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Teaching Show image information


Advanced Computer Architecture (6 CP, 3V+2Ü)

This course will be given in English.

Subject and Goal

The course Advanced Computer Architecture teaches concepts and methods used in modern processor architecture to exploit the available parallelism at the levels of instructions, data and threads. The course covers the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of computer architectures
  • Memory hierarchy design
  • Instruction-level parallelism
  • Data-level parallelism: Vector, SIMD and GPU architectures
  • Thread-level parallelism
  • Warehouse-scale computers
  • Domain-specific architectures

The main reference for the course is the following book: Hennessy, Patterson: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach (6th edition), Morgan Kaufmann, 2017.

Who Should Take this Course?

This course is mandatory for students of the Master program Computer Engineering, and an elective for students of the Master program Computer Science.

Although there are no formal prerequisites for taking this course, we expect that students have completed a Bachelor-level computer architecture course. Such a course should provide basic knowledge in instruction set architectures, assembly language programming, processor performance evaluation, data path and controller design, pipelining, and memory hierarchies. The following book covers this Bachelor-level material: Hennessy, Patterson: Computer Organization and Design MIPS Edition (5th edition), Morgan Kaufmann, 2013. 

We strongly recommend this self-assessment test to find out whether you should take this course.  

Dates and Materials

The course includes lectures, paper & pencil exercises and lab assignments. Teaching hours for the lecture and the paper & pencil exercises are Monday, 11:15-13:45, beginning with October 7, 2019. The lab will be organized in three parallel groups with time slots on Monday, 15:00-18:00, Tuesday 14:00-17:00, and Thursday 17:00-20:00, beginning with November 4, 2019.

All course materials will be provided via the this PANDA course.


The exam in Advanced Computer Architecture is in written form. There will be two exams per year right after the course, one in the first examination period (typically February) and another one in the second examination period (typically March). 

Important note: If you have already been registered for Advanced Computer Architecture in one of the past winter semesters and have not yet cleared the exam, you might go for an oral exam until January 31, 2020. From then on, all students will have to take the written exam. 






Prof. Dr. Marco Platzner

Computer Engineering

Marco Platzner
+49 5251 60-5250
+49 5251 60-4250

Office hours:

by appointment

Lab Coordinator

Lennart Clausing, M.Sc.

Computer Engineering

Lennart Clausing
+49 5251 60-5396
+49 5251 60-4250

The University for the Information Society