Computer Architecture -II (Theory)

Module Information

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Available to ERASMUS Students:

Module Objective

The student is taught the architecture of microprocessors and their contribution to the microcomputer systems structure, both in terms of hardware and software (mainly symbolic language level – Assembly language).

Module Study Targets

At the end of the semester, students must be able:

  • To describe the structure of a Computer, name its main parts, draw its block diagram and its connection with External Devices
  • To explain the way a Computer execute programs and communicate with External Devices
  • To list Computer basic communication modes with External Devices and explain the way they are implemented
  • To highlight the significance of each Computer part and explain its role in the Computer operation
  • To discuss about Computer technical characteristics and their impact to the Computer performance
  • To compose programs suitable to import data from an External Device into the Computer, sorting them or perform calculations and export to another External Device the results
  • To examine and analyze the way Computer components are interconnected and connected to External Devices
  • To examine and analyze software problems, solve them using computing and/or algorithmic methods and generalize conclusions to apply them to similar cases
  • To integrate knowledge of different domains such as Electronics, Boolean Algebra, Programming, etc. to compose an extended and in-depth view of Computer
  • To evaluate a Computer technical characteristics assess their impact to communication with External Devices and rate its overall performance

Module Acquired Abilities

  • Search, analysis and synthesis of data and information using the required technologies
  • Decision making
  • Autonomous work
  • Teamwork

Module Description

  • Architecture of modern processors
  • Buses, memory systems (categories, features, management), interface peripheral devices (types, interface techniques)
  • Interrupt techniques and DMA
  • Low-level software
  • Microcomputer systems (architecture, low-level software) buses, basic input-output units (typical characteristics)
  • Application development for the management of the microcomputer system units

Module Student Evaluation

Theory: Written examination at the end of the semester
Laboratory: Interim and final exam. Oral examination of Exercises


  • W. Stallings, "Computer Organization and Architecture", Prentice Hall, 2000
  • Tom Shanley, "The Unabridged Pentium 4", Addison Wesley, 2005