GPU Architectures, Spring 2018, CSCI 680

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 requirement.

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 discussed to understand the important research issues associated with the GPU architectures. Students will be tested via simulation-based assignments, oral/written presentation skills, and written examinations. In addition, students will also be required to complete a semester-long research project.

Grade Distribution


Homeworks are due in hard copy on the deadline. Submit it to the instructor in the beginning of the class. Homeworks will test analytical, coding, and simulation skills. Homeworks are ideally performed in groups of two. Late homeworks are accepted only within a week of the original deadline with 20% penalty.

Oral Presentations and Critiques

The goal of this component is to test your analytical, written, and oral presentation skills. A fraction of classes will be devoted to student presentations. Students will be asked to present recent publications in the area of GPU architectures and then each student writes his or her own review about any five papers (excluding the one he/she presented). The presentation schedule will be discussed in the class. Two days before the in-class presentation, the presenters are required and send a trailer YouTube video of the paper to the entire class.

Semester-long Research Project

It will test your capabilities of doing architecture research. Ideally performed in groups of 2. Regular meetings are expected with the advisor so that progress can be made. A mid-term project update YouTube video is required and need to be sent to the class for feedback. A final project YouTube video and report is due on May 4th, 11:59pm.

Final Exam

It will be comprehensive and will cover material covered until the end of the semester. It is due on May 3rd, Thursday, 5pm.

Areas for Oral Presentations and Semester-long Research Projects

Final Schedule

Week Date Agenda Assignment Notes
Week 1   Jan 18th   Administrativia and Introductions     First Day of class.  
Week 2   Jan 23rd   Introduction to Comp. Arch: Performance Metrics   HW1 is out   Fill out the Google Introductory Form  
Jan 25th   Introduction to Comp. Arch (2): ISA and Pipelining     Jan 26 is the add/drop deadline.  
Week 3   Jan 30th   Introduction to Comp. Arch (3): Caches and Memory   HW1 is due.    
Feb 1   Introduction to GPUs     Familiarize yourself with CUDA. CS WM bg9 machine has three NVIDIA GPUs.  
Week 4   Feb 6th   Introduction to CUDA Programming   HW2 is out.   First Project Meetings  
Feb 8th   Introduction to CUDA Programming     First Project Meetings  
Week 5   Feb 13th   CUDA Memory      
Feb 15th   CUDA Memory   HW2 is due; HW3 is out    
Week 6   Feb 20th   CUDA Streams      
Feb 22nd   Tiling and Matrix Multiplication   HW3 is due; HW4 is out    
Week 7   Feb 27th   No Class     HPCA Conference Travel  
March 1st   No Class   HW4 is due (via Piazza)   HPCA Conference Travel  
Week 8   March 6th   No Class     Spring Break  
March 8th   No Class     Spring Break  
Week 9   March 13rd   Mohamed's HPCA presentation   HW5 is released    
March 15th   GPU Micro-architecture (1)      
Week 10   March 20th   GPU Micro-architecture (2)   HW5 is due   Prepare a 10-min YouTube video (Guideline: 5-min Intro/Background, 3-min Motivation and Current Status, 2-min Future Work)  
March 22nd   Gurunath's HPCA Presentation      
Week 11   March 27th   GPU Architecture (1)      
March 29th   GPU Architecture (2)   HW6 is released    
Week 12   April 3rd   GPU Research Issues (1)      
April 5th   GPU Research Issues (2)      
Week 13   April 10th   Oral Paper Presentations: Li, Myers, Zhao   HW6 is due, HW7 is released   Trailer (via Youtube)  
April 12th   Oral Paper Presentations: Hong, Sun     Trailer (via Youtube)  
Week 14   April 17th   Oral Paper Presentations: Liu, Wang.Q     Trailer (via Youtube)  
April 19th   Oral Paper Presentations: Gehrki, Tan     Trailer (via Youtube)  
Week 15   April 24th   Oral Paper Presentations: Bonett, Xing   HW7 is due.   Trailer (via Youtube)  
April 26th   Oral Paper Presentations: Alter, Wang.S     Trailer (via Youtube), Final Project Presentations (via Youtube)  
Finals   May 3rd   Comprehensive Final Exam (Take Home)     Hand-deliver to me personally in my office (111 McGl) before 5pm. Final exam will include all material covered during the semester.  

Readings (Books and Other Resources)

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.