University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Campus Map button


TITLE Computer Systems and Organization

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Communications and Computer Engineering

DESCRIPTION The unit covers key topics in computer organization. The topics include internal computer organization and CISC/RISC microprocessor architectures, input/output organization, and memory systems. Pipelined architectures is dealt with in some detail, and issues affecting the effectiveness of pipelining are described.

The range of microprocessors from those used in small embedded systems to those used in large parallel systems are investigated, with reference to the different design considerations and requirements for the different systems. The unit also covers memory issues including caching, cache hits and misses, and virtual memory.

Study-unit Aims:

- To describe the internal and external organization of computer systems.
- To explain design considerations of computers and how they are influenced by requirements of software.
- To describe the range of microprocessors from small embedded systems to large computer systems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Explain the internal architecture of a microprocessor.
- Analyse architecture pipelining, and calculate the effectiveness of pipelining.
- Explain the external organization of computer systems.
- Describe memory issues, including cache and virtual memory.
- Compare serial/parallel interfaces, UART and USB.
- Distinguish between internal and external processor bus technologies.
- Illustrate the use of interrupts.
- Compare and contrast embedded systems and large computer systems.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Design and implement peripheral interfaces.
- Use interrupts for interfacing.
- Work with embedded systems.
- Work with large computer systems.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- C. Hamacher, Z. Vranesic, S. Zaky and N. Manjikian, Computer Organization and Embedded Systems, 6th. ed., McGraw-Hill, 2011.
- W. Stallings, Computer Organization and Architecture, 9th. ed., Pearson, 2013.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit builds on Computer Logic 1 (CCE1013).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Practicum & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Practical No 10%
Assignment Yes 40%
Examination (1 Hour) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Etienne V. Depasquale (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Study-unit Registration Forms 2017/8


For Undergraduate (Day) and Postgraduate students.


Academic Advisors 2017/8


Academic Advisors for ICT 1st year students (Intake 2017/8), NOW available

Faculty of ICT Timetables


ICT Timetables are available from Here.

Health and Safety Regulations for Labs Form

The Faculty of ICT Health and Safety Regulations for Laboratories form can be found here



Log In back to UoM Homepage