This unit of study aims to introduce you to a range of techniques and methodologies used in embedded system design through the design and implementation of a system-on-a-chip (SOC) project to accomplish an interactive task involving hardware and software aspects.


Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse the constraints and characteristics of embedded systems (K2, K3, K4)
  • Address the hardware/software trade-offs inherent in embedded systems (K2, K3, K4)
  • Interpret the particular requirements of real-time systems (K2, K3, K4)
  • Design a system-on-a-chip (SOC) incorporating both hardware and software components and making use of a rudimentary operating system or kernel (K3, S1, S2, S3, S4, A2, A7)

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 11 weeks 11
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
7.58 12 weeks 91


Type Task Weighting ULO's
ExaminationIndividual 40 - 50% 1,2,3,4 
ProjectGroup 50 - 60% 1,2,3,4 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) An aggregate mark of 50% or more, and(ii) At least 40% in the final examStudents who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirement (ii) will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Overview of embedded systems and their characteristics
  • Embedded system modelling
  • Embedded system hardware and software
  • Real-time constraints
  • Real-time operating systems, software versus hardware concurrency, OS facilities
  • Hardware/software co-design, partitioning and trade-offs
  • Embedded development tools. Analysis and design methods using graphical notations e.g. UML including state diagrams and automated generation of code
  • System-on-a-chip (implementation of a FPGA based project incorporating CPU, peripherals and embedded software)

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.