Embedded microcomputer systems; implementation of multitasking, synchronization, protection, and paging; operating systems for embedded microcomputers; design, optimization, evaluation, and simulation of digital and analog interfaces; real-time microcomputer software; and applications, including data acquisition and robotics.
EE445L or EE445S, and EE333T with a grade of at least C-. This class is the third in a sequence of three microcontroller laboratories. We expect you to have experiences with assembly language, serial ports (UART and SPI), periodic interrupts, ADCs, edge-triggered interrupts, FIFO queues and C programming. We will be using the same ARM Cortex-M used (since Fall 2013) in EE319K and EE445L, but we do not require prior experiences with the same microcontroller. You are also expected to understand how a DFT is used to observe digitally sampled data in the frequency domain.
The purpose of EE445M/EE380L.6 is to provide students an in depth understanding of real-time operating systems, real-time debugging, and embedded systems. After the successful conclusion of EE445M/EE380L.6, students should be able to design real-time embedded systems, such as motor controllers, data store systems, data acquisition systems, communication systems and robotic systems.
The primary objective of EE445M/EE380L.6 is for students to develop the ability to design real-time systems. This class allows students to combine principles of microcomputer interfacing, software development, digital logic and analog circuits into the design of microcomputer-based systems:
There will be no re-tests, make-ups or incompletes.
Graduate students will attend the lectures, take the exams, and perform the labs. In addition to all the regular EE445M assignments, they will perform an extra lab project involving the design, implementation and testing of an embedded system with a real-time operating system. The complexity of this project should be equivalent to one of the regular labs. The project should be approved in advance by the instructor (come see me to discuss project ideas or if you want to brainstorm potential projects). A 1/2 page written proposal concerning the project is due by the end of February. The project must be demonstrated to the instructor or a TA, and a project report is due to the instructor the first Monday after classes are over. You are free to choose a project in your field of interest. It must include an embedded system and a real-time operating system of your design. You must write microcomputer software and/or build microcomputer hardware. It must actually be built and tested. The report will be typed double spaced. The minimum page count is 15 and the maximum page count is 20 (including hardware diagrams, but not software listings.) The grading policy for the report has four parts:
25% English style, grammar, spelling, clarity of discussion, logical organization
25% Neatness and presentation, figures, diagrams, graphs
25% Engineering quality, originality, creativity, correctness
25% Evaluation and test procedures, how do you verify its correctness.
Class attendance will be used for deciding grades in borderline cases. Students are expected to attend all lectures. Fundamental material will be presented in class, and the details can be found in the book, the data sheets and the library files provided by the manufacturer. Some lecture material will be posted on the web, while other material will only be presented in class. If you decide that you do not want to come to every lecture, please drop this class.
All labs up to and including Lab 5 should be performed with a partner (teams of 2). Labs 6 and 7 will be performed in teams of 3 to 5 students. The lab partnerships must be registered with your TA (a simple hand written note signed by students will suffice) at least a week before the assignment is due. Once registered, the partnership will continue. A partnership can be dissolved only after discussion with the TA. All partners must be present during the demonstration. It is expected that both partners will contribute to all aspects of each lab, and all partners are expected to be present during the check out. The point values are the same for all labs. The TA will sign your software listing when you demonstrate your system. All parts of the assignment must be demonstrated to a TA by the end of your lab period the week the "Demo/Report" is due. Any EE345M/EE380L TA is authorized to checkout your lab. The report (hardware, software, data and plots) are due one day after the demonstration is due. Please consult with your TA for specific due dates for your lab section.
No lab activities occur during the week of January 18. During the week of January 25-28, please go to your scheduled lab sessions in ECJ 1.318A to get a demonstration of the lab equipment. Lab partners will be selected in your lab the week of January 25-28.
The lab preparations (syntax error-free software source code and documentation) are due at the beginning of your lab period. In other words, please type your software into the PC before the lab. Attendance in lab is required. All software for lab, and tests must include comments. Students are encouraged to go to the last 1 hour of the other lab periods, but the first priority will be to the regular students. During the first 15 minutes of lab, the TA will collect preparations. For the next 15 minutes, the TA will lead a lab discussion session. The remaining lab time is available for debugging and lab checkout.
At the end of the semester, please verify with the checkout counter
that your record is clear and you have returned all equipment or a
bar will be put on your registration for next semester. All reports
must be given to the TA by Friday May 6, 5pm in order to be
considered for grading.
"Faculty in the ECE Department are committed to detecting and responding to all instances of scholastic dishonesty and will pursue cases of scholastic dishonesty in accordance with university policy. Scholastic dishonesty, in all its forms, is a blight on our entire academic community. All parties in our community -- faculty, staff, and students -- are responsible for creating an environment that educates outstanding engineers, and this goal entails excellence in technical skills, self-giving citizenry, an ethical integrity. Industry wants engineers who are competent and fully trustworthy, and both qualities must be developed day by day throughout an entire lifetime. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, or any act designed to give an unfair academic advantage to the student. The fact that you are in this class as an engineering student is testament to your abilities. Penalties for scholastic dishonesty are severe and can include, but are not limited to, a written reprimand, a zero on the assignment/exam, re-taking the exam in question, an F in the course, or expulsion from the University. Don't jeopardize your career by an act of scholastic dishonesty. Details about academic integrity and what constitutes scholastic dishonesty can be found at the website for the UT Dean of Students Office and the General Information Catalog, Section 11-802."
You are encouraged to study together and to discuss information and concepts with other students. You can give "consulting" help to or receive "consulting" help from such students in oral form. However, this permissible cooperation should never involve one student having possession of a copy of all or part of work done by someone else, in the form of an email, an email attachment file, a portable storage device, or a hard copy. Copying of any part of a program is cheating without explicit reference to its source. We do enter lab and homework assignments turned in by students through a plagiarism checker, comparing them to assignments of this and previous semesters. If we find two programs that are copied, there will be a substantial penalty to both students, e.g., failure in the course. Students who cheat on tests, homeworks or in lab will fail. Prosecution of cases is very traumatic to both the student and instructor. It is appropriate to use software out of the book, class website as long as all copy-pasted software is explicitly referenced. Copy-pasting software from current or past students is scholastic dishonesty.
Policies concerning the use of other people's software in this class:
The 12th class day is February 3, 2016. The drop policy
is extremely complicated. See your academic advisor or the Dean of
Students for more information. April 4 is the last day an
undergraduate student may, with the dean's approval,
withdraw from the University or drop a class except for urgent and
substantiated, nonacademic reasons.
In this course e-mail will be used as a means of communication with
students. You will be responsible for checking your e-mail regularly
for class work and announcements. The complete text of the University
electronic mail notification policy and instructions for updating your
e-mail address are available at
This course uses the class web page and Canvas to distribute
course materials, to communicate and collaborate online, to submit
assignments and to post solutions and grades. You will be responsible
for checking the class web page and the Canvas course site
regularly for class work and announcements. As with all computer
systems, there are occasional scheduled downtimes as well as
unanticipated disruptions. Notification of disruptions will be posted
on the Canvas login page. Scheduled downtimes are not an excuse
for late work. However, if there is an unscheduled downtime for a
significant period of time, I will make an adjustment if it occurs
close to the due date.
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY or the College of Engineering Director of Students with Disabilities at 471-4382.
Religious holy days sometimes conflict with class and examination
schedules. If you miss an examination, work assignment, or other
project due to the observance of a religious holy day you will be
given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable
time after the absence. It is the policy of The University of Texas
at Austin that you must notify each of your instructors at least
fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be
absent to observe a religious holy day.
All occupants of university buildings are required to evacuate a building when a fire alarm and/ or an official announcement is made indicating a potentially dangerous situation within the building. Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of each classroom and building you may occupy. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when entering the building. If you require assistance in evacuation, inform your instructor in writing during the first week of class. For evacuation in your classroom or building:
"The core values of the University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community." (see the university catalog)
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