ECE5881 - Real-time system design - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering


Associate Professor Lindsay Kleeman

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The unit aims to enable students to understand, analyse, specify, design and test real-time systems using both hardware and software development. Migration between software and hardware will be considered as an approach to meet design criterion such as speed, throughput, energy usage and cost.

The design, analysis and implementation of real-time operating systems will be studied and will include scheduling policies, process creation and management, inter-process communication and synchronisation, efficient handling of I/O and communication.

Students will complete a major team design project that includes hardware and software design of a real-time system.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • explain the development process for real time systems from specification, simulation, implementation and testing;
  • design and implement interface logic to a bus system and its associated arbitration logic using a hardware description language;
  • describe the effectiveness and benefits of deploying a real time operating system in software development of a real time system;
  • compare, measure and analyse the performance and overhead of real time scheduling policies of a real time operating system;
  • design and analyse hardware accelerators that improve real time system performance in areas such as energy use, latency and throughput; and
  • formulate, plan, create, document and test a solution to a real time system design

problem in a team framework using a real time kernel and a hardware description language.


Continuous assessment: 50%

Examination (3 hours): 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory and 7 hours private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)