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EEE3027 : Integrated Circuit Design and Embedded System

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rishad Shafik
  • Lecturer: Professor Alex Yakovlev
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


1. Integrated circuits design methods using VHDL/Verilog and design automation tools

2. Low-power integrated circuits design for modern applications such as machine learning or signal processing

3. Embedded systems architectures and concurrent behaviour in embedded systems

4. Hardware/software design and modelling of embedded computing systems.

Outline Of Syllabus

Section 1 : Integrated Circuits Design

Design review of combinational and sequential circuit designs. ASIC and FPGA based digital systems designs. Digital systems design and synthesis: register-transfer level design, system-level design. All aspects will be based on VHDL or Verilog based design automation tools.

Section 2 : Methods of IC Design

Introduction to analogue and mixed signal IC design; Low-power digital IC design and synthesis methods. Considerations for high speed systems, metastability and clock distribution. Introduction to Design for Test and Testbench design methods. All aspects will be based on VHDL or Verilog based design automation tools.

Section 3 : Introduction to Embedded Systems and Processes

Definitions, design metrics and marketing issues of embedded computing systems. Real-time behaviour and concurrency modelling, FSM, Petri nets, Reachability Graphs. Software implementation of FSM. Concurrent processes and data communication between them. Concurrent threads, data communication between threads, critical sections, properties. Practicals designed using C/C++ mostly.

Section 4: Embedded Systems Architectures and Applications

Asynchronous Communication Mechanisms, properties, taxonomy, modelling, implementation. Real-Time scheduling and schedulers. Optimality theorems. Design of a simple Timeline scheduler. Programming with short periodic tasks. Synchronisation problem in interfacing the real-time systems to the environment. Embedded systems in the IoT domain.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00IC Design Theory
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion123:0023:00IC Design Project (only Summative Project)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Revision for final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Embedded Systems Theory
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00Preparatory lectures for IC Design and Embedded Systems Assessments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Embedded Systems Project
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical102:0020:00IC Design using Computing Lab
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical102:0020:00Embedded Systems Practical
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study82:0016:00IC Design Practical
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Underlying theory and its application in practice is taught in the lectures. This is, however a predominantly practical subject (e.g. IC design using design automation tools and languages or Embedded Systems software projects) and the substantial laboratory-based component reflects this. The latter requires a considerable amount of quiet reflection and preparation, time for which is allocated under independent study.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1802A5050% of the exam will be from Embedded Systems and 50% content will be from IC Design theory
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M25IC Design with design, synthesis and energy/performance charcacterisation.
Computer assessment1M25Embedded systems coding project with real-time scheduling
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This is a practical engineering-driven discipline which combines the real-time embedded systems specific and IC design with general knowledge of hardware and software programming and co-design. Therefore, the module combines the theory taught in lectures with applied study carried out as computer practicals and private self-directed learning. The essential design skills, which include analysis, synthesis, implementation and individual project management are exercised in practicals. Support from a qualified demonstrator staff is an important aspect of skill transfer. All levels of Bloom’s taxonomy are included.

Reading Lists