Microprocessor Architecture

Course in Bachelor’s program (2nd year, series A, B, F, and G)


Prof. Corneliu Burileanu
Assoc. Prof. Horia Cucu

Lect. Georgian Nicolae
Dr. Ana Neacșu
Lect. George-Vlăduț Popescu
Dr. Diana Grosu-Șandru
As. Andrei Dăescu

Course Description

Study of the basic concepts in CISC and RISC general microprocessor architecture: registers, memory management, addressing techniques, data transfer, instruction set, input/output strategies. The students should have the possibility to approach any specific microprocessor architecture, either general or dedicated. In the laboratory-type applications, the students are guided in developing applications for the 8086 microprocessor using the emu8086 simulator.



  • “Microcomputer Structure. Defintions” – Microcomputer Functional Blocks, CISC and RISC Microprocessors, Information in Digital Systems, Conventions
  • “Overview of a CISC, General Purpose Microprocessor Core” – First Step Approach: Data register and Address Register, Second Step Approach: General-Purpose Registers, Third Step Approach: Arithmetic Processing Unit, Forth Step Approach: Memory Addressing Control Unit, Fifth Step Approach: Microprocessor Control Unit, Functional Blocks of 16 or 32 bit Microprocessor
  • “Fundamentals of a Typical CISC Architecture” – Registers, Microcomputer Memory Architecture, Data Transfers, Addressing Techniques, Types of Instructions
  • “Fundamentals of a Typical RISC Architecture” – Registers, Instruction Set and Addressing Techniques, Microprocessor Control Unit, ARM Microprocessor Family, RISC Advantages and Drawbacks
  • “Input/Output Strategies” – Input/Output Devices Map, Typical Input/Output Techniques, Interrupt System for General Purpose Microprocessor, Interrupts for x86 Intel Microprocessor (IA-32) in Real Mode
  • “Time-Dimension of a General Purpose Microprocessor Architecture” – CISC Instruction Timing, Speed Increase for Advanced CISC Microprocessor, RISC Instruction Timing
  • “Design of a simple processor: CISC vs. RISC” – Processor Features, Processor Design, Expanding Processor Capabilities
  • “An Overview of Intel x86 Architecture (IA-32) in Real Mode” – Block Diagram, Registers, Memory Organization, Port Organization, Addressing Modes


  • Introducing a development environment for x86 microprocessors: emu8086
  • Data transfer instructions and array operations for x86 microprocessors in real mode
  • Data processing instructions for x86 microprocessors in real mode
  • Control program instructions for x86 microprocessors in real mode
  • Interrupts for x86 microprocessors in real mode
  • Translation of instructions from high-level programming into assembly
  • Laboratory assessment


Laboratory evaluation (multiple verification tests + optional oral evaluation): 50%
Course final exam (verification quiz + optional written and oral evaluation): 50%