Competencies and objectives


Course context for academic year 2023-24

The Computer Architecture course forms part of the knowledge pertaining to the branch known as Architecture and Technology of Computers, branch among other things explains the operation of computers as computing machines.

This course is one of the key subjects in relation to the study of computer architectures and together with the courses of Computer Fundamentals and Computer Structure, complete aspects of theory, abstraction and design of the area.

Moreover, the course acts as a bridge introducing advanced architectures, whose contents will be consolidated in the third year course of Computer Engineering and other optional courses of the Computer Engineering route.

Its location and characterization as mandatory in the syllabus make it a course that explores various concepts introduced in Computer Structure, but considering that, while in the latter the computer is studied from the point of view of their functional units, in Computer Architecture the study is approached from a higher level, from an engineering perspective and considering issues related to the design, evaluation and strategies to increase performance while it serves as basis for the accomplishment of these objectives in the course of Computer Engineering.

The previous courses (Computer Fundamentals and Computer Structure) that students had to attend, expect that they reach the course with a reasonable knowledge base about architectures that, in any case, is necessary to analyse, consolidate, formalize and illustrate with specific implementations and designs, approaching that from a broader perspective, introducing, at the same time, new performance enhancing techniques.




Course content (verified by ANECA in official undergraduate and Master’s degrees) for academic year 2023-24

Specific Competences (CE)

  • CE1 : Capacitat per a dissenyar, desenvolupar, seleccionar i avaluar aplicacions i sistemes informàtics, assegurant la seua fiabilitat, seguretat i qualitat, d'acord amb principis ètics i amb la legislació i normativa vigent.
  • CE14 : Coneixement i aplicació dels principis fonamentals i tècniques bàsiques de la programació paral·lela, concurrent, distribuïda i de temps real.
  • CE8 : Capacitat per a analitzar, dissenyar, construir i mantenir aplicacions de forma robusta, segura i eficient, triant el paradigma i els llenguatges de programació més adequats.




Learning outcomes (Training objectives)

No data



Specific objectives stated by the academic staff for academic year 2023-24

The general objective of this course aims that the students know and strengthen key aspects of analysis, design and implementation of classic sequential architectures, the immediate improvements within this classic paradigm, and the existence of alternative architectures. As a basic working method, a set of tools and settings are established that allow students to study and analyse in greater depth and rigor different architectural options, combining the abstract and generic aspects with the study of specific implementations.

The specific objectives are specified in the following:

Cognitive objectives

  • Define the concept of architecture and incorporate parameters to evaluate and analyze the performance
  • Explain the impact of the ISA on the architecture and performance, understanding the design principles of the ISA
  • Identify the pipelining as a basic technique for increasing CPU performance as well as design, planning and control of pipeline units
  • Understanding the evolution of the architectures and the differences between CISC and RISC approaches
  • Explain techniques for improving the performance of memory and input/output system
  • Recognize the limitations of classical architectures and the importance of parallelism
  • Know and use the usual terminology and the language of the subject and employ it correctly both orally and in writing


  • Develop design skills of Instruction Sets
  • Know how to design a pipelined datapath
  • Understand the potential of a hierarchical memory system
  • Be able to write benchmarks to evaluate specific aspects of computers
  • Be able to use standard benchmarks to perform evaluation studies, and interpret the corresponding result reports


  • Appreciate the importance of optimization of various components of the computer architecture to improve performance
  • Develop critical thinking when evaluating the performance of a computer system according to objective criteria
  • Ability to integrate into working groups involved in analysis and design tasks
  • Capacity to make efforts in searching solutions and autonomous learning




Code: 34020
Lecturer responsible:
Credits ECTS: 6,00
Theoretical credits: 1,20
Practical credits: 1,20
Distance-base hours: 3,60

Departments involved

    Theoretical credits: 1,2
    Practical credits: 1,2
    This Dept. is responsible for the course.
    This Dept. is responsible for the final mark record.

Study programmes where this course is taught