Course Title: Computer Architecture and Organisation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Computer Architecture and Organisation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Professor Hong Ren Wu

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5376

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B012.11.014

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email for an appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Prerequisite: You are required to have successfully completed EEET2256 Introduction to Embedded Systems or equivalent. This is not an enforced prerequisite. 

It will be assumed that you can design and build combinatorial and sequential digital circuits, develop simple computer interfaces, and develop embedded software using assembler and cross-compilation. 

It will be assumed that you have had exposure to at least one computer programming environment (e.g. EEET2246 Engineering Computing 1)

Course Description

This course builds on introductory work course EEET2256 Introduction to Embedded Systems to closely examine computer architecture, computer organisation, and design and operations of microprocessor itself, with an emphasis on embedded systems applications. the detailed operation of the microprocessor itself. You would be well advised to take this course if you are considering a future that would involve specification, design or low level coding of embedded systems. If you are considering majoring in computer systems engineering, this course leads on to further advanced studies such as EEET2166 Real Time Systems Engineering, EEET2162 Advanced Digital Design 1, and EEET2370 Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things, as well as courses in various application areas of computer engineering where embedded systems and real time performance are required in 4th year. 

Topics include: 

  • Computer instruction set architecture
  • Performance and benchmarks
  • Computer arithmetic
  • Processor organisation
  • Memory organisation and architectures
  • Parallel and multi-core processors
  • Reliability, Verification and Test

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information (;ID=eyj5c0mo77631).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At undergraduate level, this course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs): 

1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline. 

1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline. 

1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities, and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline

2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources. 

2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes. 

3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains

3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct. 

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of inner workings of computer architecture, and processor organisation, design, implementation and performance. 
  2. Gain knowledge and appreciation of inner workings of computer arithmetic algorithms for integers and floating-point numbers. 
  3. Gain an advanced understanding of memory system organisation and architecture, and their impact on overall system performance.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of principal knowledge and issues regarding parallel and multi-core processors, as well as reliability, verification and testing associated with computer systems design and implementation. 
  5. Develop and apply technical knowledge and skills in computer systems design, simulation, and performance analysis, evaluation and benchmarking. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Student learning activities to achieve aforementioned CLOs include: 

  • A series of twelve 2 hour lectures which cover key areas of knowledge and fundamental issues in computer architecture and computer organisation (CLOs 1- 5). 
  • Eleven 2 hour laboratory sessions which provide an introduction to software tools to design, simulate and evaluate components and modules which form part and / or complete computing device, subsystem or system (CLOs 1, 2, 3, 5)
  • Self-directed and problem-based learning to gain knowledge and familiarity with a small number of typical microprocessors and to gain experience of their various instruction set architectures based on reference materials and online resources (CLOs 1, 2)

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources for this course include: 

  • Lecture notes prepared by the teaching staff
  • Recommended textbook and references as listed in the course guide Part B
  • Relevant computing and embedded equipment, and software will be made available in laboratories and for loan where possible
  • Course content will be made available online: see your EEET2261 area on Canvas

Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Leaning & Teaching). 

The course assessment will be based on three key components, including
• A formalised written assignment;
• Laboratory practical work (Lab 1 and Lab 2) during weeks 2 to 12; and
• A final exam.

Assessment tasks: feedback is provided on written assignment/reports and face-to-face for anything marked in the laboratory sessions.

Assessment Task 1: Written assignment
Weighting: 16%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 and 2.

Assessment Task 2: Laboratory 1 practical work and report.
Weighting: 18%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, and 5.

Assessment Task 3: Laboratory 2 practical work and report.
Weighting: 26%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 5.

Assessment Task 4: Final exam
Weighting: 40%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5