MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Computer Structures and Systems


Information and Communication Technologies, second-level study programme


doc. dr. Gregor Papa
prof. dr. Peter Korošec


The goal of this course is to provide an overview of computer architecture. The course introduces the major structures (processors, memory, input/output subsystems and storage systems) that have direct influence on the execution of programs. The study of computer architecture focuses on the interface between hardware and software. Implementation issues are covered to the extend necessary to understand the structure and operation of a computer system.
In the second part, advanced computer architectures and design methodologies are introduced. Students gain basic theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of computer architecture (including advanced processor architectures, parallel processing, and principles of embedded system design), which is a prerequisite for good programming practice and efficient applications in practice.


Overview of development of computer systems, abstract levels of computing systems.

Basic computer structure:
Data representation in computer systems, a simple computer system (CPU, bus, clocks, input/output subsystem, interrupts).

Structure, instruction set, computer arithmetic.

Connection types, architectures, control mechanisms.

Types of memory, memory hierarchy, cache memory, internal memory, external memory, virtual memory.

Input/output unit types, architectures, control mechanisms.

Processor architectures:
Processors with reduced instruction set, processors with complex instruction set, superscalar processors, GPUs.

Parallel computer architectures:
Topologies, shared and distributed processing, multi-core processors, clusters, grids.

Computer systems design methodologies:
Basic semiconductor technologies, essential synthesis steps, combinational logic synthesis, sequential logic synthesis, system synthesis, hardware description languages.

Embedded system design methodologies:
Design methodologies, architecture of embedded microprocessors.

Methodologies for hardware/software codesign:
Modeling concepts, system partitioning to hardware and software components, hardware/software codesign platforms, synthesis.

Performance measurement and analysis:
Basic approaches to computer performance evaluation, benchmarking, metrics, CPU performance optimization.

Course literature:

Selected chapters from the following books:

• P.R. Schaumont, A Practical Introduction to Hardware/Software Codesign. Springer, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-4614-3736-9
• W. Stallings, Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance, 9 edition. Prentice Hall, 2012. ISBN: 978-0132936330
• M. Wolf, Computers as Components. Academic Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0123884367
• P. Marwedel, Embedded System Design. Springer, 2011. ISBN: 978-94-007-0257-8
• L. Null, and J. Lobur, The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture. Jones & Bartlett Learning. 2010. ISBN: 978-1449600068

Significant publications and references:

• G. Papa, “Parameter-less algorithm for evolutionary-based optimization: for continuous and combinatorial problems,“ Computational Optimization and Applications, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 209-229, 2013.
• A. Biasizzo, F. Novak, and P. Korošec, “A multi-alphabet arithmetic coding hardware implementation for small FPGA devices,” Journal of Electrical Engineering, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 44-49, 2013.
• P. Korošec, M. Vajteršic, J. Šilc, and R. Kutil, “Multi-core implementation of the differential ant-stigmergy algorithm for numerical optimization,” Journal of Supercomputing, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 757–772, 2013.
• K. Tashkova, P. Korošec, and J. Šilc, “A Distributed Multilevel Ant-Colony Algorithm for the Multi-Way Graph Partitioning,” International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 286-296, 2011.
• T. Garbolino, and G. Papa, “Genetic algorithm for test pattern generator design, Automatic evolution of circuits,” Applied Intelligence, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 193-204, 2010.


Seminar work (50%)
Oral defense of seminar work (50%)

Students obligations:

Seminar work and oral defense of seminar work.