CS2CA17-Computer Architecture and Networking

Module Provider: School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: CS1PR16 Programming and CS1FC16 Fundamentals of Computer Science
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Hong Wei

Email: h.wei@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module includes material on computer architecture and computer networking.

The module consists two parts. The first part, Computer Architecture, provides students fundamental knowledge of modern computer architectures in terms of instruction set architecture, organisation and hardware; and the second part, Computer Networking describes the theories underlying computer communications and show how these are applied in real world network applications.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students who complete this module will have:

• basic skills for computer architecture design;

• ability to quantitatively evaluate computer performance by using benchmark suites;

• skills to improve computer performance by using hardware and software techniques;

• core concepts and knowledge of network architecture and communication protocols;

• ability to implement the concepts in real world network applications.

Additional outcomes:
ARM (RISC processor) assembly programming skills and insight of MIPS architecture can be obtained from laboratory practicals; experience of team-working and report writing/presentation are built into the coursework assignment.

Outline content:

The module introduces the underlying theory of modern computer architecture in terms of instruction set architecture, organisation, and hardware. It begins with an introduction to the fundamentals of computer design for Von Neumann architecture, and continues with an examination of the components of processor, memory and input/output. DLX, which is an educational edition of MIPS and RISC architecture, is used as a model machine in teaching. An important theme is the relationship between architecture and performance. The module covers modern techniques for improving computer performance, such as instruction-level parallel processing (pipelining), and cache-memory-hierarchy design. The role of Input/Output in computer architecture with storage systems is also examined from the design point of view.

The core concepts of network architecture and communication protocols, which will be presented in the framework of multi-tier architectures, will include Local Area Networking, including LAN routing and Ethernet protocols; Internetworking; and error, congestion and flow control. Network technologies will range from local area networks to the Internet and will include: Ethernet  and a heavy focus on TCP/IP, including IP addressing, routing protocols, and congestion control schemes within the Internet. An introduction will be given to the core Internet applications: email, web serving and name resolution.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures supported by laboratory practicals and a number of assignments.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 10 10
Guided independent study 69 69
Total hours by term 99.00 99.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Set exercise 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One 3-hour examination paper in May/June.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
The set exercise in the above table consists of two on-line tests, and a technical report.

Formative assessment methods:
A set of self-assessed coursework corresponding to delivered topics.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    One examination paper of 3 hours duration in August/September - the resit module mark will be the higher of the exam mark (100% exam) and the exam mark plus previous coursework marks (70% exam, 30% coursework).

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


    Things to do now