SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3H624868
Module Leader Martin MacDonald
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject SCEBE - School Office
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This course aims to develop the student's hardware, software and interface knowledge and skills to perform the necessary analysis, design and implementation activities to build a microcontroller based embedded system capable of performing its intended task within known cost and performance constraints. On completion, the student will have an expanded grasp of microcontroller architecture and peripheral interfaces in the context of program development and system performance for the embedded environment. The student will also gain additional skills and knowledge to design, implement and debug system solutions using a high-level language and an appropriate integrated development environment. Tutorials will be used to reinforce the module material discussed during lecture sessions. Tutorials also serve as a platform of technical discussions to clarify any queries that arise from directed studies.


Micro controller 68HCS12 Architecture: Internal CPU organization, data paths and register organization of the typical 16 bit microcontroller; internal instruction sequencing and timing; the bus concept and modes of operation; observed timing of the fetch-execute cycle on the system bus; assembly language syntax; Software Instruction Set; Addressing Modes. Introduction to Programming: Assembly Language Programming; Loops; Stacks; Subroutine; Interrupts and Resets; Application of high-level programming techniques such as C for Structured Design; Use of compiler, cross-assembler, linker tools and library functions and source-level debugging tools to develop and debug programs;. Memory Technology and Interfacing: Typical memory organization of the typical microcontroller system; Memory Map; Memory Expansion; Memory Interfacing and Timing Analysis. study of memory technologies including FLASH and DRAM and memory management Interfacing Concept: Memory-mapped and direct I/O; polled, handshake, and interrupt methods of data transfer; Input/output Subsystems, Ports and device registers of the typical microcontroller; I/O read, and I/O write cycles on the system bus for synchronous and asynchronous data transfer operations.;; basic timing analysis and interface of memory and peripheral devices on the bus. Embedded Systems: Real-time systems; time and criticality issues; environmental and performance requirements of embedded systems; the major component parts of a general purpose and an embedded microprocessor based system; characteristics of those components that effect overall system performance; optimizing design metrics, such as performance, power, size, unit cost, maintainability etc; hardware/software tradeoffs; examples of types and structures of real-time systems met in practice, examples taken from control, telecommunications, mechatronics, etc.; comparison of processor technologies for embedded system implementation; Microcontroller Hardware and Subsystems: Hardware features of a target system; operating modes; the port system, hardware pin assignments; the register block; study of methods available to interface to external components and subsystems; description of the operation, control and application of common peripheral devices such as timers, Analog to Digital Convertors , Digital to Analog Convertors, Pulse-Width Modulation subsystem. Interrupts and Exception Handling: System protection, privileged modes of operation, requirement for exception handling; the exception facilities offered by a typical microcontroller and types of exceptions supported; interrupt driven I/O vs. polling; the hardware and software mechanisms to generate, identify, acknowledge and process exceptions and the function of the stack in this context; examples of the application of interrupts in I/O.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, the student should be able to:1. Outline the hardware features of microcontroller and its associated peripherals(AM1,AM5)2. Describe the exception facilities of a typical microcontroller such as resets and interrupt mechanism.(AM1,AM5)3. Describe the characteristics of real-time systems, the major component parts of the system and how they interact and the design considerations and constraints under which such a system is implemented in embedded computers working under reactive environments. (AM1 )4. Apply basic I/O concepts and techniques in common peripheral interface devices to implement data transfer. (AM1,AM5).5. Analyse the timing and sequence of operations observed on the internal data paths and on the system bus to perform the fetch and execute cycle of a microcontroller (AM1)6. Design the memory organisations of a typical microcontroller system utilising memory device technologies available in a microcontroller (AM1).7. Create simple interface applications utilising ports and peripherals in a microcontroller.(AM5)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The main teaching method will be based on lectures. The students will be expected to perform directed reading exercises and self-learning exercises on emerging technologies. Tutorials will be used to reinforce the module material discussed during lecture sessions. Tutorials also serve as a platform of technical discussions to clarify any queries that arise from directed studies.

Indicative Reading

Text Book: 1. Steven Frank Barrett and Daniel J. Pack. (2005).Embedded systems design and applications with the 68HC12 and HCS12, 1st ed. Pearson/Prentice Hall. Reference Books: 1. Pack, D & Barrett, S. (2002). 68HC12 Microcontroller: theory and applications, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. 2. G. Jack Lipovski. (2004).Introduction to Microcontrollers: architecture, programming, and interfacing for the Freescale 68HC12. 2nd ed. Elsevier Academic Press.

Transferrable Skills

Problem Solving and Numeracy Communication/Literacy/Linguistic/Critical Evaluation

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 100.00
Lectures (FT) 56.00
Tutorials (FT) 28.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (School) 1.50 20.00 35% Mid-term test - unseen test 90 minutes duration
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 50.00 45% Final Examination - unseen exam 3 hour duration
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 35% Assignment-open ended design task-written report 2000 words