GPU Architectures, Spring 2020, CSCI 674

General Information


Students are expected to have a good understanding of the basic computer organization and design (i.e., comparable to the material covered by CSCI 424/524). Please talk to the instructor if you do not satisfy this expectation.

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth understanding of the micro-architectural and architectural details of a general-purpose graphics processing unit (GPU). A range of top-tier architecture conference and journal papers are also discussed to understand the important research issues associated with the GPU architectures. Students will be tested via various assignments and a written examination. In addition, students will also be required to complete a semester-long research project.

Grade Distribution


Homeworks are due in hard copy on the specified date. Submit it to the instructor at the beginning of the class. Homeworks will test analytical, coding, and simulation skills. Can be performed in groups of 2. If you do the homework in a group, briefly describe your individual contributions to the homework in the submission document.

Semester-long Research Project

Final Exam

It will be comprehensive and will cover all the material covered until the end of the semester.

Class Schedule

Week Date Agenda
Week 1   Jan 24   Administrativia and Introductions  
Week 2   Jan 28   Introduction, Abstractions, and Technology  
Jan 30   Computer Architecture Basics  
Week 3   Feb 4   Computer Architecture Basics  
Feb 6   Computer Architecture Basics  
Week 4   Feb 11   Computer Architecture Basics  
Feb 13   GPU Basics  
Week 5   Feb 18   GPU Basics  
Feb 20   GPU Basics  
Week 6   Feb 25   No Class -- Instructor on Travel  
Feb 27   Project Proposal Student Presentations  
Week 7   March 3   Project Proposal Student Presentations  
March 5   No Class -- Instructor on Travel  
Week 8   March 10   Spring Break  
March 12   Spring Break  
Week 9   March 17   Class canceled due to COVID-19  
March 19   Class canceled due to COVID-19  
Week 10   March 24   Memory Coalescing  
March 26   Shared Memory  
Week 11   March 31   GPU Micro-Architecture Basics  
April 2   GPU Micro-Architecture Basics  
Week 12   April 7   GPU Research Issues (Memory)  
April 9   Project Mid-term Student Presentations  
Week 13   April 14   GPU Research Issues (Memory)  
April 16   GPU Research Issues (Memory)  
Week 14   April 21   GPU Research Issues (Compute)  
April 23   GPU Research Issues (Compute)  
Week 15   April 28   GPU Security  
April 30   Final Project Student Presentations  

Piazza (Discussion Forum)

We will be using Piazza as an on-line forum for discussions. You will also receive notifications from the instructor via Piazza. The Piazza website for our course is here. The resource section of this The Piazza website will contain most of the material related to this course.


Readings (Books and Other Resources)

There is no required book for this course, however, you might find the following reference material useful.

Useful Simulators and Tools

Academic Accommodations

It is the policy of The College of William and Mary to accommodate students with disabilities and qualifying diagnosed conditions in accordance with federal and state laws. Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a learning, psychiatric, physical, or chronic health diagnosis should contact Student Accessibility Services staff at 757-221-2509 or at to determine if accommodations are warranted and to obtain an official letter of accommodation. For more information, please click here.

Honor Code

Students are required to follow the Honor System of the College of William and Mary.