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Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2014/15
01NRGOV
Embedded system design techniques
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Computer Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Macii Alberto ORARIO RICEVIMENTO O2 ING-INF/05 35 25 0 0 4
SSD CFU Activities Area context
ING-INF/05 6 B - Caratterizzanti Ingegneria informatica
Subject fundamentals
The course is taught in English.

Objective of this course is to train students in the design, analysis, and implementation of embedded systems. For this purpose, in this course the main architectural and technological solutions for Embedded Systems design will be described and analyzed, with particular emphasis on multicore systems, emerging technologies memories, wireless sensor networks, hardware-software co-simulations platforms with reference to specific design metrics like temperature, process variability and aging.
Expected learning outcomes
An embedded system is some combination of computer hardware and software, either fixed in capability or programmable, that is specifically designed for a particular function. Industrial machines (e.g., Elevator controls, surveillance systems, robots) automobiles (e.g., ABS braking subsystem, engine control unit of a car), medical equipment (e.g., XRAY, MRI, Ultrasound imaging systems, patient monitors, heart pacers), household appliances (e.g., Microwave ovens, dishwashers, DVD players, security systems, thermostats, cameras, TVs), airplanes (e.g., aircraft autopilot) , vending machines and toys (as well as the more obvious cellular phone and PDA) are among the myriad possible hosts of an embedded system.
Embedded systems are computing components integrated into a larger system with the purpose of managing its resources and monitoring/controlling its functions using special hardware devices. Examples of embedded systems include the ABS braking subsystem, the engine control unit of a car, the automatic pilot of an aircraft, the control system embedded in a nuclear reactor, the computing system controlling the various functions of a cellular phone, and a pacemaker.

In the last years, embedded systems have grown exponentially in several application domains, including, as mentioned above, transportation, medicine, automotive, avionics, consumer electronics, multimedia, domotics, industrial automation, energy, entertainment, and environmental monitoring. According to a study by the European community, today the majority of computer systems are embedded, and this number is expected to grow.

Embedded systems are thus of paramount importance in the todays electronic market and need particular attention during the design phase.

The course will provide students with the following knowledge:

Concept of embedded system.
Integration of basic components (processor, memory, bus, peripherals, sensors, actuators) for building embedded systems fully compliant with specific applications.
Skills in the design of an embedded system.
Main non-idealities of digital systems caused by technology scaling.
Ability in the analysis of the non-idealities sources and skills in the design of solutions for compensating such non-idealities.
Ability in the quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the design solutions.
Main issues related to temperature, aging and process variation in modern embedded systems.
Usage of virtual platforms for the hardware-software co-simulation of an embedded system and evaluation of the controlling software.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge

The course requires the knowledge of C programming (data structures and algorithms), Hardware Description Language (HDL) programming, as well as basic knowledge of calculus, statistics, digital electronics and digital design, computer architecture and operating systems.
Contents
Introduction and motivation [2h]
Implementation of embedded systems [4h]
Single core
Multi core
Reconfigurable
Arm processors [4h]
Embedded buses (AMBA Bus) [6h]
Embedded Memories [6h]
Emerging technologies memories
Multicore architectures [10h]
Sensors and actuators [2h]
Wireless Sensor Networks [8h]
Design metrics [18h]
Temperature;
Process variability;
Aging and reliability;
Delivery modes
Lab classes will be run in parallel with theoretical classes. Labs consist of exercises on the simulation platforms described during the course. Around 5-8 lab sessions are expected.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
There is no official textbook.
Class handouts and additional material (papers, links to websites, software and manuals) will be made available on the course webpage
Assessment and grading criteria
The exam consists of two parts:
The first part consists of a written test including both numerical exercises and open-answer questions. The time allowed for the test is 2 hours. The maximum score is 24 points.
The second part consists of a detailed reporting about the lab sessions. The maximum score for the project is 8 points.

The final score is the sum of the score obtained in the two parts.
Notes

The course is complementary to the "ENERGY OPTIMIZATION FOR EMBEDDED SYSTEMS" course held in parallel to this one, with which it shares the simulation platform used in the lab classes.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2014/15
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