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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC5620M Embedded Microprocessor System Design

15 creditsClass Size: 220

Module manager: Dr. David Cowell

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores the use of microprocessors in a System on Chip (SoC) environment and uses the C-language and industry standard software tools for implementation on an advanced Arm A9 Processor.


This module has the following objectives:

- To explore the options for advanced embedded system implementation.

- To study the operation of System-on-Chip development systems.

- To provides an opportunity to develop skills in the use of contemporary design tools which support the optimization of embedded processor architectures.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes:
1. Apply knowledge of engineering principles to the solution of broadly-defined embedded microprocessor systems problems.
2. Analyse broadly-defined embedded microprocessor systems problems to reach substantiated conclusions using engineering principles.
3. Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex embedded microprocessor systems problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed.
4. Select and use technical literature and other sources of information to address broadly-defined embedded microprocessor systems problems.
5. Design solutions for broadly-defined embedded microprocessor systems problems considering a range of user, business and customer needs as appropriate.
6. Apply an integrated or systems approach to the solution of complex embedded microprocessor systems problems.
7. Analyse the environmental impact of solutions to broadly-defined embedded microprocessor systems problems.
8. Use practical laboratory and workshop skills to investigate complex embedded microprocessor systems problems.
9. Select and apply appropriate materials, equipment, engineering technologies and processes.
10. Function effectively as an individual, and as a member or leader of a team. Evaluate effectiveness of own and team performance.
11. Communicate effectively on complex engineering matters with technical and non-technical audiences, evaluating the effectiveness of the methods used.

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:

A) Application of science, mathematics and/or engineering principles

B) Problem analysis

C) Application of computational and analytical techniques

D) Searching and using technical literature

E) Design skills

F) Integrated systems approach

G) Sustainability

H) Practical and workshop skills

I) Technical awareness of engineering materials, equipment, technologies, and processes

J) Teamwork

K) Communication


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

* Operation of the various aspects of a professional EDA system (e.g. ARM Development Studio) including support programs, design environment, compilers, assembler, linker and debugger with an ARM Cortex A9 within a DE1-SoC using C coding and exploration of compiled assembly language

* Use of watch dog timers to automatically recover from erroneous operation

* Hardware and software optimisation to create high performance embedded systems

* In-depth understanding of stack operation with function-based code

* SIMD processing for intensive DSP algorithms

* Illustration of embedded systems concepts through the control of internal and external peripherals

* Implement case studies and design problems, taken from (for example) digital filters and audio processing

* Mini-projects to demonstrate the skills and techniques learnt through the module

Methods of Assessment

We are currently refreshing our modules to make sure students have the best possible experience. Full assessment details for this module are not available before the start of the academic year, at which time details of the assessment(s) will be provided.

Assessment for this module will consist of;

1 x Coursework
1 x Exam

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours118.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, which may include the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentCoursework70.00
In-course AssessmentClass Test30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/04/2024


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