• Offered by RS Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Course subject Engineering
  • Areas of interest Engineering, Mechatronics, Robotics, Intelligent Systems, Design
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Aline Maalouf
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an introduction to the design and analysis of Embedded Systems. Embedded Systems are at the heart of almost all modern technologies; Smart Phones to televisions, cars to intelligent light bulbs. They are one of the most important disciplines in Electronic Engineering and require a unique set of technical and analysis skills to design effectively. This course assist students in developing the knowledge and skills to design and implement embedded systems to control real-world applications using modern hardware, software and communication technologies.

Since a real time system is subject to important temporal constraints, this course is precisely about understanding where processing time is spent and what a designer can do in order to achieve real-time processing systems. Some solutions are Multiprocessors, accelerators, custom instructions, specialized hardware.

Also, during this course, response time measurements of interrupts are studied, such as for example: the influence of dynamic memories, cache memories, compilation flags. Interrupts response time measurements, task commutations and synchronizations primitives are carried out on an embedded system based on an FPGA.

In addition, the course includes the study of embedded systems management models through polling, interrupts and using a real time kernel with its task management and synchronization primitives. An Accelerator designed in Verilog makes it possible to facilitate the optimization of functions through hardware on an FPGA. Cross development tools are used.

This course is specifically aimed at providing practical experience through a team-based embedded system design and implementation project. Students will be required to undertake the design of an embedded system to reliably perform a designated task, such as controlling a device. They will be required to follow the steps associated with sound engineering design methodology, starting from clearly defining the problem, developing necessary technical specifications and system level design to the design of the subsystems and communication interfaces, integration and testing. The course includes some instructions in design methodology, tools and technical aspects relevant to the project.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Analyse the strengths and limitations of Microcontrollers and FPGAs for Embedded Systems
  2. Construct real time constraints from problem specifications
  3. Effectively integrate sensor, actuator and interface devices with Microcontrollers and FPGAs
  4. Apply high reliability methods to safety-critical functions
  5. Optimise the interaction of Embedded hardware designs with their software

Indicative Assessment

  1. Labs HDL (6) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Major Project (44) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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  • 2 hours of lectures per week.
  • 6 hours of labs per week.
  • 2 hours of tutorials per week.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying Master of Engineering.

Prescribed Texts

1- Peter j. Ashenden: Digital Design An Embedded Systems Approach Using Verilog, Elsevier, 2008.

2- Ron Sass, Andrew G. Schmidt: Embedded Systems Design with Platform FPGAs, Elsevier, 2010.

3- Pong P. Chu: FPGA Prototyping by SystemVerilog Examples: Xilinx MicroBlaze MCS SoC Edition 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2018.

Preliminary Reading

1- Waidyasooriya, Hasitha Muthumala, Hariyama, Masanori, Uchiyama, Kunio: Design of FPGA-Based Computing Systems with OpenCL, Springer, 2018.

2-Peter Athanas: Embedded Systems Design with FPGAs, Springer, 2013.

3-Donald G. Bailey: Design for Embedded Image Processing on FPGAs, Wiley, 2011.

4-Richard Zurawski: Embedded Systems Handbook, CRC Press, 2009.

Assumed Knowledge

1- Assumed Knowledge: Introduction to computing systems, Logic systems, Computer architecture including microprocessors.

2- Required skills: Verilog, C programming, Real Times basic knowledge (semaphor, synchronization), assembly language.

3-Recommended courses (not requisites): Embedded Systems, Real time Programming.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7664 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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