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ECE 320 Course Overview

Module by: Douglas L. Jones, Swaroop Appadwedula, Matthew Berry, Mark Haun, Dima Moussa, Daniel Sachs. E-mail the authors

Summary: This module provides an overview of ECE 320, including instructor contact information, required materials, calendar of assignments, grading policies, and lab access.


The intent of this course is to familiarize students with the fundamentals of operating and analyzing real-time digital signal processing (DSP) systems including the theory required, the hardware used to sample and process the signals, and the software environment used to control the system. The theory is primarily those DSP concepts covered in ECE 310 including sampling, convolution, filtering, filter-design, modulation, and multirate processing (interpolation and decimation). The DSP hardware consists of an analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters and a TI TMS320C549 DSP to perform the processing.




Teaching Assistants


  • Lecture: 165 Everitt Lab; Mon 2:00-3:00
  • Lab: 251 Everitt Lab; Mon, Fri 3:00-5:00 and Tue, Wed, Thurs 2:00-4:00; phone 244-1360

Web page


The Connexions version of the course material (what you are viewing now) will always be up to date...the same may not be true for the course material found at the above URL.


Texas Instruments TMS320C54x DSP Reference Set, Volume 1: CPU and Peripherals, Volume 2: Mnemonic Instruction Set, and Volume 4: Applications Guide are essential references. These documents are available in PDF format on the course web page in the "handouts" section and are also available in hardcopy in the lab. It is not necessary to purchase any texts for this course, and we ask that you do not print the manuals on the lab printer.

Office hours

Office hours will begin on Thursday, September 4. The TA's office hours schedule is as follows:

Table 1
Day of the Week TA Time
Monday Frutiger 6-7 PM
Tuesday Morrison 8-9 PM
Wednesday Butala 4-5 PM
Thursday Frutiger 6-7 PM
Friday Zhang 2-3 PM

All office hours, with the exception of Frutiger's Thursday office hour, will be held in the ECE 320 lab (251 EL).


Frutiger's Thursday office hour will address questions of a theoretical nature only and will be held at the Green Street Coffee House.


The first half of the course consists of semi-self-paced labs in which you will learn the TI TMS320C549 DSP's architecture, assembly language, and compilers. For the second half of the semester, you will conceive and complete a real-time DSP-related project. Note in the schedule below that a "lab week" starts on a Tuesday and ends on the following Monday.

Table 2
Dates Lecture Lab Requirements
Aug. 27 - Sep. 3 Introduction Lab 0: Lab Orientation  
Sep. 4 - 10 TI Assembly Language Lab 1: FIR Filtering Prelab 1
Sep. 11 - 17 FIR / IIR Filters Lab 2: IIR Filtering Lab 1 quiz, Prelab 2
Sep. 18 - 24 Compilers Lab 3: Multirate Filtering Lab 2 quiz, Prelab 3
Sep. 25 - Oct. 1 FFTs Lab 4: Spectrum Analyzer Lab 3 quiz, Prelab 4
Oct. 2 - 8 Digital Communications Lab 5: Digital Communications Lab 4 quiz
Oct. 9 - 15 Special Topics continue Lab 5 Prelab 5, Project abstract
Oct. 16 - 22 Special Topics Project Lab 1 Lab 5 quiz, Project proposal
Oct. 23 - 29 Special Topics Project Lab 2 Project quiz 1
Oct. 30 - Nov. 5 Special Topics Project Topic Feedback Project quiz 2
Nov. 6 - 12 Special Topics Design Review Presentations Design review slides
Nov. 13 - 19 Special Topics Project Pass design review
Nov. 20 - Dec. 3 Special Topics Project  
Dec. 4 - 10 Special Topics Project  
Dec. 11-12     Project demonstrations
Dec. 14     Project reports


The structured laboratory segment will count for 50% of the total grade, based on completion of, and oral examination over, the weekly exercises with each student quizzed individually. Labs are worth 10 points, usually with 1 point for prelab completion, 4 points for working code, and the remaining 5 points for quiz performance. We emphasize that grading in this class is based heavily on your demonstration of course material, rather than exams or submitted assembly code.

The project will count for 50% of the total grade, with 20% of the total grade dependent on technical work on and oral demonstration of the project, and 10% of the grade dependent on the completeness and quality of the design review, 10% for the final report and 5% each on project labs.

It is expected that each student will attend and participate in scheduled class and laboratory meetings and report on progress, or will make prior other arrangements with the instructor or teaching assistants. The final grade may be penalized if this does not occur.


All graded assignments, including prelab exercises, DSP code, and final project materials, must be submitted to receive a grade in the course. All assignments other than the final report and presentation are due at the start of your scheduled laboratory meeting. You must have your code complete before the class begins on the day the lab will be quizzed. We reserve the right to consider code late if it is not complete before the start of the lab session in which it is due. A late penalty of 50% will be assessed for assignments less than a week late, and no credit will be given for assignments more than one week late. In addition to these policies, the final project abstract and project proposal must be submitted and approved before project labs or project work are accepted for grading. Similarly, the design review must be passed before demonstration, report submission, or grading of the final project is allowed.


All lab quizzes must be taken during the lab on the day the lab is due. You must take the quiz during your assigned laboratory period even if your lab assignment is not complete. Any quiz not taken during its assigned laboratory period will be assigned a zero grade unless other arrangements are made in advance with your section's teaching assistants or Professor Bressler. Exceptions to this policy will be granted only for excuses recognized by the College of Engineering.


One handwritten study sheet is allowed per quiz. Feel free to include any information you feel would be useful.

Lab Use

We will meet in the lab for two hours during the week at the assigned times. Because completion of your lab assignments will probably require additional lab time outside of the scheduled hours, you will be able to access the lab at any time during the semester using a keycard. Those students who currently have keycards should already have their cards activated for the DSP lab. If you are registered for the class and do not have a keycard, please request one in room 153 EL.

Basic rules of courtesy must be followed when in the lab. Please do not remove any lab equipment, books or manuals from the lab at any time. Do not bring food or drink into the lab. If you would like to listen to music as you work, please use headphones.

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