Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Introduction to Smart Systems

Course summary

Course code: COMP1659
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Computing and Information Sys.
Course Coordinator(s): Richard Anthony


Pre and co requisites

COMP 1587 Communication Systems and COMP 1148 Computer Programming


This course introduces smart systems and places these into context with topical application domains. The course will allow the students to build on their programming and computer systems skills to learn to build smart and embedded systems using a variety of approaches. Drawing on the student's previous experience in programming at chip level this course will introduce the student to low level programming with 'embedded C' as well as programming with assembly language, and Object Oriented programming with Java. They will attain a level of competence required for further study of smart and embedded systems.

This course aims to:
Introduce smart systems concepts.
Provide a theoretical and practical basis for embedded systems architectures and techniques.
Familiarise the student with tools and techniques for the implementation and programming of embedded systems.
Enable the student to use modern application programming interfaces in a variety of embedded contexts.
Introduce programming techniques for the building and manipulating of systems employing limited-complexity I/O requirements.
Provide an appreciation of the type, scope and importance of applications to which smart and embedded computing applies.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

Design, implement and appraise programs using assembler, low level and high level programming paradigms.
Configure peripheral controllers and I/O ports to interface to a variety of different sensor and actuator types.
Critically describe and discuss the architecture and features of embedded systems.
Demonstrate an appreciation of the way smart systems and embedded computing impacts on and is changing oursociety.

Indicative content

Programming concepts, introduction to tools and equipment, writing structured code, libraries and header files.
Microprocessors, microcontrollers, memory and storage.
Use of assembler and embedded C on the Atmel platform and Java on the Lego Mindstorms platform.
Special registers, interfacing and controlling peripherals, parallel and serial ports.
Timers, counters, polling, busy loops, interrupts, interrupt handlers, priority assignment, masking.
Analog-to-Digital converters and analog comparators.
Sensor types and their use: temperature, vibration, accelerometer, light activated switches, reed switches, sound activated switches, light intensity sensors, pressure switches.
Power consumption and energy saving operation modes.

Teaching and learning activity

Concepts will be introduced in lectures. Practical work will be through supervised laboratory sessions. Unsupervised, guided self-study will extend the amount of time students spend doing practical laboratory activities.

Greenwich Graduate Attributes promoted by this course:
Have an informed understanding of their discipline or professional practice, and the ability to question its
principles, practices and boundaries.
Think independently, analytically and creatively, and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation.
Are intellectually curious, responsive to challenges, and demonstrate initiative and resilience.
Recognise and create opportunities, and respond effectively to unfamiliar or unprecedented situations or problems.
Generate new ideas and develop creative solutions or syntheses.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Scheduled contact hours:

Note: include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work, fieldwork, external visits, work-based learning where integrated into a structured academic programme:
lectures 24
supervised practical sessions 24
formative assessment
other scheduled time
Guided independent study

Note: include in guided independent study preparation for scheduled sessions, follow up work, wider reading or practice, revision:
Independent coursework 30
Independent laboratory work 36
other non-scheduled time 36
Placements (including work placement and year abroad)
Total hours ('Should be equal to credit x 10') 150


Coursework - 100%
A practical design, programming and implementation task (an open loop control system using an embedded controller and various sensors and actuators).

Pass mark - 40%