Students have studied the concepts of embedded systems design including microcontrollers, the basic embedded systems model, sensors, actuators, and signal conditioning circuits in prerequisite courses. Programs were written in Assembly or C to monitor and control the embedded system. While microcontrollers are an important part of the embedded systems industry, improvements in integrated circuit density have allowed companies to produce advanced and feature-rich programmable devices that engineers can use to custom-design a complete system on a single chip (PSOC). This reduces the size of the designed product because many chips are combined into one. In Embedded Systems 4 laboratories, students extend their skills by learning how to configure and program custom PSOC designs for the Cypress Semiconductor PSOC5 architecture. PSOC5 provides an ARM Cortex M5 processor and a robust suite of mixed-signal peripheral devices. Students also extend their skills by adding fault-tolerant system models to protect the user and system in the event of failure. Finally, students will explore using an off-the-shelf operating system for system control.

As the final course in the MSOE computer engineering embedded systems sequence, CE4920 also plays an important role finishing the formal training in design and test of systems. Lecture topics include lifecycle modeling, system requirements, system specifications, technical standards, design partitioning, reliability, fault-tolerance, testing and system performance evaluation.

This website serves as the official syllabus. Instructors may provide a supplemental syllabus to students. Use the links at the top of the page to learn about:


Engineering students study embedded systems because computers serve as the brain in thousands of products that make daily life easier and more interesting. Most people probably associate the word computer with either a desktop personal computer or a laptop computer. After all, the print and visual media bombard the average citizen with advertisements for these types of computers and the average household owns at least one. But, desktop PCs and laptops represent only a small segment of the computer systems in use today. In fact, computers are vital in products ranging from kitchen toasters to sophisticated military weaponry. These embedded computer systems are everywhere! For example: families often own these embedded systems:

Each of these computers is a complex system of electrical hardware executing software or firmware applications.

You will be the engineers creating similar computers that will continue to change human life during the twenty-first century!