Computer Architecture I

A.Y. 2023/2024
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at introducing basic concepts of hardware and firmware architectures of computing systems, starting from digital circuit fundamentals up to the description of behavior and structure of the main parts of a computing system and its programming in machine language.
Expected learning outcomes
Students are expected to master information encoding techniques, Boolean algebra, and key notions of logic circuits. They will have to demonstrate understanding of role and behavior of basic elements related to structure and functioning of a computer. Students will have also to be able to translate simple algorithms into the machine language of the reference processor adopted in the course.
Single course

This course can be attended as a single course.

Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
- Information Representation: Number Systems, Binary Codes, Alphanumeric Codes.
- Arithmetic Operations.
- Digital circuits: Boolean algebra, combinational circuits, basic sequential circuits.
- Introduction to architectural concepts and to the MIPS processor, and memory hierarchy.
- MIPS Assembly: instructions, Assembly constructs vs. constructs defined at high abstraction level.
- The Processor.
Prerequisites for admission
No requirement
Teaching methods
Traditional lectures. A subset of lectures will focus exclusively on exercises.
Teaching Resources
- M. Morris Mano, C.R. Kime, T. Martin, Logic and Computer Design Fundamentals, Pearson.
- D.A. Patterson, J.L. Hennessy, Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software, Elsevier.
- Slides and other materials available on the course website.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is a written test. The written test requires the solution of application and theoretical exercises, having contents and difficulties similar to those shown in class. During the exam, the consultation of texts or notes is not allowed. The evaluation parameters include: knowledge of the course topics and logical reasoning skills. In oder to pass the exam the score must be equal or above 18/30. The maximum score is 30/30 with laude. The marks will be sent to students by official e-mails, from the verbalization system.
INF/01 - INFORMATICS - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Ciriani Valentina
Educational website(s)
By appointment only
Dipartimento di Informatica - Via Celoria 18 - 20135 - Milano (MI)