Course Title: Introduction to Embedded Systems

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Embedded Systems

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023


RMIT University Vietnam


172H School of Engineering


Viet1 2018,
Viet3 2019,
Viet3 2020,
Viet2 2021,
Viet3 2021,
Viet2 2022,
Viet3 2022,
Viet2 2023,
Viet3 2023,
Viet1 2024

Course Coordinator: Dr. Glenn Matthews

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2091

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.07.07

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge

  • Have a basic understanding of digital logic systems and physical implementation skills such as those developed in OENG1206 (Digital Fundamentals) or equivalent.
  • Have the ability to develop code using a High-Level Programming Language (HLL) such as C/C++ or Java
  • Have an understanding of general computing systems and a high-level appreciation of the various interfaces
  • Are able to research tasks and find information from a variety of sources such as textbooks and the internet. 

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to Embedded Systems.

Through the use of simulation software and hardware interfaced to a physical embedded system, you will develop competence in microprocessor-based digital system design.

This course lays the foundation for later year Computer Systems Engineering subjects and is an essential prerequisite for Embedded System Design and Implementation (EEET2096). 

Particular topics investigated will include: 

  • Introduction to Digital Hardware Technologies.
  • Introduction to Computer Systems & Architectures.
  • Introduction to Assembler-level firmware for Embedded Systems.
  • Introduction to Interfacing Computer Systems to External Hardware.
  • Use of C/C++ programming language to implement functionality in embedded hardware.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for Bachelor of Engineering plans ending in P23 and specialising in:
Electronic and Computer Systems and Electrical Engineering and associated double degrees:

PLO 1: Demonstrate an in-depth understanding and knowledge of fundamental engineering and scientific theories, principles and concepts and apply advanced technical knowledge in specialist domain of engineering.
PLO 2: Utilise mathematics and engineering fundamentals, software, tools and techniques to design engineering systems for complex engineering challenges.
PLO 4: Apply systematic problem solving, design methods and information and project management to propose and implement creative and sustainable solutions with intellectual independence and cultural sensitivity. 
PLO 5: Communicate respectfully and effectively with diverse audiences, employing a range of communication methods, practising professional and ethical conduct.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for all other Bachelor of Engineering plans specialising in:
Advanced Manufacturing & Mechatronic; Electronic and Computer Systems and Electrical Engineering and associated double degrees:

1 Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
2 Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes. 
3 Professional and Personal Attributes
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

For more information on the program learning outcomes for your program, please see the program guide.

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Interpret a microcontroller instruction set and evaluate how the instructions are physically performed based on an 8-bit microcontroller. 
  2. Design, test and critically evaluate embedded systems solutions to real-world problems using digital components (sequential and combinatorial).
  3. Recognize the key features of embedded systems in terms of computing hardware and be able to discuss their functions. You will be aware of the key factors affecting computing hardware evolution.
  4. Develop software systems for embedded devices using both the assembler and C/C++ programming languages.
  5. Design, test and critically evaluate embedded solutions to real world situations using (embedded) computer systems interfaced to digital hardware.

Overview of Learning Activities

Student Learning occurs through the following experiences and evaluation processes:

  • Comprehensive review of recorded lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained. The lectures will contain demonstrations and examples to reinforce key concepts and processes;
  • Completion of lectorial questions and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
  • Completion of written laboratory reports consisting of firmware and other embedded design problems requiring an integrated understanding of the course topics;
  • Private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and / or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation (where possible).

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through RMIT University’s online systems.

Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

You will be expected to have access to suitable computing equipment for embedded system development. Required software (Microchip Studio - Microsoft Windows-based) is freely available. 

Customised hardware will be made available during laboratory sessions only. 

Overview of Assessment

The following will be used to assess competency and learning: 

  • Laboratory Tasks
  • Lectorial Quizzes
  • Group Project
  • Final Timed Assessment

You will be required to submit formal individual reports for each laboratory task. Feedback will be provided in the submitted report. Furthermore, during the laboratory sessions the tutor will provide further insight into your design and offer suggestions on how it could potentially be improved or expanded.

All assessment tasks will also assess your ability to critically analyse results and provide arguments to support design decisions.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Laboratory Tasks
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, & 4

Assessment Task 2: Lectorial Quizzes
Weighting 15% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, & 4

The lectorial tests will be conducted in class and will be 50 minutes in duration.

Assessment Task 3: Group Project
Weighting 25% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 3 & 4

Assessment Task 4: Final Timed Assessment
Weighting 30% 
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, 4, & 5

The final timed-assessment will be a 2.5-hour design problem that may be taken with a 24-hour period.