Module Title:Computer Hardware 2
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:6
Module Delivered In 7 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: Combination of lecture and laboratory sessions. Lectures will provide traditional theory. Laboratory sessions will employ formative practical/assessment sheets.
Module Aim: To familiarize the student with computer hardware, assembly language and programmable logic controllers.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Understand the basic operations and structure of a computer system, and its components.
LO2 Have a simple understanding of assembly language code, and be able to develop simple programs
LO3 Understand the basic operation and structure of a programmable microcontroller. and demonstrate practical skills in developing simple circuits and programs for them.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Introduction and Fundamentals
Basic architecture of a generalised computer system - Input devices, output devices, secondary storage devices, CPU, ALU, bus systems, data, address and control bus, transfers between components (involving, and not involving main memory); consequences of changing data and address bus widths; Multiple buses on most systems.
Control unit, ALU, registers, instruction execution cycle.
Primary Memory
RAM and ROM characteristics; Structure and operation.
POST; BIOS routines; ROM bootstrap loader.
The Bootstrap Process
RAM and ROM considerations; Bootstrap process; Future considerations?
Programmable Microcontrollers
Safety in the microcontroller laboratory; What is a microcontroller? - examples; ARDUINO (or equivalent); Sensors, Actuators, Transducers; Host computer; Stand alone operation; Shields;
Microcontroller IDE; Installation; Configuration; Editor; Compiler; Uploading; Debugging; Microcontroller memory types and capacities;
Programming language and environment; Sketches; Program structure; Common library functions; Serial Monitor; Program efficiency; Random numbers;
Circuit basics
Electricity basics; Voltage, Current and Power; Resistors (including colour coding); Ohm's law; Diodes; LEDs; Capacitors; Serial Connections and Parallel connections; Breadboard prototyping; Momentary action switches; Toggle switches; Switch debouncing; Pull down (and pull up) resistors;
More advanced techniques
Pulse Width Modulation; Duty Cycles; Analogue and Digital I/O; Tone generation
More advanced components and issues
Multicolour LEDs; Colour changing LEDs; RGB encoding; Temperature sensors; Data Sheets; Calibration; Potentiometers; Servo Motors, Decoupling Capacitors; Piezo electric speakers (active and passive); Sound; Light sensitive resistors; DC motors; MOSFETs; Diode protection; Secondary power sources; LCD display panels and support libraries; Character generation; Tilt switches; Seven segment display modules; SN74HC595 shift registers;
Assembly Language
Assembly instructions; Multiple source code files; Inputting and outputting numbers; Subroutines; Linker usage; Operating system function calls (software interrupts); passing and returning parameters;
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment25.00%
End of Module Formal Examination25.00%
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Examination Theory examination 1,2,3 25.00 Week 8
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Laboratory work 2,3 50.00 Every Week
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam Theory examination 1,2,3 25.00 End-of-Semester

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Every Week 1.00
Laboratory Every Week 2.00
Estimated Learner Hours Every Week 3.00
Total Hours 6.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
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