11925 - Computer Architecture

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the basic architecture of a computer, combinatorial and sequential networks, and the correspondence between assembly and high-level languages. The student is able to design simple combinational and sequential circuits and write assembly code.

Course contents

Organisation of computer systems. Binary systems. Elements of Boolean algebra, Logic Gates, Combinational circuits, Sequential circuits. Memory, CPU and Bus. The ISA level and assembly programming. The operating systems. Mapping from high-level programming languages to lower architectual levels.


No specific book is required. Updated teaching material is available through the InsegnamentiOnLine website.

For further information we suggest: Andrew S. Tanenbaum - Todd Austin. Structured Computer Organization 6th edition. Pearson. 2013.

Teaching methods

The course is composed by 4 credits of lessons and 2 credits of laboratory. The laboratory part will be done by students using their own computers, alone or in small groups.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of a written test and a design project consisting of the (virtual) realization of a processor and its assembly language. The project includes different deadlines, both during the course and after its end. The written test is worth from 0 to 27 points, the project from 0 to 6 points. The final mark is given by the sum of the mark of the written test and of the project.

Teaching tools

The teaching material is available on the website insegnamentiOnLine. At the beginning of the course a preliminary version of the teaching material is available, it may be slightly refined as far as the different topics are presented.

Office hours

See the website of Ivan Lanese