ELEC ENG 4105 - Real-Time and Embedded Systems

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This course provides a first Introduction into Real Time systems. Systems that provide time-bound response are prevalent in many industrial applications. This course uses the C as the teaching programming language. Important issues for Real Time systems are explored: synchronisation, communication and scheduling. Concepts are illustrated and reinforced through simulation of a Real Time system. This is a core course for several BE(Hons)(E&E) majors, and an admissible elective in other BE(Hons)(E&E) majors. Assessments include computer laboratory exercises, a quiz and a final examination.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ELEC ENG 4105
    Course Real-Time and Embedded Systems
    Coordinating Unit School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ELEC ENG 2100, ENG 1002 or COMP SCI 1101
    Incompatible ELEC ENG 3105, ELEC ENG 4056
    Assumed Knowledge ELEC ENG 1100
    Assessment Computer Exercises, Quiz, Examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Andrew Allison

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Details of times and location of events are publishe don the University WWW sites:

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    CLO 1 Apply correctly the terminology , and list applications, of real time systems;
    CLO 2 Translate requirements of real-time systems into forms that can be encoded;
    CLO 3 Demonstrate the ability to work within the constraints imposed by the real-time aspects of systems;
    CLO 4 Re-cast practical design problems into real time task models for the purpose of analysis, evaluation or implementation;
    CLO 5 Evaluate the implications of design choices on real time system implementation;
    CLO 6 Explain the purpose and structure of a real time operating system;
    CLO 7 Apply simple real time functions using a real time operating system and a programming language suitable for embedded real-time systems;
    CLO 8 Analyse and schedule real time task sets for a single processor;
    CLO 9 Apply real-time methodology to multiprocessor, and distributed systems;
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    CLO 1-9
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    CLO 2-5, 7-9
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    CLO 8-9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    CLO 6-9
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    not addressed
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    not addressed
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A set of course notes, practice problems and other supporting materials will also be available for downloading from the course web site.

    The teaching language for this course is the C programming language, particularly the variant supported by the GNU C compiler, and the POSIX extensions. Knowledge of The C programming language is assumed for this course. C is used in the practical exercises, and for discussing examples in the lectures. There will be "Zoom" drop-in, or general consulting, sessions to assist with any issues that students may have.

    It would be to your advantage to organize access to an environment that can compile C programs. This could include

    1/ A computer that runs on, or can boot into, LINUX

    2/ A computer with the "bash shell" installed under Windows 10

    3/ a Macintosh machine running macOS.

    Cumputers of this type are available in the CAT suites in the ECMS faculty.

    The lectures from 2019 will be available on-line, via My_Uni an dEcho 360. These will be augmented with other recordings from this year. The lectures will be asynchronous, so the lecture time-slots will not be used to deliver content. instead, the lecture time-slots will be used as drop-in sessions, using "Zoom", where people can discuss issues.

    Tutorials will be primarily in face-to face mode, although an online time-slot is available.

    The times and places for the Tutorials and Computer Exercises are available on the university's WWW site at:


    Your particular time and place will depend on your enrolment. Given the COVID-19 situation, we are keen not to cram tutorials. We want you to stick to the sessions for which you are enrolled.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Reference Books:

    Burns and Wellings, “Real-Time Systems and Programming Languages: Ada, Real-Time Java and C/Real-Time POSIX,” 4th edition, Addison Wesley, 2009

    Laplante and Ovasaka, “Real-Time Systems Design and Analysis: Tools for the Practitioner” (4th Edition)

    Posix Threads (Pthreads) Application Programming Interface-Appendix B, Linux for Embedded and Real-time Applications, Chapter Appendix B, pp.275-286 (available in the Barr-Smith Library)

    Kernighan and Ritchie, “The C Programming Language,” 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 1988

    Tanenbaum "Modern Operating Systems" 2nd ed., 2001

    Blum "Exploring Arduino: Tools and techniques for Engineering Wizardry" Wiley, 2013.
    Online Learning

    This course uses the MyUni web site for:

    • all announcements
    • lectures slides, practice and tutorial questions, practical instructions, and other resources
    • online quizzes
    • communication of marks using the gradebook
    • a discussion board for course-related discussion
    • lecture recordings and key-concept videos
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are three types of classes in this course:

    1/ Computer Exercise
    2/ Lecture
    3/ Tutorial

    These are devovered in the following modes:

    1/ Computer Exercise

    Thes are initially in a Computer Aided Teaching Suite. Exercises have been designed in a way that uses Open-Source sontware, including LINUX and POSIX. This means that work can continue in othe rloactions, on students' personal equipment, or an a CAT suite.

    Assesments are bu live interview or "viva". These can be in the CAT suite, or via Zoom, during a general consulting session.

    2/ Lecture

    The content of lectures will be available on-line, via My_uni and Echo 360.

    The lecture time-slots will be used for general consulting.

    3/ Tutorial

    Tutorils are scheduled. The details are given here:


    Most of the tutorials are physical, in a 'flet floor" teaching room. One session is reserved for remote stidents, using Zoom.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Assesment Activity Quantity Contact Hours Workload hours
    Lectures & revision 30

    1+1 60
    Tutorials 5 1+1 10
    Computer Exercises 4 3 12
    General Consulting 30 1 30
    TOTAL 112

    Note that this does not include private study. Yoou may need to invest more than the bare minimum number of hours.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Learning Activities Summary

    TOPIC 1: Introduction to Real Time Systems (6 lectures, 2 tutorial) Introduction Designing and Modelling Real Time Systems Implementation Alternatives Testing & Reliability Safety and Certification Trends & Future Directions

    TOPIC 2: Synchronisation, Communication & Scheduling (8 lectures, 2 tutorial) VxWorks: A Real-Time Operating System Using VxWorks, POSIX, Semaphores Synchronisation and Priority Inversion Synchronisation & Communication Message Queues Deadlock

    TOPIC 3: Scheduling Real Time Systems (16 lectures, 1 tutorials, 1 computer exercise) Modelling Periodic Tasks Cyclic Executives Round Robin Rate Monotonic Scheduling Scheduling Real Time Systems Rate Monotonic Analysis Deadline Constrained Tasks Advanced Scheduling (6 lectures, 1 tutorial) Dynamic Scheduling Handling Aperiodic Tasks Modelling Aperiodic Tasks Advanced Scheduling Schedulability with Blocking Multiprocessor Systems
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific course requirements for this course.

    A prior exposure to computer programming would be helpful.

    A knowledge of Programmingin the C programming Language in a LINUX environment would be particularly helpful.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Computer exercises number give students a chance to work in small groups with the lecturer, and tutors.

    This is supported, using general consulting session, on Zoom.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment task











    Computer laboratory Exercises 32

    Group work

    Assesssment by viva

    Summmative 3 to 12 no
    Two Quizzws 18 Individual Summative Weeks 7&9 No
    Written Examination 50 Individual Summative Exam period


    minimum of 40%

    TOTAL 100
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no special requirements.

    Access plans will be holoured.

    Alternative assessments are only offered in acccordance with Univerity policies.
    Assessment Detail
    Details of individual assessment tasks will be provided during the semester.
    All details about submissions are published on My-Uni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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