Summary 
This module introduces the important elements of computer
architecture including digital logic, computer arithmetic
and instruction set architecture. The approach in the module
is to show how the basic elements of a computer are
constructed and combined to give sophisticated architectures
that support accelerated performance via cache memory and
pipelining. 
Session 
Autumn 2013/14 
Credits 
10 
Assessment 
20% continuous assessment via multiplechoice quizzes.
80% examination (2 hours). 
Lecturer(s) 
Dr Dirk Sudholt 
Resources 

Aims 
The aim of this module is to give a fundamental knowledge
and understanding of the basic computer structures that
underlie computer architectures. 
Objectives 
By the end of this module students should:
 know how to design functional units using
combinatorial and sequential logic;
 understand the computer representation of integer and
floatingpoint numbers;
 understand and be able to describe the components of a
computer system, and the interfaces between them;
 understand the structure of a typical computer
instruction set, and be able to explain the function of
instructions using RTL notation;
 understand and be able to write simple programs in
assembly language;
 understand how system performance can be accelerated
by use of pipelining and cache memory.

Content 
 Gates and circuits
 Boolean algebra
 Implementing logic
 Sequential circuits
 Computer arithmetic: binary numbers
 Computer arithmetic: floating point
 Instruction set architecture
 The structure of the CPU
 Assembly language programming
 Accelerating performance
 Computer memory

Restrictions

Not open to students from the Department of Computer
Science or students who are taking or have taken COM1090 or COM1006. 
Teaching Method 
Lectures and laboratory work. 
Feedback 
Students will receive feedback on their solutions to
laboratory exercise sheets and problem sheets. Solutions to
the online quizzes are delivered through the MOLE system
with additional feedback, and can also be discussed with
laboratory demonstrators. 
Recommended Reading 
 A. Clements (2006) Principles of computer hardware.
Oxford University Press
 M. Mano (1992) Computer system architecture (third
edition). Prentice Hall
