6p Pepper Canyon Hall 122

Join and monitor this google group immediately:

Office Hours

Prof Michael Taylor
where CSE Building, RM 3202
when Tuesdays, walk down with me immediately after class, 3:30-4:30
when Mon 5p-6p, Thu 9-10a
where CSE Building B250A

Course Description

The course examines modern processor design, including technology, power, out-of-order superscalars, advanced branch prediction, advanced memory system, and selected topics on multicore and recent emerging research.

Required Textbook

Hennessy & Patterson's Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 5th Edition.

You MUST have in your possession a copy of the book for the duration of the class, and this edition of the book.


Project 30% To be discussed.
Mini Quiz 9.9999% Tests prerequisities incl. pipelining, caches, VM.
Midterm 20% Closed book.
Final 30% Cumulative; closed book.
Homework 7% Homeworks assigned through the course. They aren't worth much, but if you don't do them, you will probably bomb the exams.
Check-/Check+/Check Due in TA's mailbox 5 minutes before class.
Paper Summaries 7% Periodically through the class; submit via google form at least 1 hour before class.
Class Participation 6% or more In class, or in the google group

Grading Appeal Process If you feel there has been an error in how a test was graded, you have one week from when the assignment is return to bring it to our attention. There is no regrading of HW because of the small weight. You must submit to the appropriate TA a written description of the problem issue, what you feel the fair resolution is, and your unmodified coursework. We photocopy a random sampling of student exams to detect inappropriate modifications. Note that we regrade the entire exam; so your grade may either rise or fall after resubmission. Should, after you appeal, you be unsatisfied with the TA's treatment of the issue, you may resubmit the appeal to the professor.


NOTE: Subject to skew and jitter. We reserve the right to change this. I will post the slides for most lectures. Typically I am modifying the slides right up to lecture, and sometimes after lecture (for instance if I decide to flush out some details or clarify a slide), so I will typically wait to post them after the lecture occurs. Since the slides contain material I am not allowed to distribute publicly, they may only available from on campus or via the campus proxy. Instructions for setting up the proxy can be found here. Using the proxy is useful in general, since it gives you full access to the libraries and other resources from off campus.

Note: The format below is: < date, lecture topic for that date, reading assigned that date. >
Tue, January 08 Overview, Administrivia, Tech Trends Read Appendix C (if your arch is rusty), 1.1-1.12 slides
Thu, January 10 Technology Read Appendix A (if your arch is rusty); Read this paper for Tues, Jan 15. slides
Tue, January 15 Technology Scaling, Performance slides
Thu, January 17
Tue, January 22 Performance Read Ultrasparc I and III papers. slides
Thu, January 24 Single Issue, Exceptions, Pipeline Evolution Read 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.9:"Increasing Fetch Bandwidth"
Tue, January 29 UltraSparc, continued; Front Ends. QUIZ Read 3.4-3.8,3.12-3.13: Out-of-order Superscalars slides
Thu, January 31 Front Ends Read MIPS R10K and 21264 papers.
Tue, February 05 In-order Superscalar slides
Thu, February 07 Out-of-order Review B.1-B.3; Read 2.1-2.3; slides
Tue, February 12 Out-of-order Review B.4-B.5; Read 2.4-2.9; slides
Thu, February 14 ROB
Tue, February 19 MIPS/21264
Thu, February 21 MIDTERM EXAM review (subj to change)
Tue, February 26 MIDTERM EXAM (subj to change)
Thu, February 28 Caches Read Exploiting choice: instruction fetch and issue on an implementable simultaneous multithreading processor, Dean M. Tullsen, Susan J. Eggers, Joel S. Emer, Henry M. Levy, Jack L. Lo, and Rebecca L. Stamm, ISCA '96: Proceedings of the 23rd annual international symposium on Computer architecture, New York, NY, USA, 1996, pages 191-202.

Also read Niagara: A 32-way Multithreaded Sparc Processors, IEEE Micro 25(2):21-29, 2005.
Tue, March 05 Caches; Virtual Memory
Thu, March 07 Multithreading Project 1 Due;

Read The Raw Microprocessor: A Computational Fabric for Software Circuits and General Purpose Programs,IEEE Micro, March/April 2002. (pdf)

Read Tilera ISSCC 2008 Paper

Tue, March 12 Tiled Cores Project 1 Award Ceremony (approx)

Read Single-ISA Heterogeneous Multi-Core Architectures: The Potential for Processor Power Reduction and

Read Conservation Cores: Reducing the Energy of Mature Computations
Thu, March 14 Multicore Prepare for Final slides

Academic Integrity

Cheating is unacceptable. Our policy in this class is to aggressively pursue cheaters, and to ensure that they receive the maximum penalty allowable under the University of California academic system. If you are choosing between not turning in an assignment, or using somebody's else work, do yourself a favor and just don't turn it in. You are facing a permanent mark on your academic record and a certainty of having to explain it to any future employer or school that you apply to.

Exams You must work independently on exams. You may be held responsible if you allow others to copy your work.

Project For the project, if students are allowed to work in groups, you may obviously work with your group members. With non-group members, you may brainstorm about ideas, but you must write your own code. We will use automatic software for finding inappropriate similarities between student code, and substantial similarities in student work (including to previous teachings of the class) could result in referring the student to UCSD for cheating.

HW For homeworks, you may study and work with other students. However, you may not look at their write-ups. and you should not look at another student's homeworks before you have done the assignment yourself. A solutions manual, meant only for instructors, exists for this text. Obtaining or using this or other materials (such as other faculty's posted solutions to book problems) is cheating.


3/19/13 - Prefetcher Project Results are up!

2/21/13 - Midterm Review slides have been posted.

1/8/13 - If you would like to contact Michael or Manoj by e-mail, please include the phrase "CSE240A" in the subject so that your e-mail is not eaten by spam filters.

1/8/13 - The course website is now up and functional. Please check here regularly for announcements.

1/8/13 - Paper Analysis Submission site is up.


Note: If not otherwise specified, the readings and writeups are assigned on the day that they are listed and due at the next class. (Yes, you do a individual writeup for each paper.)

Homework Policies:

* For all homeworks, please create a cover page. The cover page should contain the following info: course (CSE240A), term (Winter 2013), homework number (e.g. HW #1), name(s), and date. To aid in fair grading, please do not put your name(s) on any page other than the cover page.
* You are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to work in groups of 2. If working with a group, you only need to submit one writeup. All members will receive the same grade. Typed solutions will make the TA smile but are not strictly required.
* All homeworks should be submitted to the TA in their mailbox (room 2237 in the CSE building) on or before the deadline. No late assignments will be accepted! DO NOT submit your homework via e-mail.