Faculty of Information Technology, BUT

Course details

Design of Computer Systems

INP Acad. year 2017/2018 Winter semester 6 credits

Principles of a processor. Introduction to VHDL. Von Neumann computer. Data types, formats and coding. Instructions, formats, coding and addressing, instruction set architecture. VHDL models of algorithms and subsystems. Pipelining. Arithmetic and logic operations. Algorithms and function units. Sequencer: basic function, hard-wired and microprogram implementation. Memories: types, organization, controlling. Memory hierarchy, cache memory. Peripheral units, buses and bus control. Performance evaluation. Reliability of computer systems. Introduction to parallel architectures.


Language of instruction



Credit+Examination (written)

Time span

39 hrs lectures, 12 hrs exercises, 14 hrs projects

Assessment points

52 exam, 15 half-term test, 33 projects




Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

Students are able to describe functionality of the operation, memory and control units and their communication in a computer. They are familiar with VHDL.

Learning objectives

To give the students knowledge of organization and functioning of a (single core) processor, in particular, the operation, memory and control units, the algorithms with fixed and floating point operations, the way of controlling them, the subsystem communication level, and integration of the processor to a parallel system.


Prerequisite kwnowledge and skills

Understanding of development trends and possibilities of computer technology.

Corequisite knowledge and skills

Boolean algebra, basics of electrical circuits, basic computer elements, design of combinatorial and sequential circuits.

Study literature

  • Drábek, V: Computer organization. Lecture notes of Brno University of Technology, PC-DIR publ., Brno, 1995
  • Pinker, J., Poupa, M.: Číslicové systémy a jazyk VHDL, BEN - technická literatura, Praha, 2006
  • Dvořák, V.: Architektura a programování paralelních systémů. Skriptum FIT VUT v Brně, 2004, 170 s., ISBN 80-214-2608-X
  • Soubor materiálů prezentovaných na přednáškách dostupný na internetových stránkách kurzu.

Fundamental literature

  • Hennessy, J. L., Patterson, D. A.: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 2nd edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publ., 1996
  • Hamacher, C., Vranesic, Z., Zaky, S.: Computer Organization, 5th edition, McGraw Hill, 2002

Syllabus of lectures

  • Introduction, processor and its function.
  • Data representation.
  • Instruction sets, register structures.
  • Modelling in VHDL.
  • Pipeline processing.
  • Algorithms of fixed point operations.
  • Algorithms of floating point operations, iterative algorithms.
  • Controllers.
  • Memories, cache memory.
  • Buses, peripheral interfacing and control.
  • Computer performance and performance evaluation.
  • Reliability of computer systems.
  • Introduction to parallel architectures.

Syllabus of numerical exercises

  • VHDL - introduction
  • VHDL - synthesizable code
  • Introduction to FITkit
  • Processor in VHDL
  • Huffman code, Hamming code
  • Modular arithmetic, adders
  • Multipliers
  • Division
  • Iterative algorithms
  • Performance evaluation, reliability
  • Parallel architectures

Syllabus - others, projects and individual work of students

  • Two projects will be assigned during the semester.

Progress assessment

Written final exam, mid-term exam and submitting projects in due dates.

Controlled instruction

Within this course, attendance on the lectures and demonstrations is not monitored. The knowledge of students is examined by the projects, the mid-term exam and by the final exam. The minimal number of points which can be obtained from the final exam is 20. Otherwise, no points will be assigned to a student.

Exam prerequisites

For receiving the credit and thus for entering the exam, students have to get at least 20 points during the semester.

Plagiarism and not allowed cooperation will cause that involved students are not classified and disciplinary action can be initiated.

Course inclusion in study plans

  • Programme IT-BC-3, field BIT, 2nd year of study, Compulsory
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