Discuss how data and programs can be represented within computer systems.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with knowledge about computer systems, functionality, and organization. Systems architecture and elements of computing machines will be examined and the principles and fundamentals of how computer systems work. Computer architecture engineers work in industries such as telecoms, automotive, and aerospace.

This unit introduces students to the hardware and software architecture of computer systems and low-level language program development using CPU registers to manipulate data. Students will explore how program instructions and data types can be represented, stored in a computer system, and used to carry out a computing task.

Among the topics included in this unit are: computer architecture elements, CPU instruction sets, fetch-execute cycle, CPU registers, binary calculations, use of PC and stack, reading/writing to peripherals, architectural security aspects including protected memory segmentation and synchronous/asynchronous channel I/O operations, parallel machines, emerging computer architectures, and security considerations.

As a result, they will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine the functions of computer system components.
  2. Discuss how data and programs can be represented within computer systems.
  3. Demonstrate the principles of processor operations.
  4. Investigate advanced computer architectures and performance.