KD6027 - Embedded Systems

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn the architecture, and how to program a high performance microcontroller - ARM M0+ cortex.

Specifically this will include:
- A consideration of the relative merits of a number of commercially available microcontrollers
- A detailed investigation of the ARM cortex series of microcontrollers, including architecture, peripherals and capabilities.
- Using ARM IDE development tools to compose, compile and fault find programs written in a high level programming language ('C').
- Features of the ARM microcontroller that will be considered are:
- Clock generation - internal/external
- GPIO - general purpose input/output
- ADC - analogue to digital converter
- USART, SPI, I2C - serial communications
- Timers
- Interrupt capability

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures will provide you with essential module content supported by weekly workshops throughout the semester.

Initially the workshops enable you to become familiar and be able to use the ARM IDE (Integrated Development Environment). You will use the IDE to compose programs e.g. using the on board ADC (Analogue to Digital converter). The programs can then be complied and downloaded to the freescale ARM M0+ board where the code can be tested on the board by single stepping the code and by using other available debugging features within the IDE. Once familiar with the IDE and the ARM microcontroller, you will be able to tackle the assignment which will be to develop an embedded system incorporating the ARM M0+ micrcontroller to meet a given specification. The specification will involve controlling a 'real world application', and will require software development and aspects of hardware and enclosure development.

You will be required to produce an embedded systems report, containing all aspects of design, software development. You will also need to complete a PowerPoint presentation of your development to staff and give a practical demonstration of your work.

The use of the ARM processor to develop microcontroller systems allows you to be aware of and use the many variations and adaptions that industry employs.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module content is provided by lectures. The workshops enable you to become familiar with the IDE and the Freescale ARM M0+ cortex microcontroller. You will be provided with Freescale ARM M0+ boards in the laboratory which will provide the target system for the programs compiled on the IDE.
The workshops also provide a forum for discussion allowing you to ask questions and to receive feedback on your work from staff.

A number of example programs are provided on the e-LP as well as links to appropriate websites.

Successful completion of the assignment will require you to engage in directed and independent learning activities.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate the application of knowledge in the design of embedded systems with application to real worls problems (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. SM1m, EA1m)
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Apply engineering principles to design and analysis an embedded system to meet a given specification in terms of performance, cost and aesthetics (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. EA1m, EA4m)
3. Build and test an embedded system using IDE software tools and practical test equipment (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. EA3m)
4. Critically analyse the performance of the embedded system (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. EA2m, EA4m)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Work effectively as individual and teamwork for design, development and testing analysis (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. EP11m)

How will I be assessed?

An embedded systems project report is required for the module (100%).

All LOs are addressed through the report.

Feedback provided at organised feedback session, 20 days after submission


EN0565 Programming and Digital Systems (or equivalent)



Module abstract

You will learn how to incorporate an ARM microcontroller into an embedded system. The architecture, capabilities and features of the ARM microcontroller will be studied in depth. Professional industry standard development tools along with videos and materials provided by the ARM corporation, will be used to learn how to program the microcontroller in assembly, and the C programming languages, in order to implement an embedded system to a given specification.

Course info

UCAS Code H602

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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