Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


The unit introduces the design principles, methodologies and technologies used to design, simulate, validate, and test modern digital systems. Topics covered include: design process abstractions; hardware description language (HDL); methodologies and tools for automated design synthesis; implementation technologies with an emphasis on FPGAs; digital system hardware architectures and programming; information paths, interfacing and communication protocols;

testing and testability.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Automation and Robotics Engineering; Electrical and Electronic Engineering major sequences

Students are able to (1) apply design process abstractions to build digital systems, with a clear understanding of the limitations of such abstractions; (2) use a hardware description language to model digital hardware architectures; (3) model autonomous concurrent processes in a digital system; (4) use computer-aided tools and FPGAs to synthesize digital systems from VHDL; (5) explain how various digital system architectures and building blocks operate, are interfaced and communicate with each other; and (6) explain test and verification strategies.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) laboratories; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Farid Boussaid
Unit rules
ELEC1303 Digital Systems (ID 7984)
and Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
ELEC4406 Digital System Design
Contact hours
Lectures 3 hours per week: Laboratories 16 hours per semester
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.