The University of Sheffield
Department of Computer Science

COM1006 Devices and Networks

Summary This module runs throughout the academic year, starting in Autumn and ending in Spring. The module consists of two parts. In the first, important elements of computer architecture are covered 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. The second half of the module shows how computing devices can be connected into networks, and covers the principles of layered protocols, error detection/correction and reliable transmission over networks.
Session Academic Year 2021/22
Credits 20
  • Threshold tests consisting of MCQs and laboratory tests
  • Grading exam in the May exam period (Both Devices & Networks element)
Lecturer(s) Dr Ramsay Taylor & Dr Prosanta Gope

The aims of this module are:

  1. To give the students an understanding of the underlying principles of number representations and arithmetic operations.
  2. To demonstrate how computing devices can be built from basic digital logic components, and how these can be optimised.
  3. To describe some conventional CPU architectures.
  4. To explain the principles of “Data Communication”
  5. To describe various types of network topologies
  6. To describe various categories of computer networks
  7. To explain the concept of “Internetworking”
Objectives By the end of this module students should be able to:
  • Convert between different number representations, and recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different representations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of digital logic, from digital algebra through to digital circuits
  • Identify and discuss standard computer processor architectures, and interpret assembly language programs for a simple processor architecture.
  • Explain the principles of wired and wireless computer networking, and mobile networks.
  • Discuss layered protocols for networking.
  • Describe principles of network addressing ( such as public and private address, Subnetting, supernetting )
  • Discuss the foundations of network and Internet security
Content Autumn Semester (Dr Ramsay Taylor)
  • 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
Spring Semester (Dr Prosanta Gope)
  • Wired and wireless computer networking, mobile network
  • Layered protocols for networking (in TCP/IP Model)
  • Network Addressing (such as public and private address, Subnetting, supernetting)
  • Introduction to Network and Internet Security
Teaching Method Lectures, problem classes 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 Blackboard 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
  • L. L. Peterson and B. S. Davie, Computer Networks, A Systems Approach. Morgan Kaufmann
  • J. Krouse, and K. Ross “Top-down Approach: Computer Networks”, 8th Edition, Pearson publication.