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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: CISS 420
Course Title: Computer Architecture
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Introduces fundamental concepts of computer architecture including data representation, computer arithmetic, Boolean algebra, combinational logic design, sequential circuits, registers and counters, memory and programmable logic devices, instruction set architecture, CPU design, input-output, memory systems. Prerequisite: CISS 360.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CISS 360.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Computer Systems Organization and Architecture
By Carpinelli, J. D. (Addison Wesley)
The Principles of Computer Hardware
By Clements, Alan (Oxford)
Computer Design and Architecture
By Shiva, S.G. (Marcel Dekker)
Course Objectives
  • To conceptualize the underlying technology of modern electronic digital computers.
  • To utilize design methods to create combinatorial and sequential circuits.
  • To design a microprocessor.
  • To learn methods of implementing I/O.
  • To learn techniques and methods of implementing memory systems.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Design combinational circuits using AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, XOR, and XNOR gates, as well as tri-state gates.
  • Create combinatorial circuits using Karnaugh maps and Boolean algebra, including multiplexers, decoders, encoders, comparators and adders.
  • Create sequential circuits using flip-flops, counters, registers and memory.
  • Create complex sequential circuits using a finite state machine.
  • Create a microprocessor based upon a finite state machine.
  • Describe methods of communication between components of a computer system.
  • Describe methods of implementing memory systems, including virtual memory.
    Topical Outline:
  • Digital computers and information
  • Combinational logic circuits
  • Combinational logic design
  • Sequential circuits
  • Registers and counters
  • Memory and programmable logic devices
  • Register transfer and data paths
  • Sequencing and control
  • Instruction set architecture
  • Central processing unit designs
  • Input-output and communication
  • Memory systems

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 16

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Lawrence West Date: October 25, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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