ELEC424/COMP424/ELEC553: Mobile & Embedded Systems (Fall 2016)

Lin Zhong, lzhong AT rice.edu; Office: DH3046
Office hours: TR 4:00-5:00pm, or by appointment
Google Calendar

TR 10:50am-12:05pm; location GRB W211


Jie Liao and Kevin Boos

Major Changes from Fall 2014
  • Instead of using the Crazyflie nanoquadrotor, we will use BeagleBone Black for Labs. This change will allow us to more focus on the Computer Engineering challenges, rather than mechanical ones. The use of BeagleBone Black will allow us to take a deep dive into embedded Linux, including kernel and driver design and development.
  • ELEC/COMP424 is designed to bridge the gap between ELEC/COMP425 (Computer Architecture) and ELEC/COMP421 (Operating System). It will cover (1) the architectural supports for programming languages and operating systems and (2) lowest level software, including firmware and device driver.
Major technical topics
  • System-on-a-Chip Architecture
  • Bootstrapping and OS initialization
  • Device driver
  • Support for multi-tasking: interrupt handling and context switching
  • Support for virtual memory: MMU setup
  • Power management
  • Assignment:10%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Labs: 60%
  • In class quiz: 10%
  • Competition: 10%
Late Labs

Late labs will be discounted by 10% per day late (so the maximum score after 48 hours past the deadline is 0.9*0.9*0.9 = 72.9%.

This holds UPTILL the end of the 4th day (i.e. after 96 hours), after which the lab will no longer be accepted and you will receive a 0 for the assignment.

Late labs should be emailed directly to both TAs.

If you have a legitimate excuse preventing you from turning in your lab on time, you must email us at least 3 days before the lab due date and we will try our best to fairly judge whether your excuse actually warranties extra time.


All lab assignments are due at 11:55PM on the due date, unless otherwise specified, and should be submitted via their corresponding assignment in Owlspace.

Questions about the labs should be posted on the forum for all students to benefit and labbies will answer questions there.

Please do not send personal emails regarding lab questions.

Sharing Code

Inter-team discussions about labs are allowed and encouraged. Sharing actual code segments is, however, prohibited. as is copying large segments of code from online sources (except where directed to by the lab).

ADA Syllabus Statement

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities will need to also contact Disability Support Services in the Allen Center.

Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact me after class or during office hours. Additionally, students will need to contact Disability Support Services in the Allen Center.

If you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this class, please contact me to discuss your needs. Additionally, you will need to register with the Disability Support Services Office in the Allen Center