Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-740SV: Modern Computer Architecture and Design




Computer architecture deals with the art and science of designing and integrating hardware subsystems, and co-designing the hardware/software interface to create a computer system that achieves functional correctness, and meets design objectives in performance, power consumption, energy efficiency, and cost. This course provides a comprehensive view on how modern computer systems are architected, with a special focus on mass-market personal/mobile computer systems (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, vehicular computers). Topics covered in this course span the design and evaluation of three major subsystems: (1) the Processing Subsystem (superscalar out-of-order cores, multicore processors, heterogeneous processors, purpose-specific accelerators), (2) the Memory Subsystem (multicore cache hierarchy, main memory and DRAM, non-volatile storage, aggressive memory management), and (3) the Interconnect Subsystem (NoC, 3D die stacking technology, intra-SoC/SIP/PoP interconnects, wireless Internet interfaces). Each subsystem will be studied from the perspective of several first-class design goals: performance, power consumption, and energy efficiency. This course places a strong emphasis on professional design tools (e.g., architecture/microarchitecture simulators, RTL synthesis tools, area/power/thermal modeling), with the goal of preparing students to be competent and productive in industry and/or research. Students who have not yet taken "Introduction to Computer Systems" (18-213/15-213/15-513) or "Foundation of Computer Systems" (18-600/18-613) are expected to be enrolled in the appropriate number concurrently.

Last Modified: 2024-06-28 12:18PM

Semesters offered:

  • Fall 2024
  • Fall 2023
  • Fall 2022
  • Fall 2020
  • Fall 2019