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Unit 059 – Microprocessor Systems – Level 3 – 10 Credits [Y/600/7114]

Aim and purpose

This unit will introduce learners to the principles of microprocessors and give them experience of using and programming a microprocessor system for the operation or control of peripheral devices.

Unit Introduction

Microprocessors can be found in a wide range of commercial, industrial and domestic applications such as electronic thermometers, weighing scales, remote controls, vending machines and cameras.

This unit will provide an introduction to the terminology (eg bits, bytes, words) and concepts (eg instructions, operation codes and operands, instructions sets, use of mnemonics, coding methods, programs, memories, assemblers, linkers and debuggers, subroutines) related to microprocessor applications.

Learners will be introduced to the ways in which microprocessor-based systems can be applied, including industrial, commercial and domestic applications. Learners will examine a range of input and output devices and consider the implications of connecting devices to a system (interfacing consideration). This will take into account signal types (eg analogue, digital) and look at the finer detail of packaging and cooling, environmental considerations, issues relating to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and safety.

The unit will also develop learners’ understanding of the architecture and operation of microprocessor-based systems and the use of decimal, binary and hexadecimal number systems, instructions and subroutines for programming.

Finally, learners will experience the use of a microprocessor development system to prepare, run and test a typical microprocessor program application.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this unit a learner should:

  1. Know how microprocessor-based systems can be applied
  2. Understand the architecture and operation of a microprocessor system
  3. Understand decimal, binary and hexadecimal number systems, instructions and subroutines
  4. Be able to use a microprocessor development system to prepare and run a program

Recommended Resources


Darbyshire A – Mechanical Engineering (Newnes, 2008) ISBN 9780750686570
Higgins R – Materials for Engineers and Technicians (Newnes, 2006) ISBN 0750668504
Timings R L – Engineering Materials, Volume 1 (Longman, 1998) ISBN 0582319285
Timings R L – Engineering Materials, Volume 2 (Longman, 2000) ISBN 0582404665




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