Microprocessor Organization
Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
Catalog Data: 

ECE 372A -- Microprocessor Organization (4 units)

Description:  This course is an introduction to microcontroller organization, hardware interfacing, and system design. Topics include, but are not limited to, C programming for microcontrollers; memory organization and addressing modes; interrupts; timers; parallel and serial interfacing; analog-to-digital conversion; overview of common peripheral components; event-driven software development, and motor control. In addition to lectures, students will have hands-on lab assignments that provide them with the opportunity to build and utilize the PIC24F platform. Students will also have a course project in which they will propose, design/implement, and present a self-selected project, subject to approval by the instructor.

Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E

Course Fee:  $100

ECE 207 or 220, ECE 274A and ECE 275 (concurrent enrollment in ECE 275 ok)

No textbook required

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the basics of an embedded computer system.
  2. Write and debug C programs for a microcontroller.
  3. Understand memory and memory-mapped addresses in embedded systems.
  4. Interface with hardware components using a microcontroller.
  5. Understand timing and interrupts in embedded systems.
  6. Have knowledge of common hardware communication protocols.
Course Topics: 
  • Introduction to embedded systems
  • Writing basic programs to control an embedded system
  • Basic hardware interfacing with IO ports
  • Timers, interrupts, and hardware resets
  • Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion
  • Interfacing with LCDs
  • Pulse width modulation and controlling a DC motor
  • Hardware communication protocols: UART, I2C, SPI
  • Memory organization
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Two, 75-minute lectures per week
One, 170-minute lab

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

ECE 372A contributes directly to the following specific Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Outcomes of the ECE department:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering (High)
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data (Medium)
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability (Medium)
  • an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams (Low)
  • an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems (Medium)
  • an ability to communicate effectively (Medium)
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (Medium)
Prepared by: 
Dr. Garret Vanhoy
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering