Michela Becchi

Dr. Michela Becchi

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Phone: 919-515-5130
Instructor Website

ECE 563 Microprocessor Architecture

3 Credit Hours

Architecture of microprocessors. Measuring performance. Instruction-set architectures. Memory hierarchies, including caches, prefetching, program transformations for optimizing caches, and virtual memory. Processor architecture, including pipelining, hazards, branch prediction, static and dynamic scheduling, instruction-level parallelism, superscalar, and VLIW. Major projects.


Graduate Standing

Proficiency in C/C++

Topics of Study

  1. Introduction and overview (1 lecture)
  2. Technology trends and quantitative analysis (2 lectures)
  3. Pipelined microarchitectures (5-6 lectures)
  4. Branch prediction (2-3 lectures)
  5. Out-of-order execution (7-8 lectures)
  6. Memory hierarchy design (7-8 lectures)
  7. Instruction set design (2 lectures)
  8. Midterm exam (1 lecture)


Exams x2 50%
 – Midterm Exam 20%
 – Final Exam 30%
Homework Assignments 5%
Projects 40%
Quizzes 5%



Required textbook:

Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, Sixth Edition(opens in new window). John Hennessy and David Patterson. Morgan Kaufmann (Elsevier Science & Technology Books), 2017,
ISBN: 9780128119051
$109.95 (print – paperback)
$66.75 (“All-In” – digital textbook – FAQ(opens in new window))

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review minimum computer specifications recommended by NC State University and Engineering Online.

General purpose programming tools available on the EOS system.

Updated: 10/31/2022