If you are not registered for CIS 501 but would like to please join the waitlist. If you have already joined the waitlist via emailing Mike Felker or Britton Carnevali there's no need to join it again.
[![Skylake die photo, c/o Anandtech](images/skylake-die.jpg "Skylake die photo, c/o Anandtech")](http://www.anandtech.com/show/9582/intel-skylake-mobile-desktop-launch-architecture-analysis)
CIS 501: Computer Architecture Fall 2016
### Course Information
**instructor**: [Joe Devietti](http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~devietti/)
**when**: Tuesday/Thursday 10:30-noon
**where**: [Towne](http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/maps/locations/towne-building) 311
**contact**: [**piazza**](https://piazza.com/class/is6ftncsir313c), [**email**](mailto:cis501@cis), [**canvas**](https://canvas.upenn.edu/courses/1334526)
**TAs**: Sana Kamboj, Sajal Marwaha, Hung Nguyen, Sarvesh Patkar
### Course Description
This course is a graduate course on computer architecture with an
emphasis on a quantitative approach to cost/performance design
tradeoffs. The course covers the fundamentals of classical and modern
processor design: performance and cost issues, instruction sets,
pipelining, caches, physical memory, virtual memory, I/O superscalar
and out-of-order instruction execution, speculative execution, long
(SIMD) and short (multimedia) vector execution, multithreading, and an
introduction to shared memory multiprocessors.
CIS 501 is a graduate-level course on computer architecture that
assumes significant prior knowledge of computer organization and
architecture. You should already be familiar with hardware caches,
instruction execution pipelines, basic logic design, and some
assembly-level programming. Students are expected to have had a course
that covers the material in a textbook such as Patterson and
Hennessy's "Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software
Interface". Penn's [CIS 371](http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis371/) is an
example of such a course.
If you do not have the appropriate background, you should either 1)
not take this class or 2) spend significant time reviewing the
textbook and lecture notes from [CIS 371](http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis371/).
### Course Materials
There is *no required textbook* for this course.
For additional review, students may find [Microprocessor Architecture:
From Simple Pipelines to Chip
by Jean-Loup Baer to be helpful. There is an electronic version of
this book at [Cambridge Books
Online](http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511811258) that up to 3
students can view at one time from the Penn network.
If you have little undergraduate coursework in computer architecture you may also want to acquire a copy of Patterson and Hennessy's [Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface](http://textbooks.elsevier.com/web/product_details.aspx?isbn=9780123747501). The Penn Library provides unlimited access to [an online version of this book](http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017.12/876659).
Your grade in this course has the following components:
+ Paper Reviews: 5%
+ Homework: 35%
+ Midterm exam: 25%
+ Final exam: 35%
There will be a **midterm exam** and a **final exam**. The final exam
will be cumulative and will be held during the final time slot for the
course. The final exam will also count as the PhD Architecture WPE I
There will be several **homework assignments**, consisting of problems to be
worked out by hand and/or coding of simulations. Some of these assignments will
be individual assignments, others will be group assignments.
You are granted **one** 48-hour "grace" period for use on one individual
homework assignment. Each group is granted **two** 48-hour grace periods for use
on the group homework assignments. You can use at most one grace period per
You don't need to email us asking to use a grace period; just turn the
assignment in late and we will charge you for the use of a grace period
accordingly. No assignment will be accepted more than 48 hours late. There is no
grade penalty for using a grace period, nor any bonus for preserving your grace
periods. Note also that *grace periods cannot be used for paper reviews*.
There will be several **paper reviews** of academic papers from the
computer architecture research literature. Before we discuss the paper
in class, you will meet in groups to discuss the paper and write a
concise response to a few high-level questions about the paper. To
avoid the same groups for each paper, you may be in a group with a
student at most once.
If you would like a **regrade** of an assignment or exam, you must
email me your request **within 1 week** from the date when grades are
### Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct such as cheating will not be tolerated. The work
you submit in this class is expected to be entirely your own. If you
submit work that has in part or in whole been copied from some
published or unpublished source (including current or former
students), or that has been prepared by someone other than you, or
that in any way misrepresents somebody else's work as your own, you
will face severe discipline by the university. (Adapted from text
appearing at the Office of Student Conduct page.)
Any detected cases of cheating will be pursued. Penalties can include:
receiving a zero on the assignment (the minimum penalty), failing the
course, having a note placed in your permanent academic record,
suspension, and ultimately expulsion.
See Penn's [Code of Academic
for more information.
### Paper Reviews
### Important Links
+ The [trace file format](homework/trace-format.html) used in the homework assignments.
+ posted soon
### Course Schedule
*This schedule is subject to change*
Canvas also maintains [an iCal
with all of the assignment due dates.
### Previous Exams
+ [Fall 2015 midterm](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/midterm15-fall.pdf), [solutions](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/midterm15-fall-solution.pdf)
+ [Spring 2015 midterm](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/midterm15.pdf), [solution+rubric](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/midterm15-rubric.pdf)
+ [Fall 2013 midterm with solutions](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/midterm13-solution.pdf)
+ [Fall 2015 final](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/final15f.pdf), [solution+rubric](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/final15f-rubric.pdf)
+ [Spring 2015 final](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/final15.pdf), [solution+rubric](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/final15-rubric.pdf)
+ [Fall 2013 final with solutions](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/exams/final13-rubric.pdf)
### Previous Editions of CIS 501
- [Fall 2015](http://cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/previous/fall2015/)
- [Spring 2015](http://cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/previous/spring2015/)
- [Fall 2013](http://cis.upenn.edu/~cis501/previous/fall2013/)