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Embedded System Hardware Architectures, Introduction | EMBD.X415

Beginning technical professionals who want to learn the big picture of embedded systems will get a solid grounding in key concepts of embedded systems hardware design, one of the particularly hot areas for U.S. engineers today. Embedded systems are computer systems designed to perform one or more dedicated functions. They are found in a wide range of electronic devices, including PDAs, consumer electronics, networking equipment, industrial controllers, and military electronics. Gaining an inside look at some of the most common embedded systems and the functional blocks within those systems, students in this course examine hardware components and their interfaces as well as important considerations with regard to procurement and design. They learn embedded systems design considerations and several approaches to system building common in the industry. Other key concepts in embedded hardware design include memories used in embedded systems and their interfaces, basic concepts in microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors (DSP), and the typical buses used at the system level.

After completing the course, you will see how the key concepts in embedded hardware design fit together, including the interaction of these hardware components as well as important considerations with regard to procurement and design.

Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of the course, you should be able to:

  • Describe how microprocessors, memory subsystems and other hardware components interact
  • Discuss key design considerations
  • Explain key concepts in hardware design
  • Identify bottlenecks in choice of hardware in order to make more effective decisions
Topics Include:
  • Functional blocks and tear-down analysis
  • Hardware design considerations
  • Design methodology (ASIC, FPGA, COTS)
  • Memory subsystem and hierarchy, types (SRAM, PSRAM, DRAM, Non-volatile memories)
  • Microprocessors, microcontrollers
  • Inter-IC communications overview (SPI, I2C, Parallel Bus)

Skills Needed: Some familiarity with the hardware components of a computer system is required.
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