Computer Architecture

Faculty: Faculty of Engineering
Department(s): IT
Course: Computer Architecture
Weekly hours: Theory: 2 Exercises: 1
ECTS Credits: 2

Lecture Schedules:

Friday - Lecture + Exercises (Computer Lab)

Lecturer: Dr. Hiqmet Kamberaj
Room Number: 409
Phone Number of the lecturer: +389 (0)23174010 (ext. 123)
E-mail address of the lecturer: km.ude.ubi|jarebmakh#km.ude.ubi|jarebmakh

Course Objectives:

The aim of this course is to discuss the fundamentals of computer organization (physical design) and architecture (logical design) and relates this to contemporary design issues. This course will cover machine level representation of data, assembly level organization, memory system organization and architecture, system connection, memory, input/output, instruction sets, CPU structure and functions and the control Unit operation. Besides emphasizing the fundamental concepts, the course will discuss the critical role of performance in driving computer design.

Learning Outcomes:

Students successfully completing the course will be able to:

  1. Describe computer architecture and organization, computer arithmetic, and CPU design.
  2. Describe I/O system and interconnection structures of computer.
  3. Identify high performance architecture design.
  4. Use assembly language to program a microprocessor system.
  5. Develop independent learning skills and be able to learn more about different computer architectures and hardware.
Skill outcomes Necessary ( + ) Not Necessary ( –)
Written communication skills +
Oral communication skills +
Computer skills +
Working in laboratory +
Working team +
Preparing projects +
Knowledge of foreign language +
Scientific and professional literature analysis +
Problem solving skills +
Management skills +
Presentation skills +

Course Textbooks:

  1. Hiqmet Kamberaj, Lecture Notes in Computer Architecture, Published at IBU, 2011.
  2. John L. Hennessy and David Patterson (2006). Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach (Fourth Edition). Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 978-0-12-370490-0.
  3. Bell, C. Gordon; and Newell, Allen (1971). "Computer Structures: Readings and Examples", McGraw-Hill.
  4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1979). Structured Computer Organization. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-148521-0.
Teaching methods Ideal %
Teaching ex cathedra (teacher as the figure of authority, standing in front of the class and lecturing) 75
Interactive teaching (ask questions in class, assign and check homework, or hold class or group discussions) 10
Mentor teaching (consultant-teacher who has a supervisory responsibility and supervising the students) -
Laboratory work 10
Seminar work -
Field Work (enables students to examine the theories and the practical experiences of a particular discipline interact) 2
Semester project 2
Case Study (An in-depth exploration of a particular context) -
Students Team work 1


  • Students are obliged to attend at least 10 weeks out of 14 weeks of lectures, exercises, and other activities (72%).
  • The teaching staff should monitor and submit Course Attendance Report to the Student Affairs Office at the end of 14th week of each semester.
  • The attendance rule for failed overlapping courses is %36 (5 weeks) and for non-overlapping courses is 57% (8 weeks);
  • The attendance rule for course from upper semester is 57% (8 weeks).
  • Students are not obliged to attend the course if the course is double repeated. However, they need to register and to pay repeated course.

Exams (Mid-Term Exam, Final Exam, Make-up Exam):

There are two exams, the Mid-Term and Final Exam, at the middle and at the end of the semester, respectively. The students, who do not earn minimum 50 credit points from the Mid-Term, Final Exam including Homework Assignments, have to take the Make-Up Exam, which counts only for Final Exam credit points. The terms of the exams are defined by the Academic Calendar announced on the University web site.

Passing Score:

The maximum number of credit points is collected during the semester, as follows: Mid-term Exam = 40 Credit Points (minimum requirement is 25 % to enter Final Exam), Final Exam (minimum requirement is 25 % to pass) = 40 Credit Points. Homeworks, quizzes, specific assignments and term papers = 20 Credit Points (minimum requirement is 5 credit points to enter Final Exam). Total=100.

Weeks Topics
1 Introduction to the philosophy of this course. Introduction to computer architecture.
2 Computer classes; Defining computer architecture; Trends in technology; Power in integrated circuits, and Benchmarks.
3 Dependability; Quantitative Principles of Computer Design; Amdahl's Law.
4 CPU performance; Processor performance equation; Fallacies and Pitfalls.
5 Pipelining and Instruction-level parallelism.
6 Loop-level parallelism and Data dependencies.
7 Mid term review.
- Mid Term Exam Week
8 Introduction to Memory organization.
9 Introduction Memory hierarchy design.
10 Cache performance and its optimization.
11 Storage systems: Failure and faults.
12 I/O performance and reliability measures.
13 Little's Law and Single server queuing system.
14 Final exam review.
- Final exam week.

Student workload:

Please calculate the “Total Student Work Load” and then distribute that figure to the different engagements. For calculating the Total Student Work Load we multiply the course ECTS credits with standard figure 30. (ECTS Credit: 3) x 30 = 90 hours.

Activities Hours
Lecture hours for 14 weeks: 28
Laboratory and class exercises for 14 weeks: 14
Student Mentoring for 14 weeks: -
Consultation for 14 weeks: -
Exam preparations and exam hours (Midterm, final, Makeups) : 20
Individual reading work for 14 weeks (Reading assignments/expectations for reading and comprehension is 5 pages per hour. Example: If a book 300 pages, total Individual reading work for 14 weeks 300:5 = 60 hours. 16
Homework and work practice for 14 weeks: 12
Preparation of diploma work, for 14 weeks: -
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