ECEN 676 Advanced Computer Architecture - Spring 2021

Class Syllabus

The general format of the course consists of some regular lectures, discussion sections, problem sets, labs and a project.
Grading Policy
  • Participation: 5%
  • Laboratory Assignments: 35%
  • Project: 25%
  • Midterm Exam: 20%
  • Final Exam: 15%
  • Grades will be posted on Blackboard.
  • Grades will be assigned two ways:
    • >90 [A], >80 [B], >70 [C], >60 [D]
    • Curved according to the class median. Here your relative score is what really matters, rather than the objective scores above.
Missed Class Policy

Students must contact the instructor prior to missing an exam to schedule a makeup exam. Makeup exams will only be scheduled following an exam in cases of documented emergencies.

Late Submission Policy

Problem sets or laboratory assignments or course project submitted after the due date/time are considered late and will not be graded. Late submissions will only be graded in cases of documented emergencies.


Discussion of course material and collaboration with other students is encouraged but each student must write/type and submit his/her own solution. Your essays, code and proofs (if applicable) should never contain sections which are identical to the submission of another student, past or present. Submitted work must be entirely that of the student(s) whose name(s) appear(s) on the submission and not solicited in any way from others. Violation of these policies can result in automatic failure of the course.

Please refer to the Texas A&M University’s policy on academic dishonesty.
Tentative Schedule
Tuesday Thursday

Jan 19 - L01

Influence of Technology and Software on Instruction Sets

M. Kinsy

Jan 21 - L02

Intel Pin introduction

Laboratory 0

M. Kinsy

Jan 26 - L03

Single-cycle ISA Implementation

M. Kinsy

Jan 28 - L04

Pipelining and Hazards

Laboratory 0 DUE

Laboratory 1

M. Kinsy

Feb 02 - L05

Hazard Resolution

M. Kinsy

Feb 04 - L06

Complex Pipelining: Superscalar

M. Kinsy

Feb 09 - L07

Complex Pipelining: VLIW

M. Kinsy

Feb 11 - L08

Branch Prediction

Laboratory 1 DUE

Laboratory 2

M. Kinsy

Feb 16 - L09

SIMD and Vector Processors

M. Kinsy

Feb 18 - L10


M. Kinsy

Feb 23 - L11

GPU Architectures

Laboratory 2 DUE

M. Kinsy

Feb 25

Review I

M. Kinsy

Mar 02

Texas Independence Day

Mar 04 - E01

Midterm Exam

M. Kinsy

Mar 09 - L12

Memory Organization

Laboratory 3

M. Kinsy

Mar 11 - L13

Advanced Memory Operations

M. Kinsy

Mar 16 - L14

Modern Virtual Memory

M. Kinsy

Mar 18

No Class - Redefined

M. Kinsy

Mar 23 - L15

Process Synchronization

M. Kinsy

Mar 25 - L16

Sequential Consistency

Laboratory 3 DUE

M. Kinsy

Mar 30 - L17

Cache Coherence - Snoopy Cache

M. Kinsy

Apr 01 - L18

Cache Coherence - Directory Cache

M. Kinsy

Apr 06 - L19

Cache Coherence - Side Channels

M. Kinsy

Apr 08 - L20

On-chip Network Architectures

M. Kinsy

Apr 13 - L21

On-chip Networking

Project Proposals DUE

M. Kinsy

Apr 15 - L22

On-chip Routing

M. Kinsy

Apr 20 - L23

Micro-Architecture Security

M. Kinsy

Apr 22

Review II

Mid-Project Reports DUE

M. Kinsy

Apr 27

Project Activities

M. Kinsy

Apr 29

Project Activities

Final Project Report DUE

M. Kinsy

May 8

Final Exams

May 10

Final Exams