CESE4040 Processor design project

Topics: Design of a general purpose processor using computer architecture and arithmetic theory

This is an integration course that is aiming to let the students utilize computer architecture and arithmetic theoretical knowledge in the design of a general purpose processor. In this line of reasoning they have to improve the performance of a MIPS-based computing platform by focusing on computer architecture and arithmetic relevant parts of it.
As starting point students receive two archives: one which includes the MIPS System on Chip VHDL code and a set of benchmarks selected from the GMPbench and MiBench suites, as well as all the necessary files required for simulation and FPGA implementation, and a second archive with the MIPS cross-compiler. To evaluate their new design, students are given a Zynq-7000 FPGA board per group.

Expected prior knowledge

To be able to complete the project the student has to have Digital Systems and VHDL knowledge. Moreover before embarking in this course she/he has to successfully complete the following courses: CESE4085 Modern Computer Architecture and CESE4035 Computer Arithmetic courses.

Study Goals

  1. The student can perform, assuming certain processor architecture and requirements, a design space exploration and select the most appropriate algorithms for the implementation of the basic functional units
  2. The student can integrate computer arithmetic and computer architecture knowledge and utilize them in order to design/optimize processors.
  3. The student is able to evaluate processor performance based on benchmarks and take the appropriate architectural decisions in order to improve on various design metrics
  4. The student can design arithmetic units and processors and implement them using FPGA technology
  5. The student is able to operate in a small team and collaborate for the successful completion of a design assignment.
  6. The student can communicate his/her proposal, experimental results, and conclusions in English using the appropriate technical language in written as well as orally.


S.D. Cotofana

Last modified: 2023-11-04


Credits: 5 EC
Period: 0/0/0/4