Spring 2008

Instructor: Lou Voerman (voerman@cs.vassar.edu)
Lectures & lab: Tuesday 7 to 10 PM
Office phone: 845-437-7293
Home phone: 845-452-8198
Office: OLB 117
Office hours: Mon. thru Thurs. 10:15 - 11:15 AM



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


Computer Organization (CMPU 224) and permission of the instructor

Text Book

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

Course Requirements

Project (including attendance) 75%
Midterm exam 10%
Final exam 15%

Definition of Academic Integrity

Students must do their own work on exams. Collaboration on the project is required.

Students with Disabilities

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.