Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

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

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
  • You are a student in Australia who is impacted by state or regional border closures.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

ELEC4406 Digital System Design

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled
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; memories, digital system hardware architectures and programming; information paths, interfacing and communication protocols; low-power and high-speed digital design techniques; clocking and timing issues; design for testability, fault tolerant design and system reliability, design verification and testing.
Students are able to (1) apply design process abstractions to build and analyse complex digital systems, with a clear understanding of the limitations of such abstractions; (2) model digital hardware architectures at different levels of abstractions using VHDL as hardware description language; (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) apply 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.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Farid Boussaid
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Professional Engineering (Electrical and Electronic Engineering specialisation, Mechanical Engineering specialisation or Software Engineering specialisation) or the Master of Information Technology and ENSC3020 Introduction to Digital Embedded Systems; for pre-2017 courses: ENSC3017 Circuits and Electronics
Contact hours
48 hours (lectures 36 hours: practical classes: 12 hours: laboratories 12 hours)
  • 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.