CS 281-001 System Architecture I

 Announcments  Lectures  Programs  Course Resources  Assignments & Solutions  Grading Policy
Course Description
Covers internal function and organization of digital computers, including instruction set design, machine and assembly language, computer arithmetic, ALU design, central processor organization and implementation. Also covered are interpreters, assemblers, linkers, and loaders.
See syllabus for more details.
ECE-C 211, CS172
Jeremy Johnson
Office: 271 Korman Center
phone: 895-2893
e-mail: jjohnson@mcs.drexel.edu
office hours: MW 1-3 and T 4-6. Additional hours by appointment.
Jeff Shergalis
e-mail: st9639s5@drexel.edu
URL: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~st9639s5/sysarch1.html
office hours: F 11-2.
Meeting Time
MW 3:00-4:50 in Matheson 307
David A. Patterson and John L. Hennessy, Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, Second Edition, Morgan Kaufman Publishers, 1997.


  1. Written and Programming Assignments (five) 50% (10% each)
  2. Midterm Exam 25%
  3. Final Exam 25%

Final grades will be determined by your total points weighted according to this distribution. Grades will be curved based on relative student performance. Students who successfully complete all of the homework and do reasonably well on the exams should receive a B. Students with high exams scores and who do well on the assignments will receive an A.

Late assignments will be accepted upto 2 days past the due date (typically on Friday). After that late assignments will not be accepted. There is a 10% penalty per day for late assignments. If you know ahead of time that you will have trouble completing an assignment, please contact me before the due date.

Assignments will be graded by the grader. If you have questions about your grade on an assignment, you should contact the grader first. If the question remains unresolved, you should then contact me. You should feel free to ask me questions about any assignment, if you do not understand the solution. Finally, I will grade all exams.


Reference Books
  1. Dewdney, A. K., The New Turing Omnibus, Computer Science Press, 1993.
    Contains several introductory articles on logic circuits and design, random access machines, computer organization.
  2. More to be added.
Web Pages
Other Reference

Look Here for Important Announcements

Announcements (May 31 @ 12:10pm)


This list is tentative and may be modified at the instructor's discretion.
  1. Mar. 27, 2000 (Course Introduction and Random Access Machines)
  2. Mar. 29, 2000 (Implementation of a Simple Computer)
  3. April 3, 2000 (Review of Digital Circuits and Logic Design)
  4. April 5, 2000 (Behind a Program and Under the Hood)
  5. April 10, 2000 (Introduction to the MIPS Instruction Set)
  6. April 12, 2000 (Branching and Procedures)
  7. April 17, 2000 (Class Cancelled)
  8. April 19, 2000 (Class Cancelled)
  9. April 24, 2000 (MIPS Assembly Language and SPIM)
  10. April 26, 2000 (Arrays, Strings, and Pointers)
  11. May 1, 2000 (Assemblers, Linkers and Loaders)
  12. May 2, 2000 (Extra Review Session from 12:30 - 1:30 in Korman 259)
  13. May 3, 2000 (Midterm Exam)
  14. May 8, 2000 (Pointers, Linked Lists, and Trees)
  15. May 10, 2000 (Design of the ALU)
  16. May 15, 2000 (Integer Multiplication and Division)
  17. May 17, 2000 (Floating Point Arithmetic)
  18. May 22, 2000 (A Simple Implementation of MIPS)
  19. May 24, 2000 (A Multicycle Implementation of MIPS and Microprogramming)
  20. May 29, 2000 (Memorial Day - University Holiday)
  21. May 31, 2000 (Exceptions and Implementing Control)
  22. June 2, 2000 from 3-4:30 in Korman 259 (Review Session for the Final Exam)
  23. June 5, 2000 from 10:30-12:30 in Matheson 408 (Final Exam)



Exam Studyguide


Created: 3/27/00 by jjohnson@mcs.drexel.edu