Dr. Edward Gehringer

Dr. Ed Gehringer

Computer Science

Phone: 919-515-2066
Fax: 919-515-2066
Instructor Website
Research Website

ECE 506 Architecture of Parallel Computers

3 Credit Hours

(also offered as CSC 506)

The need for parallel and massively parallel computers. Taxonomy of parallel computer architecture, and programming models for parallel architectures. Example parallel algorithms. Shared-memory vs. distributed-memory architectures. Correctness and performance issues. Cache coherence and memory consistency. Bus-based and scalable directory-based multiprocessors. Interconnection-network topologies and switch design.


Courses in computer architecture or computer organization and assembly-level programming. Digital design, probability and statistics, operating systems.

Course Objectives

To teach the principles of high-performance parallel computer design and to provide a brief introduction to the programming techniques necessary to use them.

Course Requirements

HOMEWORK: Approximately four problem sets will be assigned. Also, students will team up to write articles for Wikipedia.

EXAMINATIONS: Two midterms and a final.

PROJECTS: Three short programming assignments, one using OpenMP, and two simulating aspects of a parallel computer system.



Required text: Yan Solihin, Fundamentals of Parallel Multicore Architecture, ISBN: 978-1-4822-1118-4

Access to NCSU Unity systems through PuTTY (Windows) or ssh (Mac, Linux, Unix).

Updated 10/20/2022