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Architecture of Digital Systems I

11:45 - 13:15
11:45 - 13:15
Room: 11-243
Room: 11-207

2 hours of lecture / 1 hour of assignments (4 ECTS credits)

Start: Friday, October 27, 2017


This course addresses the fundamentals of computer architecture while focus on RISC processors. We will discuss

  • Data representation

    • Signed and unsigned fixed point numbers
    • Floating point numbers, IEEE 754 standard

  • Computer arithmetic

    • Algorithms
    • Sequential and parallel hardware implementations

  • Instruction set and machine language

    • Instruction set categories
    • Addressing modes
    • Assembler programming

  • Datapath and control

    • Hardware implementation of a processor
    • Control unit design, microprogramming
    • Exceptions

  • Instruction set parallelism

    • Pipelining
    • Superscalar and VLIW processors
    • Dynamic scheduling

  • Memory hierarchy

    • Caches
    • Virtual memory, page tables, TLB


see extra webpage


  • Patterson/Hennessy: Computer Organization and Design - The Hardware/Software-Interface, Morgan Kaufmann, 2013, EIT 860/103
  • Hennessy/Patterson: Computer Architecture - A Quantitative Approach, Morgan Kaufmann, 2011, EIT 860/104


Interesting information from the last few years can still be found in the archive.


(will be updated during the semester)

Access information for the course material is given in class.

0 -Introductionarch-1617-0.pdf
1 -Structure and functionality of computers – an overviewarch-1617-1.pdf
2 -Instruction Set and Machine Languagearch-1617-2.pdf
3 -Data Representationarch-1617-3.pdf
4 -Computer Arithmeticarch-1617-4.pdf
5 -Datapath and Controlarch-1617-5.pdf
6 -Instruction-Level Parallelismarch-1617-6.pdf
7 -Memory Hierarchyarch-1617-7.pdf


Some information about the exam:

  • The exam is an oral exam. 
  • Exam dates will be published on this web page.
  • You must have registered with the authorities responsible for your study course/program (Abteilung für Prüfungsangelegenheiten) in order to be able to take the exam.
  • Appointments for exams must be made online. For instructions download [PDF]
  • After online registration, you also need to have your student ID card verified with our secretary, Carmen Vicente-Fess (office hours: Mo-Fr 10:00h - 13:00h). 
    (In case you have already done this in an earlier semester for a different exam and your login still works you don't have to go through the registration procedure again. Your email address needs to be from the rhrk.uni-kl.de domain.)
  • Please note: the number of available time slots on each oral exam date is limited. If all time slots on a particular day are taken the online registration system will not allow you to select that day and you will have to make a different choice.

Exam dates

  • Mon, 2017-07-17: ADS1 exam and ADS1/ADS2 combined exam
  • Thu, 2017-10-05: ADS1 exam and ADS1/ADS2 combined exam

Important notes regarding exam dates

  • No other exam dates besides the listed ones are available in this semester. New dates will be fixed only in the next semester.
  • The number of time slots per exam date is limited. If you have constraints regarding your exam dates, maybe because you have another exam on one of shown dates, please make sure to register early while your favorite date is still available.  Time slots are assigned "first come - first serve".