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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : EPCC on-campus

Postgraduate Course: HPC Architectures (INFR11175)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course has been replaced by EPCC11004 - HPC Architectures,

After taking this course students should have a good understanding (from the practioner's perspective) of the way High Performance Computing (HPC) systems are designed and how this affects both the way they are programmed and the performance of applications.
Course description The course will cover the following topics:

- Basic components of HPC systems: processors, memory, interconnect, storage.
- Classification of architectures: SIMD/MIMD, shared vs distributed memory, clusters
- System software: OSs, processes, threads, scheduling, batch systems.
- Brief history of HPC systems, including Moore's Law.
- CPU design: functional units, instructions sets, pipelining, branch prediction, ILP (superscalar, VLIW, SIMD instructions), multithreading.
- Caches: operation and design features
- Memory: operation and design features, including cache coherency and consistency
- Multicore CPUs, including cache and memory hierarchy
- GPGPUs: operation and design features
- Interconnects: operation and design features
- Current HPC architectures

Lectures will be followed by tutored practical sessions illustrating the key concepts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Parallel Architectures (Level 11) (INFR11024)
Other requirements Some practical exercises would benefit from familiarity with a programming language (such as Fortran or C).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesSome practical exercises would benefit from familiarity with a programming language (such as Fortran or C).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the key components of HPC architectures
  2. Understand the basic principles of operation of these components
  3. Appreciate the main design choices and trade-offs in HPC architecture.
  4. Understand how the components are put together to form complete systems
  5. Understand how HPC system software is used to manage the hardware.
Reading List
Provided via Learn
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Solution Exploration, Evaluation and Prioritisation.
Critical thinking
Communication of complex ideas in accessible language
Working in an interdisciplinary field
Programming and Scripting
Special Arrangements There are limited spaces on this course. Students not on the MSc in High Performance Computing or MSc High Performance Computing with Data Science should contact the course secretary to confirm availability and confirm that they have the required prerequisites before being enrolled on the course.

The course is available to PhD students for class-only study. PhD students requiring a form of assessment must contact the course secretary to confirm method of enrolment.
Additional Class Delivery Information 2x lectures per week (Weeks 1-11), 1x Practical per week (most weeks during Semester)
KeywordsComputer Architectures,HPC,HPCA,HA,EPCC,High Performance Computing,Parallelism,Parallel
Course organiserDr Darren White
Tel: (01316)51 3415
Course secretaryMr James Richards
Tel: 90131 6)51 3578
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