Module Description

Module: Computer Architecture


Computer ArchitectureLecture2Winter Semester
Computer ArchitectureRecitation Section (small)1Winter Semester
Computer ArchitectureProject-/problem-based Learning2Winter Semester

Module Responsibility:

Prof. Heiko Falk

Admission Requirements:


Recommended Previous Knowledge:

Module "Computer Engineering"

Educational Objectives:

Professional Competence

Theoretical Knowledge

This module presents advanced concepts from the discipline of computer architecture. In the beginning, a broad overview over various programming models is given, both for general-purpose computers and for special-purpose machines (e.g., signal processors). Next, foundational aspects of the micro-architecture of processors are covered. Here, the focus particularly lies on the so-called pipelining and the methods used for the acceleration of instruction execution used in this context. The students get to know concepts for dynamic scheduling, branch prediction, superscalar execution of machine instructions and for memory hierarchies.


The students are able to describe the organization of processors. They know the different architectural principles and programming models. The students examine various structures of pipelined processor architectures and are able to explain their concepts and to analyze them w.r.t. criteria like, e.g., performance or energy efficiency. They evaluate different structures of memory hierarchies, know parallel computer architectures and are able to distinguish between instruction- and data-level parallelism.

Personal Competence

Social Competence

Students are able to solve similar problems alone or in a group and to present the results accordingly.


Students are able to acquire new knowledge from specific literature and to associate this knowledge with other classes.

ECTS-Credit Points Module:



Written exam

Workload in Hours:

Independent Study Time: 110, Study Time in Lecture: 70

Course: Computer Architecture


Heiko Falk


German & English


Winter Semester


  • Introduction
  • VHDL Basics
  • Programming Models
  • Realization of Elementary Data Types
  • Dynamic Scheduling
  • Branch Prediction
  • Superscalar Machines
  • Memory Hierarchies

The theoretical tutorials amplify the lecture's content by solving and discussing exercise sheets and thus serve as exam preparation. Practical aspects of computer architecture are taught in the FPGA-based PBL on computer architecture whose attendance is mandatory.


  • D. Patterson, J. Hennessy. Rechnerorganisation und -entwurf. Elsevier, 2005.
  • A. Tanenbaum, J. Goodman. Computerarchitektur. Pearson, 2001.