Architecture Research Project (Project 1)
CS 441, Dr. Lawlor
A substantial chunk of your course grade comes from the two semester
projects. Project 1 is more research-oriented. Project 2
will be more applied and implementation-oriented. From the
PROJ1: a paper and in-class
presentation on an architecture topic of your choice, due in
Here's what's left of the semester, before the midterm on October 20:
Please have your project 1 topic (see list below) picked out by class on Tuesday,
September 29. You don't need to write anything up, but you should
be ready to give a useful two-minute synopsis of the topic, so some
background reading is recommended! We'll assign the time slots
for the real presentations in class.
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 <- topic due
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 <- writeup due
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 <- presentations
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 <- midterm exam
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
I'd like you to prepare a brief 2-3 page lecture note style writeup in HTML, with lots of
hyperlinks. I'll post your writeup as the lecture notes for that
day's class. The writeups are due at midnight Thursday, October 8.
We'll start with the presentations
on Tuesday October 13, and continue on Thursday October 15. There
are twelve people in
class, and two 90-minute class days, so that's about 15 minutes per
person. You should prepare about 12 minutes of interesting,
informative content, which leaves 3 minutes for questions and to change
speakers. PowerPoint is NOT required, but you MUST have
a clear idea of what you will present AND some sort of
Sadly, I'll be travelling during the presentation week, so I'm going to
use you each as spies to determine how good the presentations really
are. I'll have you each fill out a small description of each
speaker's talk, listing:
|What is it?
How's it work? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why do I care? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
HINT: If you make this information easy to extract from your talk, everybody will be happier!
Possible Project 1 Topics
Or choose your own topic! Topics can all be research of the form "Learn and present what people have done about X" rather than applied
work of the form "Build a new X". Of course, if you really *want*
to write code/solder something, I'm not going to stop you!
- Learn about the rationale, history, and advantages/disadvantages of any current hardware topic, such as:
- Pipelining, especially the very deep piplines of the Pentium 4
- Out-of-order execution
- Branch prediction and execution speculation
- Cache prefetching and out-of-order loads and stores
- Multi-core, SMP, SMT, or SIMD parallelism (pick one!)
- Describe how the design limitations and goals of nonstandard computing platforms differ from conventional computing, such as:
- High-performance computing systems, such as Blue Gene or anything on the Top500 list.
- Consumer game consoles, such as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii.
- Embedded systems, such as cell phones or microwave ovens.
- Pick a hardware-related article from Ars Technica. Explain what they're talking about in detail.
- Pick a CPU architecture from sandpile.org. Compare this architecture's hardware design, in terms of achievable performance, with competing architectures.
- Describe performance Counters, which are useful for understanding code performance and pipelining (see PCL)
- Describe a strange fabrication substrate or nonstandard
computing scheme, such as Biological Computing, Quantum Computing,
self-organizing polymer nanofabrication, etc.
- Describe novel data storage architectures, such as perpendicular bit recording, magnetoresistive memory, nanowire memory.
a semiconductor or PCB fabrication process in detail,
such as the problems encountered during deep-submicron
photolithography, or the interelationship between planarization and
metal layers in CMOS fabrication.
- Describe the historical evolution of some computer architecture, such as SPARC or Motorola's 68000.
- Explore the decline and fall of some popular computer architecture, such as the VAX ("All the world's a VAX!" Or, er, it was...)