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Computer hardware and software architecture

Code: S1825, ECTS: 2


The purpose of this course is to reveal the fundamental operating principles of computers, ranging from basic hardware to software (assembly language, operating system).

A knowledge of these principles is useful for tackling problems of performance, security, size and selection of hardware and software. Attention will focus on the principles of hardware operation of a computer (microprocessor, bus, memory, disks and network) and, subsequently, the problems of basic software for using the hardware.

The course will also provide a presentation of the foundations of compilation, a process whereby a program in a high level language like C will be translated into a machine-comprehensible language.


There are no prerequisites for this course which broadly develops the introduction given in the first-year core introduction to computers.


  • Architecture of a (micro)processor (arithmetical and logical unit, pipeline, superscalar, word parallelism, control unit, random execution, provision for connections, bus, hierarchical memory, registers, cache, integrated caches, external cache, virtual memory, frequencies, protection, interruption, input/output bus, chipset).
  • Machine language (examples: x86, Power PC, Bytecode Java).
  • Program compilation or interpretation. Execution in a process.
Practicals for this course will enable students to handle assembly language programming. An introduction to the C language may be given within the context of these practicals.

Teaching team


Teaching staff

Code S1825
Year 3rd year
Level Graduate 2nd year
ECTS Credits 2
Coefficient 2
Nb. of hours 22
Nb. of lessons 18
Course type Specialized courses
Semester 5
Period Autumn
  • Informatique
Last update:
19 May 2016 13:29 by Franck