CMPU-325:Microcomputers/Digital Electronics

Vassar College, Spring 2010


Course Wiki:
Professor: Barry Jones
Office: OLB 118
Office Hours: Mon 12:00-1:00; Wed 1:00-3:00 (and by appointment)
Phone: 437 5986
Email: (the best way to reach me)
Class Meeting Time: Mon: 3:10-6:10 (OLB-105)

Required Text: The Z80 Microcomputer Handbook by William Barden, Jr. Howard W. Sams & Co., 1978 (out of print)

Other reference material provided as needed

This course is a comprehensive treatment of microcomputer system design and digital electronics. Students will participate in the design and construction of a small microcomputer system. Topics will include microprocessor architecture, TTL and CMOS digital logic, memory and I/O interfacing techniques, interrupts and serial I/O.

  • Introduction
  • Microcomputer history
  • Z80 architecture
  • Z80 interfacing signals and timing
  • System interfacing
  • Address decoding
  • Z80 instruction set
  • ROM
  • RAM
  • 8255 Programmable Peripheral Interface
  • LCD display
  • Serial interface (RS232)
  • Other microcomputers / Advanced topics

All assignments are due at the start of class on the specified due dates. Late work will be accepted, with a 10% penalty, and only up until the start of the next class.

Project (including attendance) 70%

Midterm exam 15%

Final exam 15%

Students are expected to attend all lectures, with exceptions permitted in case of illness and family emergencies. Lectures will begin on time. Students are expected to arrive on time. Students’ cell phones should be turned off during lectures.

Academic accommodations are available for students with disabilities who are registered with the Office of Disability and Support Services. Students in need of disability accommodations should schedule an appointment with me early in the semester to discuss any accommodations for this course which have been approved by the Office of Disability and Support Services, as indicated in your DSS accommodation letter.