Course detail

Design of External Adapters and Embedded Systems

FIT-NAVAcad. year: 2018/2019

The themes of lectures deal with problems that must be solved by a designer during the design of components of a peripheral device adapter. Students will become acquainted with the principles of I/O bus system operation and the communication with adapters (communication with memory components, registers, interrupt request generation and its service, DMA request generation and its service). The principles of component design (synthesis) for peripheral operation control will be discussed. The laboratory tutorials will be directed towards the presentation of these principles on a computer structure and on the design of external adapter components and external adapter design in a design system environment.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

  • Students will become acquainted with the principles of digital systems design with complex sequential behavior reflecting the conditions in which the application will operate.
  • They will become acquainted with tools to support designer.
  • They will learn how an implementation will be subdivided between software and hardware components.
  • They will learn how to design controllers of external adapters of basic peripheral devices and independently operating computer systems operating in real environment and communicating with a user or systems on higher level.

  • Student learns to design a master's work solo and as a member of a team.
  • Student learns terminology in Czech and English language.


  • Knowledge of programming in an assembly language and C language, basics of VHDL.
  • Knowledge of electronic circuit principles and computer architectures.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

The texts of lectures in electronic form.
Don Anderson: Universal Serial Bus System Architecture, Addison Wesley, 2001, ISBN 0201309750, 544 pages
Miroslav Šnorek, Karel Richta: Interfacing Peripheral Devices to PC, Grada Publishing, 1996, ISBN 80-7169-146-1, 303 pages, in Czech
Tom Shanley, Don Anderson: PCI System Architecture, Addison Wesley, 1999, ISBN 0201309742, 833 pages
Jonathan Corbet, Alessandro Rubini, Greg Kroah-Hartman: Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition, O'Reilly Media, 2005, ISBN-10: 0596005903, 640 pages
Tom Shanley: PCI-X System Architecture, Addison Wesley, 2000, ISBN 0201726823, 688 pages
Jonathan W. Valvano: Embedded Microcomputer Systems, Real Time Interfacing. Brooks/Cole, 2000, ISBN 0-534-36642-2.
Ravi Budruk, Don Anderson, Tom Shanley, PCI Express System Architecture, Addison Wesley, 2003, ISBN 0321156307, 1056 pages
Ken Arnold: Embedded Controller Hardware Design. LLH Technology Publishing, 2001, ISBN 1-878707-52-3.
Stuart R. Ball: Embedded Microprocessor Systems: Real World Design. Newnes, 2002, ISBN 0-7506-7534-9.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Not applicable.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

  • Lab experiments - 8 points.
  • Evaluated project with the defense - 17 points.
  • Written mid-term exam - 15 points.
  • Final written examination - 60 points.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


To develop knowledge gained in courses from the area of computer systems construction and demonstrate these principles in the field of external adapters design and embedded systems design. To utilize this knowledge in the design and implementation of complex digital systems with comprehensive sequential behavior. Students will be taught how to analyze the conditions in which the equipment under design will operate and on the basis of the analysis how to identify the trade-off between price, reliability and dynamic parameters. In laboratory tutorials students will study the structure and operation principles of external adapters and embedded systems components and their design in design system environment.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme IT-MGR-2 Master's

    branch MBI , any year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory-optional
    branch MGM , any year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, elective
    branch MIS , any year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, elective
    branch MBS , any year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory-optional
    branch MIN , any year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, elective
    branch MMM , any year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, elective
    branch MPV , 2. year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory
    branch MSK , 2. year of study, summer semester, 5 credits, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


  1. Embedded system, design techniques, specification, embedded system requirements
  2. Selection of an appropriate platform, micro-controller. Pros and cons of using micro-controller in various situations.
  3. Hardware and software approach to embedded system functions.
  4. Digital inputs, binary information processing, digital outputs, two-state actuators control, extending digital inputs and outputs. Analog input and output, converters, comparators, control of analog actuators.
  5. Human interaction of embedded system, keyboard, status and general information visualization, LED displays, LCD character-based and graphics displays, screen. Communication inside embedded system with multiple processors, communication with external systems, serial synchronous and asynchronous, parallel, widespread protocols, networks.
  6. Typical software architecture of embedded system. Testing, debugging and diagnostics of embedded systems.
  7. System bus. Construction of system bus adapter, design of address decoder, realization of read and write transaction.
  8. Principles of peripheral operation controlling. Programmable peripheral operations, generation of interrupt, request for DMA and its realization.
  9. PCI and PCI-X bus architecture. Communication protocol, arbitration, interrupt handling and error recovery, Retry and Disconnect protocols.
  10. PCI-Express bus architecture. Device layers, configuration space, transaction routing.
  11. Operation system device driver architecture. Communication between user space and module, communication between module and adapter, models of blocking and non-blocking operations, DMA transfers.
  12. USB bus architecture. Transaction types, error detection and recovery, models of communication with system software.

Laboratory exercise

16 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


  • A minimal embedded computer system with a MCU.
  • Expanding MCU outputs practically.
  • Communication between MCU and a peripheral or a sensor.
  • DC motor control.
  • Design of adapters: Construction of address decoder for PCI devices.
  • Design of adapters: Connection and test of embedded memory blocks.
  • Design of adapters: Module for communication via RS232 protocol.
  • Design of adapters: Data stream processing, construction of finite state machine.


10 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


  • Basic design of a small embedded system or an external adapter architecture.