COSC 4931/5931 Embedded Systems

Course Syllabus: Meetings
Office Hours
Grading Policy
Course Instructor: Dennis Brylow
Email: brylow at mscs dot mu dot edu
Office: Cudahy 380
Mon/Wed/Fri 12:00pm - 12:50am, CU 137
Office Hours
Mon/Wed 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mon 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Fri 11:00am - 12:00pm
MSCS Department Logo


ESA Textbook Cover
Embedded Systems Architecture: A Comprehensive Guide for Engineers and Programmers.
Tammy Noergaard.
Elsevier, 2005.
First edition, ISBN No: 0-7506-7792-9
Readings will be regularly assigned from the textbook.
Lectures will assume that students have already read the assigned chapters.

Course Outcomes

This course will be part lecture and part senior seminar. The focus of the lecture material will be on systems, languages and tools related to embedded systems. The seminar portion of the course will focus on current research publications in the area. Upon completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Read, understand, and present current research papers in the area of embedded systems.
  • Design, implement, and test their own embedded system components for integration into a larger system.
  • Document complexities of hardware/software interaction in their embedded system components in sufficient detail that the work can be understood and replicated by others.
  • Course Policies

    Student grades will be assigned based on evaluation of the following:
  • (20%) Presentation and discussion of current, relevant research papers drawn from the top publication venues in the field;
  • (30%) Quality of embedded system components produced and documented;
  • (10%) Completeness of final written report detailing both the technical aspects of the constructed components and the lessons learned throughout the construction process.
  • (40%) Midterm and Final Exams (20% each) on the textbook content.
  • Schedule

    Week Topics Readings Case Study Assignments
    01 Embedded and Realtime Ch 1
    02 Control and Feedback Ch 2 Control Simulation
    03 Embedded VM issues
    Ch 3 Embedded VoIP System
    04 Embedded Hardware Ch 4
    Garbage Collection
    Helicopter Avionics Getting Started
    05 Embedded Processors Ch 5
    Resource Control
    Helicopter POV System
    06 Embedded Memory Ch 6
    Embedded Security
    Cypress PSoC
    Power Controller
    07 Embedded I/O Ch 7 Memory
    08 Busses Ch 8 Midterm Exam
    09 Device Drivers
    Real-time Scheduling
    Ch 9 Interrupts
    10 Operating Systems Ch 10 Proposal
    11 Middleware Ch 11
    12 Design Ch 12
    13 Testing
    14 Modeling and Analysis
    15 Final Projects
    The instructor reserves the right to adjust this schedule as necessary.


    Projects will vary according to student interest and available resources. Some sample projects could include:
  • New device drivers for the WRT160NL (USB, GPIO, wireless, network switch, etc.) or the Virtual Qemu platform (NE2000 NIC, IDE disk interface, frame buffer device, etc.,) the next generation of Embedded Xinu backend.
  • Real-time scheduling enhancements and lightweight synchronization primitives for Embedded Xinu. Will enhance the suitability of our platform for research and courses on real-time systems.
  • Porting Embedded Xinu to a new embedded platform (Arduino, ARM Cortex etc.)
  • Novel hardware peripheral integration (motors, actuators, sensors, sound equipment) for platforms in the Systems Lab, including MIPS, 68HC12, Z86, Arduino and ARM Stm32 devices.
  • Note: Projects do not have to center on Xinu, but that is the area where we are best-equipped to provide in-depth support.

    [Revised Jan 17 16:09 DWB]