First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SC01122464, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1167, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2019/20
bring this page
with you
Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Mathematics
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ALESSANDRO SPERDUTI INF/01
Other lecturers SILVIA CRAFA INF/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses INF/01 Computer Science 8.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 20 30.0 No turn
Laboratory 1.0 10 15.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 44 81.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2011 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
10 a.a 2019/2020 01/10/2018 20/02/2020 SPERDUTI ALESSANDRO (Presidente)
CRAFA SILVIA (Membro Effettivo)
AIOLLI FABIO (Supplente)
9 a.a 2018/2019 01/10/2018 20/02/2020 SPERDUTI ALESSANDRO (Presidente)
CRAFA SILVIA (Membro Effettivo)
AIOLLI FABIO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge in mathematics is required, however no prerequisites are need to be admitted to the course.
Target skills and knowledge: The aim of the course is to enable students to acquire basic functional and technological knowledge regarding computer architectures when considered in isolation from a computer network. Practical exercises in a computer lab will allow students to deepen their knowledge through the use of simple simulators of CPU, Cache, and Pipeline.
Examination methods: The student must pass a written examination and, if deemed necessary by the teacher, an oral examination.
Assessment criteria: The text of the written exam includes some questions that aim to assess the level of learning reached by the student concerning the concepts taught in the course and the student's ability to perform critical analysis on them. The text also includes problems in which the student is required to reconstruct the operation or the configuration settings of some components of the computer. These problems are designed to assess whether the student has developed the ability to apply the concepts learned during the course.
In the event that the assessment of the written exam appears just below sufficiency, the teacher may choose to supplement the written examination with an oral examination to better assess the level of learning of the student.
Course unit contents: The course will cover the topics listed below:
- Introduction:
Evolution of Computers, High-level View of the Structure of a Computer; Structure and Function of the CPU.
- Memory Management:
Memory and Memory Hierarchies. Cache: Mapping Techniques, Replacement Policies. Cache Simulator.
- Devices and Input/Output Management:
Input / Output: External Devices, I/O Modules, Programmed I/O, Interrupt-Driven I/O, DMA.
- Elements of Combinational and Sequential Circuits, Microprogramming:
Boolean Algebra. Logic Gates. Combinational Circuits. Sequential Circuits. Microprogramming.
- Arithmetic of Computers:
Machine Level, Binary Representation, Arithmetic.
- Level Instruction Set and Assembler Language:
Assembly language. Characteristics and Functions of Machine Instructions. Types of Operands, Data, Operations. Addressing. Instructions Format. CPU Simulator.
- Level Instruction Set:
CISC and RISC Architectures, Multicore Processors.
- Evaluation and Performance Improvement:
Pipeline: General Principles, Ideal Performance, Pipeline Hazards, Techniques for Reducing Pipeline Hazards, MIPS. MIPS Pipeline Simulator.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists of lectures and exercises in the computer lab. The exercises in the computer lab allow the students to experiment, under various operating scenarios, with simulators of CPU, Cache and Pipeline. In this way, students can verify experimentally the concepts learned in class and acquire the ability to apply the learned concepts and to perform critical judgment.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides presented during the lectures are made ‚Äč‚Äčavailable to students as reference material.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Stallings, William, Computer organization and architecturedesigning for performanceWilliam Stallings. Upper Saddle River: Pearson education, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Patterson, David A.; Hennessy, John L.; Borghese, Alberto, Struttura e progetto dei calcolatoriDavid A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • simulation software for Cache, CPU, pipeline

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education