EE 4720 - What's New

11 May 2020, 16:11:50 CDT
Grading Update 7: Course Grades Ready The course grades have been submitted. I won't myself be E-mailing them. Please E-mail me to see your homework grades and computed average. If there is demand, I'll post a final average graph. Help make the summer safe!

11 May 2020, 14:59:02 CDT
Grading Update 6: Final Exam Grades Ready The median was 50, the high was 89. The grade distribution is on the grades page. The graded final exams will be E-mailed in a few minutes. Hopefully the downsampling and quantizing has reduced the files down to a size that mailers won't object to. Course grades will be available later today, unless I have to sleep on it, in which case they will be available tomorrow morning. Good luck with your other courses and of course don't let down your guard!

11 May 2020, 12:58:12 CDT
Grading Update 5: Problems 1 through 4d graded. Final exam grades will be available in an hour or two, course grades will be available several hours after that.

10 May 2020, 18:56:32 CDT
Grading Update 4: Problems 1 and 2 graded. The exam grades will be available tomorrow, the course grades will probably be available tomorrow. The next grading update will be posted by about 13:00.

10 May 2020, 12:59:12 CDT
Grading Update 3: Problem 1 partly graded. The next grading update will be posted by about 19:00 tonight.

9 May 2020, 17:56:44 CDT
Grading Update 2: Problem 1 partly graded. The next grading update will be posted by about 13:00 tomorrow.

9 May 2020, 14:23:29 CDT
Grading Update 1: I have received all of the final exams. Grading will start now, and exam grades may be available tomorrow. Good luck on your other exams and keep safe. The next grading update will be posted by 18:00 tonight.

8 May 2020, 12:47:50 CDT
Here is a tip for Problem 4a, the 64 register extension of MIPS:

First, remember that the modified ISA will have 64 32-bit registers. Compatibility with MIPS-I is a requirement. This means that a valid MIPS-I instruction (which can only access registers r0-r31) must do what it does in MIPS-I. A MIPS-I64r (to give it a name) instruction must be able to access registers r0-r63. Instruction fields can be adjusted, but do so in a way that minimizes the amount of additional logic needed by an implementation and don't forget that MIPS-I instructions must still be valid.

8 May 2020, 12:19:42 CDT
There was a typo in Problem 4a of the final exam. The bit range of the Function field should be 5 to 0, not 4 to 0. The posted exam now has the correction.

8 May 2020, 9:08:00 CDT
For help with the branch predictor problems (and the other problems) see the solutions to past exams. Two useful ones are the Spring 2013 Final Exam Problem 3 and Spring 2010 Final Exam Problem 2. (Don't miss the alias in the 2010 exam.)

7 May 2020, 14:18:07 CDT
There was an error in the execution example shown for Final Exam Problem 1b. The stall should be in the ID stage (the usual place for stalls). The posted exam is now correct.

6 May 2020, 20:37:27 CDT
Solve-Home Final Exam available, due 5:00 Saturday morning. Good luck! Feel free to ask me questions.

6 May 2020, 17:40:45 CDT
The final exam will be posted in the early evening today, 20:00 or later. There will be at least 48 hours to complete the exam.

6 May 2020, 15:12:32 CDT
The final exam will be posted late this afternoon, 18:00 or later. There will be at least 48 hours to complete the exam.

4 May 2020, 18:46:23 CDT
Posted the complete 2019 Final Exam solution. This includes the branch predictor and cache problems.

4 May 2020, 15:46:22 CDT
Linked the final exam review slides and today's Zoom lecture recording to the lectures pages. That page also has links to the live notes that I took during the lecture, such as branch outcome patterns. The posted 2019 final exam solution currently lacks solutions to the predictor and cache problems. A complete solution will be posted later today. Don't forget that the final exam will be avaialble by late Wednesday and will be due Friday at 17:00.
Good luck on your other finals and stay safe!

3 May 2020, 15:10:52 CDT
Linked a 2019 Final Exam partial solution to the Homework & Exams page. This includes the solution to Homework 1, 5, and 6. Graded Homework 5 will be sent in a few moments (if nothing goes wrong) and Homework 6 will be sent late this afternoon.

1 May 2020, 13:48:45 CDT
Reminder: There will be a review (and finish-up) class during the scheduled final exam time, Monday 10:00-12:00. Please attempt final exam Problem 3, the branch predictor problem. The question about bimodal accuracy should be easily solvable given what we've covered so far. The questions about local predictor accuracy are also solvable, but you might want to look at older exams to see how to solve problems of that type. For Problem 3 part b a global predictor is to be modified. We haven't yet covered the global predictor, but I did motivate the topic by pointing out that a problem with the local predictor is that two lookups are needed to make a prediction, first the BHT then the PHT. The problem is avoided in the global preditor.

Added today's Zoom lecture recording to the lectures page. Over the next few days the solution to the two remaining homework assignments and last year's final will be posted.

30 April 2020, 17:53:50 CDT
Linked the CTI (branch, etc) prediction slides and the Zoom lecture recording to the lectures page.

30 April 2020, 12:25:59 CDT
Linked the Midterm Exam solution to the Homework & Exams page.

27 April 2020, 16:40:41 CDT
Midterm Exam Grades Ready The range was [84,16] with a median of 57.5. The graded exams will be E-mailed within moments (and this entry will be corrected if something goes wrong with E-mail). To see the grade distribution click here. A solution will be posted this week.

24 April 2020, 18:31:46 CDT
Homework 6 assigned, due 1 May 2020. Also linked today's Zoom lecture recording to the lectures page.

22 April 2020, 18:18:45 CDT
Linked today's Zoom lecture and the Multiple Issue / Superscalar / Parallelism slides to the lectures page.

21 April 2020, 15:45:28 CDT
Homework 5 assigned, due Monday, 27 April 2020.

20 April 2020, 16:09:16 CDT
Updated the live FP material with the solution to 2016 Final Exam Problem 2c done in today's lecture. Updated the lectures page, which has a link to the live material, with links to the solution to 2016 Final Exam Problem 2c, and with a link to today's Zoom lecture. The Long-latency operation (FP) slides were updated yesterday with definitions of initiation interval and operation latency and relevant examples.

17 April 2020, 17:23:16 CDT
Linked the Long-latency operation (FP) slides, the live code examples, and the Zoom recording to the lectures page.

15 April 2020, 18:02:49 CDT
Linked the Interrupts slides and Zoom recording to the lectures page.

13 April 2020, 19:48:36 CDT
The Midterm Solve-Home Exam assigned, due Friday, 17 April 2020 at 23:59.. Good luck!

13 April 2020, 15:06:20 CDT
Linked the Midterm Exam review slides and the Zoom lecture recording to the lectures page.

13 April 2020, 8:53:55 CDT
Linked the Homework 4 solution to the Homework & Exams page. Graded submissions will be E-mailed soon.

9 April 2020, 14:00:41 CDT
Linked the Homework 3 solution to the Homework & Exams page.

8 April 2020, 18:55:12 CDT
The graded Homework 3 has been E-mailed. If you submitted an assignment but did not get an E-mail, let me know. Also, the Zoom recordings have been linked to the lectures page.

27 March 2020, 16:52:00 CDT

I hope everyone is doing well and adhering to social distancing! We will resume classes at the usual scheduled time, 9:30 CDT. Classes will be held using Zoom. If you haven't already install the Zoom client on your computer. I will be E-mailing a link for the class to each of you. Avoid sharing the link with, or allowing the link to be found by, those who might zoombomb (disrupt) the class.

I will start the Zoom “meeting&rdqou; about five minutes early, at about 9:25, to give people time to get settled and perhaps engage in pre-class chatter before we start at 9:30.

Monday's lecture will start with profiling, the last topic in optimization. Then we will start the next set of lectures, on benchmarking. The material on benchmarking (measuring performance) draws on what we learned and will learn about optimization plus what we learned about human nature starting in kindergarten. The goal is to develop a widely accepted method of measuring computer performance that can be trusted despite the fact that the success of products costing billions of dollars depends on the results of the benchmarks.

For the benchmark material, try to look at the SPEC CPU 2017 overview and Section 1 of the SPECcpu Run and Reporting Rules.

20 March 2020, 16:12:00 CDT
Added some clarification to Problem 2 in Homework 3 about the outputs of Y1. The output of Y1 have zero slack, meaning that they arrive at the end of the clock cycle.
Don't forget that Homework 4 has recently been assigned.

20 March 2020, 15:13:45 CDT
Homework 4 assigned, due 1 April 2020. Also, prepare for class on 30 March by installing the Zoom client (if you have not already done so). A Zoom meeting ID will be mailed to people in the class. (That's a precaution against Zoom spam.)

17 March 2020, 18:24:07 CDT
Homework 3 assigned, due 30 March 2020. Homework 4 will also be assigned over the break. The homework assignments will be discussed during a practice (for me) class on Friday at 9:30. Those who have already volunteered to help have the ID to join, others are free to volunteer before Friday 9:30.
Protect your older loved ones: Practice social distancing! r> 2m ⇒ Re<1

16 March 2020, 18:10:30 CDT
Linked the Homework 2 solution to the Homework & Exams page. A new homework will be assigned, probably tomorrow.

13 March 2020, 15:38:36 CDT
The next homework will be assigned over the weekend early next week. We will discuss this assignment in an un-official practice on-line class next week. The time and other participation details will be posted here. If you'd like to volunteer to help or offer suggestion, please E-mail me. As we isolate ourselves some relevent light reading (not for credit of course) might include E. M. Forster's The Machine Stops, a story published in 1909 about a future in which no one leaves their room, instead communicating through their devices.

12 March 2020, 16:05:27 CDT
Classes cancelled week of 16 March 2020 and will resume on-line 30 March. Volunteers wanted to help with ideas for on-line classes. We'll talk about this in our last in-peson class tomorrow. Of course, this Web page will be updated. Please practice social distancing!! Slowing the rate of infection will save lives, including the lives of your loved ones!!!

9 March 2020, 17:19:54 CDT
Linked recent notes to the lectures page.

4 March 2020, 9:10:10 CST
Homework 2 assigned, due Monday, 9 March 2020.

19 February 2020, 14:20:43 CST
Homework 1 assigned, due Friday, 28 February 2020.

26 January 2020, 16:56:32 CST
Added slides and demo code from recent lectures to the lectures page.

8 January 2020, 16:43:31 CST
Set up Web pages for Spring 2020 semester.

Spring 2019
Spring 2019 What's New

ECE Home Page 4720 Home Page
David M. Koppelman -
Modified 11 May 2020 16:17 (2117 UTC)
Provide Website Feedback  • Accessibility Statement  • Privacy Statement