Home Page of Fall 2020 CPE480

The next class meeting will be online only.

The midterm exam is now available for you to take -- see canvas for details.

This is the official home page for CPE480, Advanced Computer Architecture, meeting MWF 3:00-3:50. We'll also be using Canvas, but except for grades and notifications, most things will be at this homepage rather than on Canvas.

Thanks to cross listing and pandemic concerns, there are 6 different course numbers: CPE480-001, CPE480-201, CS480G-001, CS48G-201, EE480-001, or EE480-201. Students in the *-201 sections will not attend any in-person class meetings. Every lecture will be available interactively online, and a recording also will be posted at this website shortly after each lecture. When it is sufficiently safe and desirable to do so, the lectures will be presented live in Dickey Hall Room 323, and students in the *-001 sections may decide to attend either in-person or online. The recordings are intended primarily as work-arounds for internet issues, but are also good reference materials and may be used to timeshift a class -- however, live online or in-person interaction is strongly prefered and timeshifting should never put a student more than one lecture behind.

My job is to make sure you get a lot out of this course -- and I promise that you will no matter which course number you signed-up for -- but we all need to be very careful to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. Beyond physical class meetings, this course places a heavy emphasis on projects that will require project team members to interact. Those members of a team who are on campus may decide to meet in person no matter what course numbers individual members signed up for, but any team members not physically present must be fully included in the team's collaborative work using electronic means (phone or online). In Spring 2020, the last two team projects were done without physical team meetings, and that did not cause any apparent difficulties... so seriously consider avoiding in-person meetings for your teams. All exams and quizes will be handled online.

I do not plan on being regularly available for in-person office hours this semester, but don't let that deter you from contacting me or the TA for help. The best method is to send email with "CPE480" in the Subject line, and individual Zoom meetings can be arranged for more interactive help.

In many ways, the content of CPE480 is very similar to that of CPE380, but with one huge difference: what CPE380 overviews, you will work with in-depth here, even specifying hardware implementation details to the gate level. You've no doubt heard that CPE480 requires you to complete a relatively large-scale processor design project using Verilog -- in fact, you'll have to complete three processor design projects: a multi-cycle design, a pipelined design, and a version with some truly state-of-the-art aspect (such as a fast floating-point unit, full out-of-order parallel execution, or transactional memory cache system) that you can brag about in job interviews. In general, you'll have to work a lot harder in here than you did in CPE380, but it's worth the effort.

All course materials will be posted here... note that I said will be.... As per UK policy, all content for this course, including handouts, assignments, and lectures are the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be reproduced or sold without prior permission from him. A student may use the material for reasonable educational and professional purposes extending beyond this class.

Project assignments and related materials:

Course Staff

Professor Hank Dietz would normally be in the Davis Marksbury Building; see his home page for complete contact info. He has an "open-door" policy that whenever his door is open and he's not busy with someone else, he's available -- and yup, there really is a slow-update live camera in his office so you can check. However, during the pandemic, he doesn't expect to be there much. The best method to contact him is to email hankd@engr.uky.edu using "CPE480" in the subject line for anything related to this course. If appropriate, individual Zoom meetings also can be scheduled via email.

The TA is Jordan Caudill. He can be reached via email to jlca266 which is at uky dot edu, and Zoom meetings can be arranged in that way. He also plans to regularly attend in-person class meetings, so he can be reached in person then.

CPE480 Advanced Computer Architecture.