Programming Digital Systems Fall 2020

This course teaches how computers really work, starting from digital logic. It covers basic CPU design built from combinational and sequential logic, an introduction to programming in assembly, and basic OS design requirements, with an emphasis on embedded system design. We use the Nios II assembly language on DE10-lite boards. Topics covered include register logic, number representations, basic pipeline processing, caches, assembly, calling conventions, memory layout, memory-mapped I/O, interrupts, and OS design. See the schedule for details.

Professor Eric Wustrow
Office hours: Monday 9:00–10:00am, Wednesday 1:00–2:00pm, or by appointment
Teaching Assistant Elena Murray
Office hours: Tuesday 1:00–2:00pm, Thursday 3:00–4:00pm
Prerequisites ECEN 1310 C Programming for EE/CE (or equivalent)
ECEN 2350 Digital Logic
Lectures Mon./Wed./Fri. 8:00–8:50am, online (Zoom link sent via email)
Communication We'll use Piazza for general discussion and questions about course material.
For administrative issues, email to contact the course staff.
Assignments will be distributed here and collected via Moodle.
Reference Books No textbook is required, but if you would like additional references, we recommend:
Marilyn Wolf, "Computers as Components", 3rd Edition, 2012, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, ISBN-978-0-12-388436-7
Noam Nisan, Shimon Schocken, "The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles", ISBN 978-0262640688
Resources Online Dissassembler
DE10-Lite emulator


We'll calculate your course grade based on these components:
Homework 20% Five Homeworks, completed on your own in Moodle
Programming Projects 25% Four programming projects, completed on your own, typically using the DE10-Lite board.
In-class exams 25% Two during-class (50-minute, open-note) exams (see schedule).
Class Participation 5% Attendance, alertness, questions, pariticipation in class, office hours, or Piazza
Final Exam 25% One exam covering all material from the course

University Policies Warning

It is your responsibility to act in accordance with the Honor Code, and ensure that the work you submit is your own. You may work with other students to understand material and concepts, but the work that you turn in must be entirely your own. Failure to do so will result in failing the course. If in doubt, please ask the course staff for guidance.