Engineering and design

Digital Systems and Microprocessor Design

Module code: H7068
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Laboratory
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

This module introduces students to the following topics:

  • digital basics and combinational logic design
  • Boolean algebra
  • design of combinational circuits
  • standard combinational components
  • implementation technologies
  • introduction to VHDL
  • basic language elements
  • combinational & sequential coding
  • levels of abstraction
  • simulation
  • design flow to target device
  • sequential logic
  • bistable
  • latches & flip-flops
  • Finite State Machines (FSM) models, State diagrams
  • analysis and synthesis of sequential circuits
  • standard sequential components
  • Register Transfer-Level design
  • datapaths
  • control units
  • microprocessor systems
  • computer arithmetic
  • central processing unit, ALU, memory, I/O
  • architecture, busses
  • instruction set
  • assembly language programming

In addition, laboratory work will involve computer-aided design of digital systems using elements learnt in lectures. Project includes design entry in hardware description language (VHDL) for simulation and synthesis. Designs are then realised using a target FPGA development hardware allowing circuit testing and verification.

Module learning outcomes

  • Have knowledge of combinational and sequential design concepts and their design application methods.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply combinational and sequential concepts through the use of design and VHDL coding, outside of the context in which they were first studied.
  • Have critical understanding of the digital processes in low-complexity microprocessor systems.
  • Demonstrate practical skills in the use of a modern suite of EDK software and target hardware.