This site provides your guide to how the course is structured and delivered. It is your first stop for understanding what you need to do to succeed as a student.

For 2020-21 the course will be delivered as a combination of the following elements:

  • Pre-recorded lectures - you should budget 2-4 hours per week to watch the videos and study the associated slides.

  • Interactive classes, timetabled for up to two hours per week.

  • Tutorial problems

  • Discussion topics

  • Unassassed warm-up lab exercise on matrix multiplication

  • First assessed lab exercise (“Exploration”): using a processor microarchitecture simulator to find a configuration that runs a specified program with the minimum total energy

  • Second assessed coursework exercise (“Challenge”): on hardware of your choice, make a specified benchmark program go as fast as possible, and explain what you did

The timetable interactive classes (on Teams unless notified otherwise) will be used for:

  • Q&A on the prerecorded material. It would be helpful if you would post your questions on Piazza the day before the class.

  • Tutorial problems,

  • For some discussions, for which I will ask you to prepare.

  • For discussions on progress on the assessed coursework exercises

  • Feedback on the coursework after marking

  • Exam preparation - the exam will be based on an article which we will study and discuss, in class and on Piazza.


  • Slides and exercise specifications will be posted on the DoC “Materials” website here.

  • Prerecorded lecture videos will be posted on Panopto here

  • Recorded timetabled classes will probably be also be posted on Panopto here, though there is no guarantee that every session will successfully be recorded.

  • The plan for this course is for the primary vehicle for your questions to be Piazza here

  • Materials for the lab-based exercises (unassessed and assessed) will be posted nearer the time.

The course materials from October 2019 are all available freely online here.

Students from other departments at Imperial College:

  • it is essential that you register as early as possible for the course via this link.

The course catalogue entry for this course is 60001-96017-96018”.