COMP61232 Mobile Systems syllabus 2013-2014
This course covers the design of low-power embedded systems based around the ARM 32-bit microprocessor core. It will be taught primarily through self-study on-line material, supported by seminars and practical exercises.
The course does not assume previous experience in logic design, but is concerned with the hardware and low-level software of mobile systems, so some interest in microprocessor architecture and System-on-Chip developments is expected.
Computing is becoming increasingly mobile, both in recognisable forms such as lap-top computers and in forms where the computing function is concealed such as digital mobile telephones. Mobile computing increases significantly the importance of minimising the power consumed by the system as excessive consumption directly compromises battery life. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the practical aspects of engineering high-performance computer systems where power consumption is a major consideration at every stage of the design. The course is heavily based around the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor, a world-leading processor for power-sensitive applications, and covers many aspects of designing power-efficient systems around ARM cores.
- Basics of processor design.
- Processor design trade-offs.
- The ARM and Thumb instruction sets in outline.
- The ARM instruction set in detail.
- Exceptions and special instructions.
- The Thumb instruction set in detail.
- ARM integer cores.
- Memory hierarchy.
- The ARM memory management and memory protection units.
- ARM CPUs.
- System development.
- On-chip buses.
- On-chip debug.
Special Resources Needed to complete the module
The ARM CBT (computer-based training package) contains the basic course material - this is available on-line.
Access to the ARM Developer Suite (ADS) is required for the practicals and the post-course work. This runs on Windows PCs and is available on School machines. We can provide remote access to suitable School machines. Alternatively, a (limited-time) demo version may be available for part-time students wishing to take the course.
1 day per week (5 weeks), but no scheduled slot - this is a self-study course.
Seminar sessions will be arranged during each of the 5 weeks to discuss problems, progress, etc.
The practical sessions provide hands-on experience with the ARM Developer Suite.
Feedback methodsStudents are encouraged to ask questions throughout taught sessions and are given instant answers wherever possible. The teaching staff are available throughout the laboratory sessions for discussions and advice on both laboratory and topic issues.
Feedback on coursework is given as soon as possible after the work is handed in. This is provided via feedback associated with the Moodle assignment and grade system.
- Assessment written exam (2 hours)
- Lectures (10 hours)
- Analytical skills
- Problem solving
|Programme outcome||Unit learning outcomes||Assessment|
|A1||An understanding of the principles of the ARM and Thumb instruction sets and their practical use.|
|A1||An understanding of the principles of low-power RISC processor design.|
|A2 B2 C1||An insight into the design of memory hierarchies for power-efficient systems, and an ability to apply a systematic methodology to memory hierarchy design.|
|A2 B3 C1||An overview of the system-level issues involved in designing a particular power-sensitive application.|
|D4||An ability to write clear and concise reports on matters relating to low-power design.|
|ARM system-on-chip architecture (2nd edition)||Furber, Steve||0201675196||Addison Wesley||2000||✔|
Course unit materials
Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.