Scuola Superiore S. Anna

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Embedded Systems - Model-Based Design

Course Description

This course covers the main stages in the development of embedded systems, with emphasis on model-based development and formal methods for the analysis of system properties. We review problems and approaches related to all the stages of development including requirements analysis, system-level design, component oriented modelling, behavioural modelling, verification of properties, architecture selection and design, code generation and testing.

An embedded system is a special-purpose computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated (control) functions, typically with computing (time, reliability ...) constraints derived from interactions with the environment.

Knowledge objectives:

How to deal with all stages in the development process: from requirements to specifications to design (models) to code, testing and verification How to define software models and how to work in a model-based design flow, bridging the gap between models and concurrent implementations in real-time systems Being able to master conventional (hand-coded) development as well as autocode generation techniques

Skill objectives:
  • specification, design, development and testing of embedded applications
  • simulation and verification techniques
  • manual coding and automatic code generation tools

The teaching method consists of lectures and practical exercises in the laboratory with embedded boards used in simple control applications and for the realization of simple devices


Students needs to have a priori knowledge of programming and the C language. Additional knowledge of computer architectures, formal methods, compilers and digital electronics is a plus, but is not needed.

Lessons - Handouts
Laboratory - Setup
Laboratory - Stages
Project work


The exam consists of four (five in some cases) parts
  • The discussion of the laboratory application cases (typically two)
  • The presentation and discussion of the student project work
  • A written test
  • An oral test
Past written exams