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Computer Organization and Architecture: Course Contents

The components from which computers are built, i.e., computer organization. In contrast, computer architecture is the science of integrating those components to achieve a level of functionality and performance. Evolution of Computer Systems. ... Design of

Course Contents

Introduction & Background

  • Architecture & Organization
  • Computer structure and function
  • Hardware/Software Interface
  • System Level Decisions
  • Computer System Performance
  • Fundamentals of computer system
  • Structure, The CPU, The Control Unit

Computer Evolution

  • History of Computers
  • First generation computers, IAS – Von Neumann Architecture, First Generation Commercial Computers
  • Second generation computer
  • Third generation computer, DEC PDP-8, IBM System/360
  • Later generations
  • Designing for Performance, Performance Mismatch, DRAM and Processor Characteristics , Microprocessor speed, Performance balance
  • Pentium Evolution
  • Program Concept
  • Function of Control Unit
  • Computer Components
  • Instruction Cycle, Instruction fetch and execute, Instruction Cycle - State Diagram
  • Interrupts, Interrupt Cycle, Instruction Cycle with Interrupts, Program Timing for I/O Wait, Multiple Interrupts


  • Memory Hierarchy
  • Characteristics of Memory System, Memory Location, Memory Capacity, Unit of transfer, Memory Access method, Memory Performance, Physical characteristics, Memory Organization
  • Semiconductor Memory
  • Semiconductor Memory Types
  • Random Access Memory, Dynamic RAM, Static RAM, SRAM v DRAM, Error Correction, Advanced DRAM Organization, Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), RAMBUS,
  • Read Only Memory (ROM)
  • Cache, Cache operation, Cache Design, Mapping Function, Replacement Algorithms, Write Policy
  • Pentium 4 Cache


  • Input/Output Module, I/O Module Function, Model of I/O Module
  • I/O Operation Steps, External devices
  • Input Output Techniques
  • Programmed I/O, I/O Commands, Addressing I/O Devices, I/O Mapping
  • Interrupt driven I/O, Interrupt Driven I/O Basic Operation, Identifying Interrupting Module
  • Direct memory access, DMA Function, DMA Module, DMA Operation, DMA Transfer Cycle Stealing, DMA Configurations
  • I/O Channels
  • Magnetic Disk Technology, Disk Device Terminology, Drawbacks to Magnetic Tape

Machine Instruction & Addressing Modes

  • Elements of a machine instruction
  • Instruction representation, Instruction types
  • Number of Addresses, Types of Operand
  • Pentium Data Types
  • Types of Operation, Data Transfer, Arithmetic, Logical, Conversion, I/O, System Control, Transfer of Control
  • Instruction Formats
  • Addressing modes

Processor Structure and Function

  • CPU Structure
  • Processor organization
  • Registers, User Visible Registers, General Purpose Registers, Condition Code Registers, Control & Status Registers
  • Instruction Cycle, Indirect Cycle, Instruction Cycle with Indirect
  • Instruction pipelining
  • Pipelining strategy, pipeline performance, Timing of Pipeline
  • Dealing with Branches

System Buses

  • Bus structure, Data Bus, Address bus, Control Bus
  • Bus Interconnection Scheme
  • Single Bus Problems
  • High Performance Bus, Bus Types
  • Bus Arbitration Types, Bus Timing
  • PCI Bus, PCI Commands, PCI Arbitration

Text Books

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