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Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will have -
A knowledge and understanding of:

  • combinatorial and sequential logic, Boolean Algebra, Karnaugh maps, and hazards;
  • counters, ripple adders, tree adders, memory/addressing, computer busses, logic and bus speed, and Direct Memory Access;
  • data representation for integers and floating point operands;
  • machine arithmetic, microprogramming;
  • storage herarchies, caches and cache architectures, performance impact of caching;
  • virtual memory and translation look-aside buffers, performance impact of TLB caching;
  • vectored and polled interrupt handling;
  • pipelined architecture, superscalar architecture, data dependency, and hazards;
  • CISC, RISC, VLIW machine architectures.

Developed the skills to:
  • model combinatorial and sequential logic circuits using a simulator tool;
  • perform programming tasks in assembly code.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Laboratory Exercises 5% of total mark each In weeks 2,4,6,8,10 and 12
    Tutorial Exercises Total 10%; 1.667% each In weeks 1,3,5,7,9 and 11
    Examination 1 60% To be advised

    Teaching Approach

    • Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
      This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.
    • Laboratory-based classes
      This teaching approach is practical learning.


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
    • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
    • Test results and feedback

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Recommended Resources

    Logisim software (free)

    Xspim/Spim software (free)

    Examination material or equipment

    Non-programmable scientific calculators will be permitted.

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
    1 28/02/11 Intro/History/Background; Boolean Algebra Tutorial
    2 07/03/11 Karnaugh maps, Hazards; Data Representation Laboratory
    3 14/03/11 Counters, Adders, Shifters, Sequential Logic Tutorial
    4 21/03/11 Basic Machine Organisation Laboratory
    5 28/03/11 Control Unit Design Tutorial
    6 04/04/11 Instruction Sets and Design Laboratory
    7 11/04/11 I/O, Interrupts, DMA Tutorial
    8 18/04/11 Cache Organisation Laboratory
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11 Mass Storage/Memory Management Tutorial
    10 09/05/11 CPU Organisation/Pipelined Architectures Laboratory
    11 16/05/11 Superscalar Architectures Tutorial
    12 23/05/11 CISC, RISC, VLIW, Other Machine Architectures Laboratory
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC

    *Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
    • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

    Assessment Tasks


    6 Laboratory Exercises each worth 5% of the total mark (compulsory and assessed, preparation required)

    6 Tutorial Exercises each worth 1.667% of the total mark (compulsory and assessed)

    Tutorials and Laboratories are scheduled in alternating weeks

    • Assessment task 1
      Laboratory Exercises
      6 Laboratory Exercises
      5% of total mark each
      Criteria for assessment:

      Compulsory. Preparation required. Individual assessment per task.

      The criteria used to assess laboratory tasks are:

      1. All programs must assemble and execute correctly. Evidence of testing is required.
      2. Programs must meet the problem specification.
      3. Assembly code should be readable and maintainable.
      4. Programs should be documented.
      5. All algorithms should follow the style presented in laboratory examples and be correct.
      6. Logic simulator circuits must comply with the specified truth table or other functional definition.
      Due date:
      In weeks 2,4,6,8,10 and 12
    • Assessment task 2
      Tutorial Exercises
      6 Tutorial Exercises
      Total 10%; 1.667% each
      Criteria for assessment:


      The criteria used to assess submissions are:

      1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
      2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted style.
      3. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.
      Due date:
      In weeks 1,3,5,7,9 and 11


    • Examination 1
      3 hours
      Type (open/closed book):
      Closed book
      Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
      Non programmable scientific calculators permitted

    Assignment submission

    Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
    You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


    Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

    Key educational policies include:

    Student services

    The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis


    Recommended Reading:

    William Stallings, Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance, 8/E, Prentice Hall, ISBN-13: 9780136073734

    Morris Mano and Charles Kime , Logic and Computer Design Fundamentals 4/E, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-140539-X

    Supplementary Recommended Reading:


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