Microprocessor Organization
Fall 2012 and Spring 2013
Required for ECE
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 you 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.

Special course fee required:  $36.

Usually offered:  Fall, Spring.

ECE 175, ECE 274A, and ECE 207 or ECE 220

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: 

Course meets twice weekly for 75 minute lectures
Four structured labs
One final project
One Midterm Exam and one Final Exam

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

a)  an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (High)
b)  an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data (Medium)
c)  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)
d)  an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams (Low)
e)  an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (Medium)
g)  an ability to communicate effectively (Medium)
i)   a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (Medium)

Prepared by: 
Dr. Roman Lysecky
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering