CMPE 382 Computer Organization and Architecture

Winter Term  (2009w)       last updated 2009-4-14

Course web page:
Course Resources
Calendar Description Library
Marking Textbook
Assignments Lecture Notes and Outline
General Course Info
NSERC Scholarship application (due near end of Sept.)
and $ amounts
Newsgroup Manufacturer's info
Use the class newsgroup (web based) to ask questions, answer questions, etc.
Students are responsible for checking the newsgroup for course announcements.
Instructions for reading news.
Use email for questions of a confidential nature.
Professor Duncan Elliott 492-5357 ECERF W2-045
TAs Philip Marshall


General Course Info

Lectures M W F 12:00PM - 12:50PM CME 346
Computer resources in ETLC e5-013, open most building hours

This course will share lectures with a graduate course ECE 510

Office hours


Tentative marking schemes for CMPE382, to be chosen in lecture.
Items [that are/were] indicated with ?? are to be decided by majority vote in class by deadlines set by instructor.
Bonuses may be available on some marked materials.

Term work 20% problem sets (weight 1 each)
due Wednesdays,
quizzes (3),
architecture assignments (5)
Weights are relative
Midterm 27% Friday March 13
ETLC e1-003
class time
(4 aid sheets)
Final Exam 53% as set by registrar
(6 aid sheets)

Problem sets are due at the beginning of lectures.  Mutually beneficial collaboration is encouraged on problem sets only, provided that the names of all collaborators are cited on the problem set, immediately below the student's name.  Marking will be based on effort.  Please do not put student id numbers on problem sets.

Quizzes will be held at the beginning of selected lectures where problem sets are due.  The only aids are the student's own problem set and a calculator.

Architecture assignments must be completed by CMPE 382 students in groups of one or two without assistance (ECE 510 students should work alone).  Submissions are due by 3:40 pm in the CMPE382 assignment box in the ECERF-ETLC atrium.  Late submissions will be penalized 20% of the assigned mark per school day.  Architecture assignments should be brief but sufficiently clear and readable that you would be happy to submit them to a busy engineering manager.  If it only takes a sentence to describe something, then it should be described in a sentence.  Architecture assignments should include:

Past handouts, etc. can be picked up from a box on the self opposite ECERF room w2-065.  Walk through ECE reception, jog left and the shelves will be on your right.

Submissions will not normally be re-graded more than two weeks after the first day these have been returned in class. 

The following calculators are permitted for examinations in this course: faculty approved programmable calculators, faculty approved non-programmable calculators, instructor approved calculators,  slide rules, and instructor approved abacuses (if used quietly).  Programmable calculators will probably offer little or no advantage over non-programmable calculators.  Students must not distract other students during exams, so please turn off the calculator beep.

The midterm and final examination aid sheets must be in the student’s own handwriting (both sides, no photocopies or printouts), may be no larger than 21.59 by 27.94 cm paper, and may contain any information.

Deferred examinations may contain multiple components (including an oral component) as designed by instructor.

Credit may only be received for one of CMPE382, CMPUT429, ECE510, CMPUT530, EE602 Computer Architecture, ECE710 Computer Architecture.

Grade Determination Method

In this course, raw marks will be calculated up until after the final exam.  The resulting overall percentage mark will then be converted for each student to a letter grade.  A standard expected distribution of grades, which is provided by the Faculty of Engineering, will be used as a rough guideline when mapping overall marks to grades.  Absolute merit of the work will also be taken into consideration.

Code of Student Behaviour

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behavior (online at ) and avoid any behavior that could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Policy about course outlines can be found in §23.4(2) of the University Calendar. 

Library Resources



Course textbook:

Computer Architecture : A Quantitative Approach (Paperback)
John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson
Morgan Kaufmann; 4th edition (Sept 13 2006)
ISBN-10: 0123704901
ISBN-13: 978-0123704900

Lecture Notes and Outline

Electronic lecture slides will be posted here within a week after lectures.  Any slides available before lectures are certain to change.
Lectures and white-board notes may be the most important material and are, of course, your responsibility - borrow notes from a class-mate if you are unable to attend a lecture.

Many lecture slides are courtesy of or based on the work of Drs. Asanovic, Patterson, Culler and Amaral

Tentative Outline:
(ask more questions and we'll cover fewer sections/chapters)
Topic Chapter
Reading for interest

Instruction Sets B

Processor Pipelining

Instruction Level Parallelism 2,3,G

Memory Hierarchy C, 5

Multiprocessors &
Thread Level Parallelism

Storage Systems
 - not on exam

Problem Sets & Architecture Assignments

Due at start of lecture.
updated ~weekly
use you ccid (AICT) password to access

Due Date Problem Sets
also handouts in class
Jan 14
class and online
Jan 21
ps2 class and online
Jan 28
ps3 online
Feb 4
H&P 1.4, 1.14 quiz & ps in class
Feb 25
FIR in class
Mar 4
Old midterms
in class
Mar 11
Old midterms in class


Apr 1
practice 2005w exam Q4
in class

Apr 8
practice 2005w exam Q2 in class
Mar 25
(ECE 510
Mar 18)
Architecture Assignment 1
Apr 8
(ECE 510
Apr 1)
Architecture Assignment 2

Manufacturer's Information

Local copies of documents