Welcome to the web page for Spring 2014 CS252 Graduate Computer Architecture. CS252 provides essential background for students intending to pursue research in computer architecture or related fields, and also provides preparation for the Berkeley EECS computer architecture oral prelim examination.

The class explores: the major architectural design patterns, including microcoding, pipelining, decoupling, in-order and out-of-order superscalars, vector/SIMD/GPUs, VLIW, multithreading, shared-memory multiprocessors, message-passing multicomputers; protection, security, virtual memory and virtual machines; networking and storage architectures; resiliency to hard and soft errors; power, energy, and thermal issues; evaluation methodologies. These concepts will be explored in the context set by the historical and predicted future trajectory of applications, technology, programming models, and business models.

The prerequisite for the class is CS152 or an equivalent upper division computer architecture course.


We'll be using Piazza for communication in the class. Sign up here.

Course Calendar

Note: Tentative, schedule subject to change!
Date Lecture Background Readings Assignments (Paper Reviews due by 10:30AM)
Wed Jan 22 L1: Introduction, Class Organization PPTX PDF
Mon Jan 27 L2: Instruction Set Architectures PPTX PDF H&P App. A "Design of the B5000 System", Lonergan, King, 1961
"Architecture of the IBM System/360", Amdahl, Blaauw, Brooks, 1964
Wed Jan 29 L3: From CISC to RISC PPTX PDF "The Case for the Reduced Instruction Set Computer", Patterson, Ditzel, 1980
Comments on the "The Case for the RISC", Clark, Strecker, 1980
"Performance from architecture: comparing a RISC and CISC with similar hardware organization", Bhandarkar, Clark, 1991
Mon Feb 3 L4: Pipelining PPTX PDF H&P App. C "Parallel Operation in the Control Data 6600", Thornton, Proceedings of the Fall Joint Computers Conference, vol 26, pp. 33-40, 1964
"IBM's Single-Processor Supercomputer Efforts", Smotherman, Spicer, CACM, 53(1), 2010
"Implementation of Precise Interrupts in Pipelined Processors", Smith, Pleszkun, ISCA, 1985 (IEEE Trans. Computer Journal version)
Wed Feb 5 Lecture cancelled
Mon Feb 10 No Lecture: ISSCC
Wed Feb 12 L5: Early Out-of-Order Processing PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 3.1-3.6 "An Efficient Algorithm for Exploiting Multiple Arithmetic units", Tomasulo, IBM Journal, January 1967
"Decoupled Access/Execute Computer Architectures", Smith, ISCA 1982 (ACM TOCS version)
Mon Feb 17 No lecture: President's Day Holiday
Wed Feb 19 Guest Lecture: Fredrico Faggin, "Microelectronics & Microprocessors: The Early Years" Room Change: Special class will be held in Cory 540A/B
Mon Feb 24 L6: Modern Out-of-Order Processors PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 3.8-3.11, 3.13 "Combining Branch Predictors", McFarling, DEC WRL Technical Note TN-36, 1993
"The MIPS R10000 Superscalar microprocessor", Yeager, IEEE Micro 16(2), 1996
Wed Feb 26 L7: Branch Prediction and Load-Store Queue Designs PPTX PDF "The Transmeta Code Morphing Software", Dehnert et al., CGO 2003
"Intel's Haswell CPU Microarchitecture", David Kanter, Realworld Tech, 2012
Mon Mar 3 L8: Vector Supercomputers PPTX PDF H&P App. G "The CRAY-1 Computer System", Russel, CACM 1978
"The Cray Black Widow", Abts et al., Supercomputing 2007
Wed Mar 5 L9: VLIW Machines PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 3.7, App. H "Very Long Instruction Word Architectures and the ELI-512", Fisher, ISCA 1983
"A VLIW Architecture for a Trace Scheduling Compiler", Colwell et al., IEEE Trans. Computers, 1988
Mon Mar 10 L10: Memory PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 2.3, App. B.1-B.3 "Understanding the Energy Consumption of Dynamic Random Access Memories", Vogelsang, MICRO-2010.
"Hybrid Memory Cube", Pawlowski, slide presentation, HotChips 2011.
Wed Mar 12 L11: Cache coherence PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 5.1-5.4 "The SGI Origin: a ccNUMA highly scalable server", Laudon, Lenoski, ISCA 1997
"IBM POWER7 multicore server processor", Sinharoy et al., IBM J. R&D, 2011
Mon Mar 17 L12: Synchronization and Memory models PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 5.5-5.8 "Shared Memory Consistency Models: A Tutorial", Adve, Gharachorloo, DEC WRL TR, 1995
Project proposal due by 11:59PM.
Wed Mar 19 L13: Multithreading PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 3.12 "The Tera Computer System"Alverson et al, ICS 1990
"Exploiting choice: instruction fetch and issue on an implementable simultaneous multithreading processor", Tullsen et al., ISCA 1996
Mon Mar 24 No lecture: Spring Break
Wed Mar 26 No lecture: Spring Break
Mon Mar 31 L14: Address Translation and Protection PPTX PDF H&P Ch. 2.4-2.7 No paper readings.
Prepare for midterm!
Wed Apr 2 Midterm Exam No paper readings
Mon Apr 7 Individual group project meetings No paper readings
Wed Apr 9 Individual group project meetings No paper readings
Mon Apr 14 L15: Virtual Memory and Caches PPTX PDF "Survey of Virtual Machine Research", Goldberg, IEEE Computer, 1974
"Bringing Virtualization to the x86 Architecture with the Original VMware Workstation", Bugnion et al., ACM TOCS, November 2012
Wed Apr 16 L16: Virtual Machines PPTX PDF No additional readings.
Mon Apr 21 L17: I/O "On the Design of Display Processors", Myer, Sutherland, CACM 1968.
"A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)", Patterson, Gibson, Katz, SIGMOD 1988
Wed Apr 23 Guest Lecture: TBD
Wed Apr 28 Individual group project meetings No paper readings
Wed Apr 30 Individual group project meetings No paper readings
Wednesday May 7 Final Project Presentations All day 10AM-3PM 320 Soda
May 9 Final Project Paper Due 11:59PM