ENGS 116/COSC 107: Computer Architecture

Fall Term 2012


Instructor: Vincent Berk
E-mail: Firstname.Lastname@Dartmouth.EDU


MacLean 132: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00-11:05am, x-hour Thursday 12:00-12:50pm

Course Description

This course is a graduate level introduction covering the broad field of Computer Architecture. The development of the field is studied from the first vacuum tube computers to the newest modern-day computing clusters. Topics will include the fundamental principles of performance, basic architecture and RISC/CISC instruction set design, exploitation of instruction-level parallelism at the hardware and compiler sides, memory hierarchy design, caches, storage systems, multiprocessors, computer networks, and clusters. In addition to the course book, many fundamental and historic papers are reviewed, and a research project has to be completed. The goal of the course is to create a solid understanding of the issues and developments that drive the field of Computer Architecture.


COSC 37 (Computer Organization) or an equivalent course. Contact Vincent Berk if you have any questions related to prerequisites.


  • John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach FIFTH EDITION, 2011
  • Mark Hill, Gurindar Sohi, and Norm Jouppi, Readings in Computer Architecture, 2000

Other books on reserve at Feldberg (i.e. recommended reading):

  • John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach THIRD EDITION, 2003
  • Carl Hamacher, Zvonko Vranesic, and Safwat Zaky, Computer Organization FIFTH EDITION, 2002
  • John Paul Shen and Mikko H Lipasti, Modern Processor Design: Fundamentals of Superscalar Processors, 2003


Coming soon...


More information about this course can be found on Blackboard. You can login to Blackboard using your DND username and password.