Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
Computer architecture
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Computer Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Montuschi Paolo ORARIO RICEVIMENTO PO ING-INF/05 60 0 20 0 10
SSD CFU Activities Area context
ING-INF/05 8 B - Caratterizzanti Ingegneria informatica
Subject fundamentals
The course presents the architecture of a basic computer system in all its components and features. It also provides highlights of the techniques for elementary hardware design as well as of assembly programming.
Expected learning outcomes
This course is a natural bridge between the first-year course "Computer Science" and the following courses on computer engineering, including "Operating Systems" and "Computer Networks". Its role is therefore to smoothly and naturally complete the basic knowledge of a computing system acquired during the course "Computer Science" and, at the same time, to gently stimulate the Student to target at more complex issues such as the low level programming and a deeper understanding of the hardware and software interactions of the different components in a computer. By attending this course the Student is expected to increase her/his overview and knowledge of computer based systems, to become more aware of the issues related to the design and management of a computer, and to have one more opportunity to nurture the curiosity qualities that are at the basis of a future Computer Engineer. An important contribution to successfully meet the above expectations comes from the laboratory lectures, where the Students are provided with the possibility of studying and practically approach how to use physical hardware computer platforms to solve real problems.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
A deep and well-assessed knowledge and experience of the topics covered during the first-year course "Computer Science" is definitely highly recommended.
Basics, examples and exercises of simple combinational and sequential circuit design and related issues, such as testing of the correct behavior, memory/area/speed tradeoff, energy consumption, delay and critical path;
The components of a microprocessor-based system and their interactions: CPU, cache memory, main memory, secondary memory, peripherals, Input/Output devices and related addressing and communication issues, buses and addressing modes;
Some "milestones" of Computer Engineering: virtualization, parallelization of operations, operating systems, reduced instruction set computers, configurable devices.
An introduction to the 8086 assembly language.
Delivery modes
Class lectures: about 62% of the course duration;
Class exercise time: about 20% of the course duration;
Assisted laboratories: about 18% of the course duration.

Students are highly invited to interact with Lecturers, both at lecture and exercise times. In addition, Students are highly recommended to interact also by using the resources made available through the web pages of the Course, such as the Forum tools.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Any general purpose textbook covering the topics of the course;
Optional additional material provided by the Lecturers.

Additional reading (among all):
V.C. Hamacher et al., Computer Organization, McGraw-Hill, 2005
M. Morris Mano, C. R. Kime, Logic and Computer Design Fundamentals, 4th edition, Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2008
Assessment and grading criteria
The written exam lasts about 45 minutes. The written exam is composed of closed-ended and open-ended questions on the whole program of the course. A mandatory oral exam follows the written exam. The oral and the written parts cover the whole program of the course.
The final mark is computed adding the evaluation of the written part (up to 24 points) to the evaluation of the oral exam (up to 9 points).
Several problems proposed as previous written parts will be made available to the students through the web page of the course.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

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