Course/Lab Material for Teaching Computer Org/Architecture


Computer Architecture Education Kit

Computer architecture is a fundamental component of any computer science, electrical and electronic engineering curriculum. It usually covers the functionality, organization and capabilities of the modern computer processors.  

Today’s engineering graduate not only needs to understand the complexities around the design of a modern processor but also how to design hardware peripherals and software so that it runs effectively and efficiently on a digital device.  The ARM University Program is addressing this through the creation of our Computer Architecture Education Kit.

The latter covers key topics of this area including:

  • Essentials of Computer Architecture
  • ISA design, Pipelining, Memory hierarchies
  • Internal computer basics, synchronous logic design, assembly-language programming
  • Multicore Architectures, Cache Coherency, Virtualization, Load-sharing (big.LITTLE)
  • Reconfigurable Processors, Morph Cores, Adaptive Architectures

Central to the learning experience will be the opportunity for students to program a customized processor core using ARM instructions. By taking this hands-on approach, we aim to enable an understanding of processor hardware design and implementation basics.  

The full kit includes hardware boards donated by partners, software licenses and a complete set of teaching materials from ARM comprising lecture notes and hands-on experiments with solutions—all available to professors worldwide (subject to a qualification process). To access samples of our teaching materials or to make a full donation request please click on the donation request below.

The education kit will be available soon, please sign up the newsletter to receive our latest information about this course.

Development Tools for Microcontrollers

ARM/Keil Microcontroller Development Kit (MDK-ARM) is available now for free for qualified universities. It features the industry-standard compiler from ARM, the Keil µVision IDE, and sophisticated debug and data trace capabilities. MDK-ARM offers tailored support for all Cortex-M processor-based devices, and is the recommended solution for students working with standard ARM-based MCU devices. We suggest that students and universities download the free evaluation version of the tools, which offers all the features of the standard version, but with a 32K byte object code/data limit. Keil Microcontroller Development Kit (MDK-ARM)

Keil Microcontroller Development Kit (MDK-ARM)

Development Tools for Cortex-A Processors

ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) is available now for free for qualified universities. DS-5 makes it easy to develop applications for ARM applications processors. It reduces your learning curve, shortens the development and testing cycle, and helps you build reliable applications quickly.

Download ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5)

The ARM University Program recommends the following development boards for teaching Computer Architecture:

You can purchase these boards from Digikey and view our accompanying teaching materials

Board Features Peripherals and Ports

ZYBO Zynq-7000 Development Board

  • 650Mhz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor
  • DDR3 memory controller with 8 DMA channels
  • High-bandwith peripheral controllers: 1G Ethernet, USB 2.0, SDIO
  • Low-bandwidth peripheral controller: SPI, UART, I2C
  • Reprogrammable logic equivalent to Artix-7 FPGA
  • 28K logic cells
  • 240KB Block RAM
  • 80 DSP slices
  • On-chip dual channel,
  • 12-bit, 1 MSPS analog-to-digital converter (XADC)
  • ZYNQ XC7Z010-1CLG400C
  • 512MB x32 DDR3 w/ 1050Mbps bandwidth
  • Dual-role (Source/Sink) HDMI port
  • 16-bits per pixel VGA output port
  • Trimode (1Gbit/100Mbit/10Mbit) Ethernet PHY
  • MicroSD slot (supports Linux file system)
  • OTG USB 2.0 PHY (supports host and device)
  • External EEPROM (programmed with 48-bit globally unique EUI-48/64™ compatible identifier)
  • Audio codec with headphone out, microphone and line in jacks
  • 128Mb Serial Flash w/ QSPI interface
  • On-board JTAG programming and UART to USB converter
  • GPIO: 6 pushbuttons, 4 slide switches, 5 LEDsSix Pmod connectors (1 processor-dedicated, 1 dual analog/digital)

Nexys4 Artix-7 FPGA Board

  • 15,850 logic slices, each with four 6-input LUTs and 8 flip-flops
  • 4,860 Kbits of fast block RAM
  • Six clock management tiles, each with phase-locked loop (PLL)
  • 240 DSP slices
  • Internal clock speeds exceeding 450MHz
  • On-chip analog-to-digital converter (XADC)
  • 16 user switches
  • USB-UART Bridge
  • 12-bit VGA output
  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • 16Mbyte CellularRAM
  • Pmod for XADC signals
  • 16 user LEDs
  • Two tri-color LEDs
  • PWM audio output
  • Temperature sensor
  • Serial Flash
  • Digilent USB-JTAG port for FPGA programming and communication
  • Two 4-digit 7-segment displays
  • Micro SD card connector
  • PDM microphone
  • 10/100 Ethernet PHY
  • Four Pmod portsUSB HID Host for mice, keyboards and memory sticks

Altera DE0-CV Board


  • Cyclone V 5CEBA4F23C7N Device
  • 49K Programmable Logic Elements
  • 3080 Kbits embedded memory
  • PS/2 mouse/keyboard
  • Two 2x20 GPIO Header
  • 64MB SDRAM, x16 bits data bus
  • SD memory card slot
  • 4-bit Resistor VGA
  • 10 LEDs
  • 10 Slide Switches
  • 4 Debounced Push Buttons
  • 1 CPU reset Push Buttons
  • Six 7-Segments

Altera DE1-SoC Board


  • Cyclone V SoC 5CSEMA5F31C6 Device
  • Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 (HPS)
  • 85K Programmable Logic Elements
  • 4,450 Kbits embedded memory
  • Two Port USB 2.0 Host (ULPI interface with USB type A connector)
  • USB to UART (micro USB type B connector)
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • PS/2 mouse/keyboard
  • IR Emitter/Receiver
  • 64MB (32Mx16) SDRAM on FPGA
  • 1GB (2x256Mx16) DDR3 SDRAM on HPS
  • Micro SD Card Socket on HPS
  • 24-bit VGA DAC
  • 4 User Keys (FPGA x4)
  • 10 User switches (FPGA x10)
  • 11 User LEDs (FPGA x10 ; HPS x 1)
  • 2 HPS Reset Buttons (HPS_RST_n and HPS_WARM_RST_n)
  • Six 7-segment displays
  • 24-bit CODEC, Line-in, line-out, and microphone-in jacks
  • TV Decoder (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) and TV-in connector
  • 1 MSPS, 8 channel 12-bits ADC
  • G-Sensor on HPS

Juno ARM Development Platform

Available here


  • ARM® Cortex®-A72 or ARM® Cortex®-A57 and Cortex-A53 MPCore for ARMv8 big.LITTLE™
  • Mali™-T624 for 3D Graphics Acceleration and GP-GPU compute
  • 4 lane Gen 2.0 PCI-Express (Juno r1 and r2 only)
  • A SoC architecture aligned with Level 1 (Server) Base System Architecture

HiKey board - 96boards

  • ARMv8A 64-bit architecture HiSilicon Kirin 620 SoC with 8 Cortex-A53 64-bit cores running at 1.2GHz Over 10,000 Dhrystone VAX MIPS total performance
  • ARM Mali 450-MP4 GPU
  • 1GB 800MHz LPDDR3 DRAM and 4GB eMMC Flash Storage
  • Linux, Android
  • 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • 3 High Speed USB 2.0 ports (1 OTG)
  • HDMI 1.3 1080p video output with audio
  • microSD v3.0 socket
  • Expansion connectors with Maker I/O, DSI display and CSI camera interfaces


  • Freescale™ i.MX 6SoloX with an embedded ARM Cortex-A9 core and a Cortex-M4 Core
  • 1GB or 512MB DDR3 (only Basic version)
  • Integrated 2d/3d graphics controller
  • Android & Linux
  • HDMI interface LVDS interface + touch (I2C signals)
  • Analog camera connection supporting NTSC and PAL, 8-bit parallel camera interface
  • HDMI audio transmitter
  • Fast ethernet RJ45 (10/100Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Wi-Fi Direct Mode SmartConfig

The ARM University Program recommends the following textbooks for teaching Computer Org/Architecture:

Accompanying teaching materials

Recommended Books:

Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface - ARM Edition

In English, by David Patterson and John Hennessy
Fourth Edition
Published by Morgan Kaufman

ISBN-10: 8131222748
ISBN-13: 978-0128017333

Digital Design and Computer Architecture: ARM Edition

In English, by Sarah Harris, David Harris
Published by Morgan Kaufman

ISBN-10: 0128000562
ISBN-13: 978-0128000564

Other Books:

ARM System-on-chip Architecture

In English, by Steve Furber
Second Edition
Published by Addison Wesley

ISBN 0-201-67519-6

Computer Organization & Architecture: Themes and Variations

In English, by Alan Clements
Published by Newnes

ISBN-10: 1111987041
ISBN-13: 978-1111987046


We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site you consent to our cookies.

Change Settings

Find out more about the cookies we set