ECE 495C - Digital Systems Senior Project

Lecture Hours: 2 Lab Hours: 6 Credits: 4

This is an experiential learning course.

Counts as:

Experimental Course Offered: Fall 2007, Spring 2008

Catalog Description:
A structured approach to the development and integration of embedded microcontroller hardware and software that provides senior-level students with significant design experience applying microcontrollers to a wide range of embedded systems (e.g., instrumentation, process control, telecommunications, intelligent devices, etc.). The primary objective is to provide practical experience developing integrated hardware and software for embedded microcontroller systems in an environment that models one which students will most likely encounter in industry.

Supplementary Information:
Nature of Design Experience: through completing the open-ended (semester-long) design project, the written technical reports, and the project summary video presentation, students will: (a) enhance their written and oral technical communication skills, (b) enhance their teamwork skills, enhance their digital system design skills, and (d) enhance their hardware/software integration skills. Course Web Site URL: Course E-mail Address: Note; Class meetings on Wednesdays are two hour "Lab" meetings (in a regular classroom), used for lecture acceleration (at the beginning of the semester), technical communication skills practicum (TCSP) sessions, and for conducting individual progress briefings with each team. All project design, construction, and testing is done on an independent ("Ind") arrange-hour basis in the course lab facility.

Required Text(s): None.

Recommended Text(s):
  1. None.

Learning Outcomes:

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated:
  1. an ability to apply knowledge obtained in earlier coursework and to obtain new knowledge necessary to design and test a microcontroller-based digital system. [a,b,c,e,I,j,k]
  2. an understanding of the engineering design process. [b,c,e,f,h]
  3. an ability to function on a multidisciplinary team. [d,h,j]
  4. an awareness of professional and ethical responsibility. [f,h,j]
  5. an ability to communicate effectively, in both oral and written form. [g]

Lecture Outline:

Week Topics
1 Course and project overview, project proposal guidelines and digital system design consideration and packaging design
2 embedded system interfacing, microcontroller survey, power supply design and passive component selection.
3 Documentation standards, TCSP: project specific success criteria, and patent liability analysis.
4 Printed circuit board design considerations, TCSP: hardware design status and software design considerations.
5 Interactive hardware debugging, TCSP: printed circuit board design status and design for reliability, maintainability, and safety; failure mode and risk analysis.
6 Ethical/social/political/environmental considerations and TCSP: software design status.
7 Design review guidelines and TCSP: safety and reliability analysis status.
8 No lecture meetings - formal design reviews individually scheduled.
9 Individual progress briefings with each team
10 Board assembly and soldering techniques.
11 TCSP: board assembly and testing status.
12 Individual progress briefings with each team.
13 TCSP: system integration status.
14 Individual progress briefings with each team.
15 Final report and presentation guidelines.
16 Final presentations individually scheduled.

Lab Outline:

Designing and testing application software for target microcontroller system hardware.
Integrating system hardware and software along with packaging the final product.
Learning how to use various hardware/software development tools; target microcontrollerassembler, compiler, linker; target microcontroller debug monitor; target microcontroller evaluation board; logic analyzer (timing and state analysis); in-circuit flash programmer.
Due to the open-ended nature of the design project, as well as the variety of design projects that may be chosen, all of the laboratory work will be completed on an "open shop" basis (i.e., laboratory facilities available 24/7 with consultant on duty at scheduled times each week). Lab uses will therefore be on an arrange-hour basis. Examples of lab activities associated with completing the semester-long design project include:
Demonstrating the final product.
Designing and testing target microcontroller system hardware and interface circuitry.
Learning how to use various CAD/CAE tools: schematic capture and PCB layout software.

Engineering Design Content:


Engineering Design Consideration(s):