CS80E: Dissecting The Modern Computer 🖥️

Autumn 2023

About CS80E 🔍

CS80E is a brand new class that aims to give students a taste of how computer hardware works. This class will provide a broad introduction to various aspects of digital systems and computer architecture, including digital circuits, processors, the memory hierarchy, and other miscellaneous hardware components like GPU's. Whether you're just entering the field of Computer Science and are eager to learn about hardware, or you're almost done with your degree and you realize that you'd like to learn more about how computers actually work, this is the class for you!

Schedule 🗓️

Week 1 NO CLASS - Yom Kippur Introduction: Syllabus + Motivation

Assignment 0 (Getting to know you) Out
Week 2 From the Real World to 1's and 0's Digital Systems I

Assignment 0 Due
Assignment 1 (Digital Systems) Out
Week 3 Digital Systems II ISA I
Week 4 NO CLASS - Trip is away ISA II

Assignment 1 Due
Assignment 2 (RISC-y Business) Out
Week 5 Processors I Processors II
Week 6 More Processors + Memory Hierarchy I Memory Hierarchy II + Caches Intro

Assignment 2 Due
Week 7 Caches + Cache Coherence

Assignment 3 (SCache) Out
Cache Coherence + Performance Analysis
Week 8 I/O Dissecting a Modern Computer

Week 9 Guest Lecture from Parthiv Krishna - Chip Fabrication

Assignment 3 Due
Assignment 4 Out
Week 10 Security in hardware Course Wrap-up: Fun topics + Where to go from here!

Assignment 4 Due During Finals Week (week 11)