Introduction to Microcomputers

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5 Credits

CPEN 211

Boolean algebra; combinational and sequential circuits; organization and operation of microcomputers, memory addressing modes, representation of information, instruction sets, machine and assembly language programming, systems programs, I/O structures, I/O interfacing and I/O programming, introduction to digital system design using microcomputers. [4-2-2*]

Course Overview

This course is a combination of two previous courses -  EECE 256 and EECE 259

There will be 12 lab experiments to complete during the term, 6 on Digital Systems plus 6 on Microcomputers, plus possibly some homework assignments. These labs can be done mostly on your home PC using the Altera DE2 board mentioned above and various software packages that you will download. Bring your completed work along to the scheduled Lab session and demonstrate it working and it will be graded by the TAs on the quality of your solution plus your confidence and competence in demonstrating your knowledge of the solution.

APSC 160 Introduction to Computation in Engineering Design

Course Materials

All students must purchase a Digital Logic Board manufactured by Altera ( as part of their University Program. Altera manufacture state-of-the art Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and are a world leader in this field. They also provide free of charge their excellent Quartus II software for programming FPGAs.

DE2 Board

These boards can be purchased from the ground floor Electrical and Computer Engineering Stores in Macleod Building. Near the Elevators in Kaiser Building.

If this seems a lot, bear in mind this a highly powerful state-of-art device which can be used in many projects in later courses. It is sophisticated enough to be programmed with the 'core' of many powerful computers, included Motorola's 8bit M6811 and 32 bit 68000 as well as Intels 8 bit 8051 which we shall be using in the lab and of course  Altera's own NIOS II 32-bit computer.. The board has the following  features:

  • Altera Cyclone II FPGA
  • LCD Display (2 Row x 16 char)
  • 8Mbyte Synchronous DRAM
  • 4Mbyte Flash Memory
  • 512Kbyte Static RAM
  • SD Card Socket
  • 4 Push-button switches
  • 18 DPDT switches
  • 8 Green User LEDs
  • 18 Red User LEDs
  • 8 Seven-segment LED displays
  • 50MHz oscillator ,27MHz oscillator and external clock sources
  • 24-bit CD-Quality Audio CODEC with line-in, line-out, and microphone-in jacks
  • VGA Port
  • RS-232 Serial Port
  • Ethernet Port
  • USB Port
  • TV Decoder
  • PS/2 mouse/keyboard connector
  • Two 40-pin Expansion Headers



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