CS 161 Design and Architecture of Computer Systems - Spring 2016

  • Lecture Time and Location: Tues/Thur 12:40pm - 2:00pm @ WCH 143
  • Discussion (Section 021) Time and Location: Wed 2:10pm - 3:00pm @ MSE 003
  • Discussion (Section 022) Time and Location: Wed 4:10pm - 5:00pm @ INTS 2134
  • Instructor: Daniel Wong
    • Email: dwong@ece.ucr.edu
    • Office: WCH 425
    • Office Hours: Thursday 2:00-4:00pm or by appointment
  • TA: Joshua Potter
    • Email: jpott002@ucr.edu
    • Office Hours: By appointment
  • iLearn (for assignments): ilearn.ucr.edu

  • Assignment 4 has been posted. Due Thursday, June 2, 2016
  • Assignment 3 has been posted. Due Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • Assignment 2 has been posted. Due Thursday, April 28, 2016
  • Assignment 1 has been posted. Due Thursday, April 14, 2016
  • Assignment 0 has been posted. Due Tuesday, April 5, 2016
  • Welcome to CS 161!

Class webpage and communication

The class webpage is located at http://danielwong.org/classes/cs161-s16.

Information, resources, and announcements related to the class will be posted to the webpage.

In addition, we will be using ilearn for assignments, and piazza for discussions and help.

Course Description

This course will show the relationship between hardware and software and focus on computer architecture and design. Topics include instruction set architecture, processor data path design and pipelining, and memory hierarchies.

Prerequisite: CS 120A or EE 120A Co-requisite: CS161L


  • (Required zyBook) Computer Organization and Design, 5th Edition by Patterson and Hennessy
  • Enter zyBook code UCRCS161Spring2016
  • Click Subscribe

Grade Breakdown

  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterm Exam: 35%
  • Final Exam: 35%
  • Reading & Participation Activity: 10%


  • You are responsible for all materials covered in lectures.
  • Late assignments will be assessed 10% penalty per day.
  • Assignments can be completed in pairs.
  • Cheating in assignments, quizzes, projects, and exams are absolutely prohibited. The minimum penalty for a violation of the regulations will be a zero for the assignment; the maximum penalty will be failure in the course.
  • Examinations must be taken in class on the day they are given. There will be no exceptions.

Academic Integrity

Here at UCR we are committed to upholding and promoting the values of the Tartan Soul: Integrity, Accountability, Excellence, and Respect. As a student in this class, it is your responsibility to act in accordance with these values by completing all assignments in the manner described, and by informing the instructor of suspected acts of academic misconduct by your peers. By doing so, you will not only affirm your own integrity, but also the integrity of the intellectual work of this University, and the degree which it represents. Should you choose to commit academic misconduct in this class, you will be held accountable according to the policies set forth by the University, and will incur appropriate consequences both in this class and from Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs. For more information regarding University policy and its enforcement, please visit: conduct.ucr.edu.


You are expected to attend all lectures. While the slides and readings contain all the information you need to know, some of the contents won't make sense unless you attend lecture. =)

The following schedule is tentative and is subject to change.

Lecture Date Topic Assignments Slides Readings
1 Mar 29, T Intro/Trends/Performance Assignment 0 1.1-1.11
Due 4/5
2 Mar 31, Th ISA 2.1-2.20
3 Apr 5, T ISA Assignment 1
Solution (iLearn)
4 Apr 7, Th ISA 2.1-2.20
Due 4/12
5 Apr 12, T Single cycle 4.1-4.4
6 Apr 14, Th Single cycle 4.1-4.4
7 Apr 19, T Single cycle Assignment 2
Solution (iLearn)
Due 4/19
8 Apr 21, Th Multi cycle 5.1-5.6
9 Apr 26, T Multi cycle 5.1-5.6
Due 4/26
10 Apr 28, Th Review
11 May 3, T Midterm Midterm Solution
12 May 5, Th Pipeline 6.1-6.11
13 May 10, T Pipeline Assignment 3 6.1-6.11
14 May 12, Th Pipeline 6.1-6.11
Due 5/17
15 May 17, T Cache 7.1-7.6
16 May 19, Th Cache 7.1-7.6
17 May 24, T VM Assignment 4 8.1-8.2
18 May 26, Th Main Memory
19 May 31, T Reliability/Review Cache Examples
VM Examples
More Examples
20 June 2, Th Class Cancelled
21 June 9, Thur Final Exam 8am - 11am