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COMP61232 Mobile and Energy Efficient Systems syllabus 2017-2018

COMP61232 Mobile and Energy Efficient Systems

Level 6
Credits: 15
Enrolled students: 14

Course leader: Dirk Koch


Additional staff: view all staff

Assessment methods

  • 50% Written exam
  • 50% Coursework
Timetable
SemesterEventLocationDayTimeGroup
Sem 2 P3 Lecture 2.15 Wed 10:00 - 13:00 -
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Mobile Computing
  • Computer Science units for ACSwITM students (semester 2)

Overview

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.

Aims

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.

Syllabus

  • 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.

Teaching methods

Lectures

1 day per week (5 weeks), but no scheduled slot - this is a self-study course.

Examples classes

Seminar sessions will be arranged during each of the 5 weeks to discuss problems, progress, etc.

Laboratories

The practical sessions provide hands-on experience with the ARM Developer Suite.

Feedback methods

Students 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.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam (2 hours)
  • Lectures (10 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Research

Learning outcomes

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A1An understanding of the principles of the ARM and Thumb instruction sets and their practical use.
  • Individual coursework
  • Examination
A1An understanding of the principles of low-power RISC processor design.
  • Examination
A2 B2 C1An insight into the design of memory hierarchies for power-efficient systems, and an ability to apply a systematic methodology to memory hierarchy design.
  • Examination
  • Individual coursework
A2 B3 C1An overview of the system-level issues involved in designing a particular power-sensitive application.
  • Individual coursework
  • Examination
D4An ability to write clear and concise reports on matters relating to low-power design.
  • Individual coursework

Reading list

TitleAuthorISBNPublisherYearCore
ARM system-on-chip architecture (2nd edition)Furber, Steve0201675196Addison Wesley2000

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.