Current postgraduate taught students
COMP60042: Low-Power System Design (2007-2008)
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.
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.
A student completing this course unit should have achieved:
1. an understanding of the principles of the ARM and Thumb instruction sets and their practical use. (A)
2. an understanding of the principles of low-power RISC processor design. (A)
3. an insight into the design of memory hierarchies for power-efficient systems, and an ability to apply a systematic methodology to memory hierarchy design. (A and C)
4. an overview of the system-level issues involved in designing a particular power-sensitive application. (B)
5. an ability to write clear and concise reports on matters relating to low-power design. (D)
Assessment of Learning outcomesLearning outcomes (1), (2) and (4) are assessed by examination,
learning outcome (3) by examination and in the laboratory and
learning outcome (5) by the coursework.
Contribution to Programme Learning OutcomesA1, A2, B2, C1, D3
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.
The ARM memory management and memory protection units.
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. Access to the course book is highly desirable: Furber, ARM System-on-Chip Architecture. Addison-Wesley, 2000.
2. Full course material, including the laboratory manual, are supplied on-line.
Core TextTitle: ARM system-on-chip architecture (2nd edition)
Author: Furber, Steve
Publisher: Addison Wesley