Dear Computer Lover,
Welcome to the advanced computer architecture course (DARK2) at the Department of information technology at Uppsala University 2008.
Unlike the lectures in the preparatory DARK1 course, which taught you how computer are designed, the goal of this course is to teach you *why* computers are built the way they are. We will reason about performance models and discuss pros/cons of the different techniques. We also cover some of the more exciting areas (I may be a bit biased here ) including various performance optimization found in modern CPUs as well as modern memory systems and multiprocessor architectures. At the end of the course you should be able to at least able to understand and appreciate why new computer systems are built the way they are and understand how you best can utilize them.
The book used this year is the classic Hennessy/Pattersen "Computer Architecture -- a Quantitative Approach" the 4th edition. It give a modern view if this fast-moving field. It is a very good book written by two of the best known computer architects in academia. I will complement the book with some research papers and recent product information in order to bring you up to date, but much less so this year than previous years since the book is updated.
Frédéric Haziza will help me with labs and hand-in grading.
As for myself, I have been jumping back and forth between academia and industry seven times in my carreer, and have been a professor in computer architecture at Uppsala for ninth years now (time flies). Most recently, I was the chief architect for high-end server engineering at Sun Microsystems in California. The 3rd edition of the book described some of the systems I've architected in detail. I will still cover some of it in the course, even though they may be a bit outdated. So if you see me jump up and down and cover some part of the book down to some gory details, that is why . You can find some of my research stuff here: Uppsala Architecture Research Team (UART). I am also doing a startup right now (Acumem AB) and am on leave 50% from the University.
Welcome to DARK2. This is gonna' be fun!