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Department of Information Technology

Welcome to AVDARK

Dear Computer Lover,

Welcome to the Advanced Computer Architecture course at the department of information technology at Uppsala University 2010. This year we have extended the course in accordance with the student feedback we have received. We cover the course material in somewhat more depth and have added two new lab assignments.

Unlike the lectures in the preparatory Computer Architecture course, which taught you how computer are designed, the goal of this course is to teach you *why* computers are built the way they are. We will reason about performance models and discuss pros/cons of the different techniques. We also cover some of the more exciting areas (I may be a bit biased here Smiling smiley ) including various performance optimization found in modern CPUs as well as modern memory systems and multiprocessor architectures. At the end of the course you should be able to understand and appreciate why new computer systems are built the way they are, how future computers are likely to be built as well as understanding the reason for that as well as how you best can utilize modern computers.

The book used this year is the classic Hennessy/Patterson "Computer Architecture -- a Quantitative Approach" the 4th edition. It give a modern view if this fast-moving field. It is a very good book, written by two of the best known computer architects in academia. I will complement the book with some research papers and recent product information in order to bring you up to date, but much less so this year than previous years since the book is still fairly new.

Andreas Sandberg will help me with labs and hand-in grading. He is actively pursuing research in computer architecture as a Doctor Duck (sv: doktorand). He has refined the old labs and developed two new labs specifically for this year's version of the course (Thank Andreas!).

As for myself, I have been jumping back and forth between academia and industry seven times in my career, and have been a professor in computer architecture at Uppsala for ten years now (time flies). Most recently, I was the chief architect for high-end server engineering at good old Sun Microsystems in California. The 3rd edition of the book described some of the babies I've architected in detail, but unfortunately no longer describe them in detail in this newer version of the book. Still, most of the issues and features we will cover in this course are problems I've dealt with both in my research and industrial past. So, if you see me jumping up and down and cover some part of the book down to some gory details, that is why Smiling smiley. You can find some of my research stuff here: Uppsala Architecture Research Team (UART). I am also doing a startup right now (Acumem AB) and am on part-time leave from the University.

Welcome to the magic of computer architecture.

This is gonna' be fun,

// Erik Hagersten and Andreas Sandberg

Updated  2010-09-06 10:26:16 by Andreas Sandberg.