Aalborg University| Computer Science Dpt.
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Welcome !

This page is presenting the course of Computer Architecture (CART - 2011). You can find all the information relative to this course on this page and some materials linked to the course. This course will be given in english and will last 12 lectures of three times 30 minutes (with a break of 5 minutes in-between) and will be preceded by exercices in your project group rooms.

This course will introduce you to how computers work internally down to the CPU and the instructions it is executing.


Students are expected to have followed the imperative programming course and know the C language. Students do not need to be experts in C since the constructs of the language we will be using are quite limited. The course will present advanced features that are needed for writing assembly. Students are also expected to use GNU tools such as gcc, some editor, and a debugger.

Please make sure that either:

  1. You have Linux installed with an operational gcc on your laptop and you know how to use it. You are expected to know how to install and maintain your system. You will need to download and compile yourself a tool used for the labs and install (in particular) kdbg.
  2. You have downloaded and installed VirtualBox on your laptop. In addition, download the Ubuntu image here and import it inside VirtualBox. You should reconfigure the virtual machine to use more memory. The image contains the tools you will need.

Course Objectives

You will become familiar with these different topics:

In particular, you should be able to write simple assembly programs on your own and understand the use of the stack.

Text Book

The text book for this course does not follow a classical approach to computer architecture. It explains it from a programmer's perspective, which is more relevant and more interesting for you. The course book is Computer Systems - A Programmer's Perspective by Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron.

Additional Materials

Course Grading

This is an SE course and you will be assessed by a marked written exam.


Any question or remark relative to the course is welcome.