COMP_ENG 347-1: Microprocessor Systems Project I





Design, prototype and test individual projects involving microprocessors and related devices such as PAL/FPGA and special purpose ICs. Embedded-system tools such as special purpose compilers and ICE (in-circuit emulation). Manufacturing issues such as PCB layout. Survey of microprocessor platforms. Part I deals with specification and design.


REFERENCE TEXTS: 1. Device data sheets 2. Distributor catalogues 

COURSE COORDINATOR: Prof. David Zaretsky

COURSE GOALS: The first goal is to teach students how to design, build, program and document embedded systems. The second goal is to teach students how to use field programmable devices in embedded system design. The third goal is to teach students how to identify circuits and devices that are needed for a project and to incorporate those into the project.



  1. basic digital integrated circuits - AND/OR/NOT gates, latches, demultiplexers
  2. simple circuit timing and timing diagrams
  3. basic computer architecture - registers, addressing modes, arithmetic, interrupts
  4. .simple microprocessor system design
  5. familiarity with related circuitry such as timer/counters, bus drivers, ADC/DACs, etc.
  6. basic assembly language programming

Weeks 1-2. Feasibility/desirability study of 3-4 projects.

  • Kinds of hardware needed, availability, cost.
  • High-level outline of software and estimate of amount of code.
  • High-level design, alternative features and hardware.
  • Cost/benefit/profit analysis, potential market.
  • Ethical issues.
  • Failure analysis and liability
  • Selection of projects and teams by end of week 2.

Weeks 3-4. Detailed specification, presentation to peers, in-class discussions, selection of final features for each product.

Weeks 5-7. Preliminary design.

  • Alternatives.
  • High-level diagrams.
  • Class discussion, peer review, hardware and code “walk through”.
  • Preliminary design report and presentation.

Weeks 8-10. Final design and report. Detailed design document, including pin-to-pin logic diagrams, physical layout diagrams (printed circuit board and breadboard layouts), relevant timing analyses, software algorithms, high-level software design (data, data structures, modules, data and control flow), parts list and cost.

Ongoing activities throughout the quarter:

  • Lectures by the professor and students on general topics. The topics may include: project management, UML modeling for design, PCB layout and PCB CAD tools, and others depending on the projects selected.
  • Class presentation by students of all new hardware and relevant software and protocol techniques.
  • Experimentation with parts to gain deep knowledge, reports to class on experiments.

COMPUTER USAGE: Students use PCs to assemble and emulate programs. Students use device programmers to generate 2764/2864/8952 circuits for their projects.


  1. Specify, design and document small group projects. Students work in teams of 3-5 on a project of their own choosing or from a list provided by the instructor. The original project descriptions are typically one to two sentences, so that the teams have to work from a vague, general statement through to a completed prototype.
  2. Every team must produce the following documents: specification document, design document.
  3. Students participate in peer review of specifications and designs.


Team grade – 75%

  • specification document
  • preliminary design, report and presentation
  • detailed design, document and presentation at end of fall quarter

Individual grade – 25%

  • class participation during peer reviews and general discussions
  • presentations to class

COURSE OBJECTIVES: When a student completes this course, s/he should be able to:

1. Design an embedded system, including both hardware and software. 
2. Document all steps in the specification and design process 
3. Determine when and how to use field-programmable devices in a design. 
4. Identify and locate circuits and devices that can be used in the 

ABET CONTENT CATEGORY: 100% Engineering (Design component).