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TEC3174 - Computer systems

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Engineering

Leader: A Price


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit provides an introduction to computer architecture using a modern microprocessor as an example. Practical considerations involved in interconnecting logic element are explored, along with software and hardware techniques for interfacing computers to peripheral devices. An introduction to communication protocols used to connect local peripheral devices to a microprocessor, including RS232/RS422/RS485, CAN bus and i2C is provided. Real time systems including concurrency, inter-process communications and scheduling are introduced.


To impart knowledge of a microprocessor system at all levels of abstraction, including an understanding of each of the elements of a computer system and the interaction between those elements, and an awareness of the hardware and software requirements that must be met in order for digital systems to interact correctly within themselves and with the outside world.
To develop the ability to write microcode for a simple microprocessor and for a current microprocessor that will control a number of peripheral devices using polling loops, interrupts and DMA to interface a microcontroller to other digital hardware including memory and peripheral devices, to interface a microcontroller system to external sensors and actuators, and to write time-critical software that will run under a real time operating system.


Continuous assessment: 30%
Examination: (3 hours): 70%. Students must achieve a mark of 45% in each of these two component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Contact hours

3 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory and practice classes and 6 hours of private study per week


TEC2172, TEC2173


ECE3073, GSE2303, GSE3802, TRC3300