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


RMIT University Vietnam


172H School of Engineering


Viet1 2018,
Viet3 2019,
Viet3 2020,
Viet2 2021,
Viet3 2021

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

This course assumes that you:

  • 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, real devices interfaced to a PC and with embedded systems, you will develop competence in microprocessor based digital system design and interfacing.

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 to investigate will include: 

  • Introduction to Digital Hardware Technologies.
  • Introduction to Computer Systems & Architectures.
  • Introduction to Assembler-level software 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:

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.

2.1 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. 

3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

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

  1. Interpret a microcontroller instruction set and evaluate how the instructions would be physically performed based on an 8-bit processor. 
  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 computer 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. 

  • Weekly pre-recorded lecture videos to support laboratories and tutorials
  • Weekly tutorials (weeks 2 to 11)
  • Weekly laboratories (weeks 2 to 11)

This course relies on regular work at home in your own time. 

It will be very useful to study on your own computer, though laboratories will be open for those without a computer at home. 

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources include: 

  • Lecture notes provided online with corresponding pre-recorded lectures.
  • Prescribed textbook: See the course guide available at the start of classes. This course will use a variety of references available from the RMIT Library. 
  • Recommended reference books: See the course guide available at the start of classes. 
  • You will be expected to have access to suitable computing equipment for system development. Required software (Atmel 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.
  • Tutorial Quizzes.
  • Group Project.
  • Final Timed Assessment. 

Assessment Tasks

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

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

The quizzes will be conducted during the in-class tutorial sessions and will typically run for 50 minutes.

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-hour test that may be taken any time within a 24-hour period.