ECE 4534 Embedded System Design | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Team-based major design experience. Design and implement embedded computer systems that incorporate appropriate engineering standards to solve complex problems that include multiple realistic constraints. Writing design documents and making oral presentations as part of the design process. C- or better required in prerequisites.(3H, 3L, 4C) Pre: 2014 (C-), 2534 (C-), 3574 (C-)

Why take this course?

Embedded computing systems now far outnumber any other type of computing system. The ability to design, implement, and analyze embedded computing systems is in demand in industry as well as academia. This course provides a culminating design experience in which students apply knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work. Within the context of a practical design experience, the course includes further development and application of professional engineering skills. This integrative, practical experience prepares students to succeed as a professional computer engineer as well as for pursuit of an advanced engineering degree.

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Design, implement, and debug multi-threaded software that operates under real-time constraints on embedded computer systems.
  • 2. Formulate a complex, embedded computer system design problem that includes multiple constraints.
  • 3. Design a solution for an embedded computer system problem, where that solution operates according to well-known engineering standards.
  • 4. Implement a design solution in hardware and software, where that implementation is shown to satisfy the problem constraints.
  • 5. Operate effectively as part of an engineering design team.
  • 6. Describe and analyze a design in written reports and oral presentations.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

1. Complex computer system design problems under constraints 10%
2. Team-based design and implementation processes for computer systems 10%
3. System design and implementation for complex embedded system problems, including integration of engineering standards 15%
4. Testing and debugging at the computer system level 5%
5. Software environments for embedded computer systems 10%
6. Network communication in embedded computer systems 10%
7. Multi-threaded, event-driven software in a real-time computer system 15%
8. Test and evaluation of embedded computer systems 10%
9. Written design documents and reports for multiple target audiences 10%
10. Oral presentation of computer system design and analysis for multiple target audiences 5%