• Offered by Research School of Computer Science
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Course subject Computer Science
  • Areas of interest Computer Science, Information Technology, Software Engineering
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Benjamin Swift
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course COMP6300
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course lays the foundations for the understanding of CPU architectures, networking and operating systems. Additionally, it introduces topics which cut across many computer systems, such as cross-layer communication and basic concurrency (as well as basic ideas of virtualization and efficiency through proximity).

CPU architectures are discussed from first principles (digital logic) and are expanded into current day designs. This also involves assembler level programming to connect hardware circuits to the world of software. Representations of data types and high-level code at the machine level will be made clear by keeping the relations between high-level and machine-level code throughout the course. It will also look at how concurrent software constructs can or cannot be translated into parallel hardware operations.

This course will cover a wide range of topics such as digital logic: transistors, gates, and combinatorial circuits; clocks; registers and register banks; arithmetic-logic units; data representation: big-endian and littleendian integers; ones and twos complement arithmetic; signed and unsigned values; Von-Neumann architecture and bottleneck; instruction sets; RISC and CISC designs; instruction pipelines and stalls; rearranging code; memory and address spaces; physical and virtual memory; interleaving; page tables; memory caches; bus architecture; polling and interrupts; DMA; device programming; assembly language; optimizations; concurrency and parallelism; and data pipelining.

Knowledge of the principles of networking and operating systems (as well as their relation to computer hardware) are essential for every computer scientist and this course will provide those foundations.

The relation of assembler level building blocks (macros) to constructs in direct compiled language is demonstrated throughout the course.

While this course provides the above foundations (which stand on their own), it also prepares students for the follow-up course COMP2310 Systems, Networks and Concurrency, which rounds off the knowledge about concurrency in current computer systems of any scale, as well as expands the knowledge in networking and operating systems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

 

  1. Describe the layers of architectures in computer systems from digital logic to networks.

  2. Explain how the major components of a CPU are composed (in terms of digital logic) and work together (including how data is represented on a computer).

  3. Design, implement and analyse programs in assembly language, including basic synchronization, I/O and interrupt techniques.

  4. Describe the relationship between high-level languages and assembly languages, including function calls and basic control structures.

  5. Demonstrate foundational knowledge about operating systems and networks.

  6. Express simple conditional and functional decomposition in a basic, direct compiled language (such as C).

  7. Connect conceptually hardware and software aspects of computer systems.

  8. Demonstrate the ability to migrate between all essential abstraction levels when discussing computer systems design, ranging from a software oriented view all the way through to individual digital circuits.

  9. Demonstrate a well founded understanding of the implications of machine level choices on efficiency and predictability in the context of the hardware architectures covered in the course.

 

Indicative Assessment

Assignments, labs, tutorials (40%); final exam (60%)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

Thirty one hour lectures and nine 2 hour laboratory sessions

Requisite and Incompatibility

COMP1100 or COMP1130 or COMP1730 and 6 units of 1000-level MATH courses.

Majors

Minors

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3852
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $5130
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
2297 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person

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