1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 2-hour workshop weekly
1 x 2-hour laboratory weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of ENGR3701, ENGR4751, ENGR8781 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Knowledge such as can be obtained in ENGR1201 Electronics or ENGR8703 Electronics GE and knowledge such as can be obtained in ENGR2721 Microprocessors.
Topic description

This topic covers: Hardware Description Languages - VHDL including: Behavioural Design, Structural Design, Synthesis, Simulation; Field Programmable Gate Arrays; Computer Organisation; Instruction Set Architectures; Datapath Design, Computer Arithmetic, Performance Metrics, Microprogramming; Pipeline Architecture, Memory Hierarchy, Bus Interconnect, Storage Devices.

Educational aims

This topic aims to introduce students to the fundamental principles of computer organisation and design. The topic is structured to allow students to apply fundamental digital design concepts (taught in Digital Electronics 1) to the development of microprocessor devices and embedded systems. The topic's aims are realized through the use of computer aided design tools that enable students to design and implement microprocessor architectures on reconfigurable integrated circuits within the laboratory.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Design microprocessor circuits
  2. Design, simulate, and synthesise embedded systems using the VHDL programming language
  3. Understand the use of CAD (computer aided design) tools for field programmable gate array (FPGA) design
  4. Understand the concepts involved in designing instruction set architectures
  5. Understand the concepts involved in quantifying and improving computer performance
  6. Understand techniques used in interfacing memory and data storage systems
  7. Identify appropriate design solutions for given requirements
  8. Critically evaluate using appropriately sourced evidence the suitability of particular design strategies for achieving an optimal architecture
  9. Use VHDL, be able to develop, implement and analyse a microprocessor design
  10. Work independently and as a member of a project team