Parallel Computer Architecture

By Prof. Hemangee K. Kapoor   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 1985   |  Exam registration: 352
With the emergence of application domains requiring large data processing as well as faster compute performance, parallel computing has become a critical component. This involves the use of multi-core processors as well as tightly integrated clusters of PCs and workstations. The most exciting development is the convergence of traditionally disparate approaches of shared memory, message passing, and data driven computing onto the same platform.

As the parallel applications communicate with each other using shared data; it is important to correctly manage the shared data within the memory hierarchy to avoid inconsistency. Here, we need to understand the mechanisms used for data access, communication and coordination of work and its correct implementation.

This course will introduce the field of parallel architectures and discuss in-depth shared memory management for parallel architectures. We will also learn about the interconnection topologies and routing methods which are important for connection and communication of the multiple cores executing the parallel applications. The course will conclude with an overview of various parallel architectures and on-going research directions.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Final year UG as well as PG

PREREQUISITES: Final year undergraduate as well as post-graduate students in the disciplines of CSE, IT, CS, ECE, EEE, etc. Can benefit from this course. A basic knowledge in Computer Organisation is sufficient to take this subject.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Intel, Micron, AMD, IBM, NVIDIA, HP, Samsung, etc.
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Computer Science and Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 22 Jan 2024
End Date : 12 Apr 2024
Enrollment Ends : 05 Feb 2024
Exam Registration Ends : 16 Feb 2024
Exam Date : 21 Apr 2024 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Introduction to Parallel Architectures
Week 2 : Parallel Programming models and Architectures
Week 3 : Memory Hierarchy-Cache and Virtual memory
Week 4 : Overview of Cache coherence, Coherence Protocols- Snooping, Directory based protocols, VI protocol
Week 5 : MSI, MESI, Dragon protocol and Correctness of coherence protocols- Types of cache misses, update vs invalidate protocol
Week 6 : Snoop based muliprocessor design, Single and multi-level cache with atomic bus
Week 7 : Snoop based muliprocessor design, Single and multi-level cache with split transaction bus
Week 8 : Scalable shared memory systems: Directory coherence protocols- Memory based, cache based, correctness
Week 9 : Case study: Origin- Architecture, protocol, correctness; Sequent NUMA Q- Architecture, protocol, correctness
Week 10 : Memory consistency models- Sequential, Relaxed consistency models
Week 11 : Synchronization- LL-SC, point to point, barrier synchronization
Week 12 : Interconnects- Introduction, Topologies, routing, flow control

Books and references

1. D. E. Culler and J. P. Singh with A. Gupta. Parallel Computer Architecture. Morgan- Kaufmann publishers.
2. J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson. Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. Morgan- Kaufmann publishers.
3. M. Dubois, M. Annavaram, Per Stenstrom. Parallel Computer Organisation and Design. Cambridge University Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. Hemangee K. Kapoor

IIT Guwahati
Prof. Hemangee K. Kapoor is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Assam. She has over 18 years of teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She received her B.Eng. degree in Computer Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, the M.Tech. degree in CSE from the IIT Bombay, and the Ph.D. degree in CSE from London South Bank University, U.K. Prof. Kapoor has been teaching subjects related to computer organisation, digital design, advanced computer architecture, parallel computer architecture and hardware lab. She has also given expert lectures in FDPs and TEQIP events. Her research spans in the broad area of computer architecture and specically in multicore caches, emerging non-volatile memory technologies, network-on-chip and design of accelerators for neural networks. Till date she has graduated 6 PhD and 39 MTech students. She is a Senior Member of the IEEE and ACM. She has published her work in reputed journals and conferences. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Systems Architecture and IEEE Design and Test. Prof. Kapoor has served in the ACM India council: as a member (2014-22) and as Vice President (2020-22). She serves as a member on the ACM international council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ACM-DEI) (2021-23). More details can be found on website: URL: https://iitg.ac.in/hemangee/

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 21 April 2024 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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