Microprocessors and Digital Systems

Queensland University of Technology

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Microprocessors and Digital Systems

  • Host University

    Queensland University of Technology

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering Science, Systems Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    (IFB102 and IFB104) or ENB240 or INB102 or MZB126

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This unit introduces you to the components inside a computer and how these components work together. Modern digital electronic systems rely on embedded microcomputers in order to achieve the level of sophistication present in today's applications. The design and development of such systems requires knowledge of the hardware and software to program the system. This unit identifies these design requirements and lets you develop embedded microcontroller-based system solutions. In particular, the unit
    • covers computer instruction sets and the binary representation of information;
    • explains the relationship between high-level language programs, assembly code and the basic structure and operation of digital computers;
    • describes the processes that implement this relationship;
    • provides practical experience through laboratory exercises which progressively expose features of a typical microprocessor; and
    • explains how an embedded computer can interact with its environment (through the addition of I/O, sensors, actuators). The gives you a valuable foundation for further studies in areas such as robotics and networking.
    Learning Outcomes
    On completion of this unit, you will provide evidence that you can:
    1. Explain the binary nature of digital computers, and how bit patterns can be used to represent data types such as characters, numbers and instructions [Technology];
    2. Identify the essentials of a CPU instruction set, its assembly language and higher-level languages for embedded system programming [Technology];
    3. Explain the role of the Compiler, Assembler, Library, Linker, Loader, Interpreter and Operating System, and of some of the interactions between these and the underlying computer hardware [Technology];
    4. Demonstrate how a micro-controller can be programmed and how simple sensors and actuators can be interfaced to a micro-controller [Build]; and
    5. Design and program an elementary smart device [Design, Build].
    After a brief introduction to each of the components of a modern computer system, the unit discusses the role and representation of data in the computer (numbers, text, sound, images, videos, and other data forms). We show how the components of the computer collaborate to execute computer instructions, discuss the nature of a computer instruction set, and explore the interactions between the CPU, memory and I/O peripheral devices. Topics covered include computer architectures, buses, types of memory, interrupts, etc.
    Approaches to Teaching and Learning
    This unit presents both principles and their application through:
    • Lectures which provide an introduction to technical material covering embedded computer architectures and programming. The material covered should be immediately applicable to projects used in tutorials and practicals.
    • Interactive tutorial and practical sessions which mainly concentrate on problem solving applications to reinforce your understanding of the theory, with tutorial staff providing immediate guidance and support. Tutorials will focus on embedded system programming. Tutorials also provide immediate feedback on your progress, and benchmarks for the level of understanding. Practicals require the implementation of a microcontroller-based project. The project runs over the entire semester and culminates in a demonstration of the project at the end of the unit. Practical work in the laboratory focuses on particular problems students may be having but will be flexible such that students at different stages will be provided assistance. A series of practical laboratory exercises will provide you with the opportunity to obtain practical experience on the material studied in lectures and tutorials.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.