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Computer Laboratory

Code: EIC0020     Acronym: LCOM

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Computer Arquitechture

Instance: 2014/2015 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Web Page: http://web.fe.up.pt/~pfs/aulas/lcom2014/
Responsible unit: Department of Informatics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIEIC 175 Syllabus since 2009/2010 2 - 6 70 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Pedro Alexandre Guimarães Lobo Ferreira Souto
Mais informaçõesLast updated on 2014-08-18.

Fields changed: Objectives, Resultados de aprendizagem e competências, Pre_requisitos, Métodos de ensino e atividades de aprendizagem, Fórmula de cálculo da classificação final, Provas e trabalhos especiais, Componentes de Avaliação e Ocupação, Melhoria de classificação, Obtenção de frequência, Programa, Observações, URL da página, Avaliação especial

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


1- Introduction

I/O devices are an integral part of a computer, without which the usefulness or the ease of use of a computer would be significantly lower. The importance of I/O devices in computer-based systems has increased since the first generation of computers, and it continues up to these days with the ever increasing use of computers in embedded systems. However, programming of I/O devices using their programatic interface requires specific knowledge and techniques.

2- Specific Objectives

This course unit aims to endow students with the knowledge and the skills required to:

    • use the hardware interface of the most common computer peripherals;
    • develop low level software and embedded software;
    • program in the C language (using C++ as a reference);
    • use various tools of software development.

3- Percentual Distribution

Scientific: 10%
Tecnological: 90%

Learning outcomes and competences

Students, who successfully complete this course unit, should understand the main models of hardware access and be able to apply them in the development of relatively large programs.


Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Students should have the knowledge and have acquired the competencies expected from approval in the courses:

    • EIC0012: Programação
    • EIC0016: Microprocessadores e computadores pessoais


Input/Output peripherals and their operation. Direct mapping in a process address space. Access to peripherals in polled mode and by interrupt. Processor interrupts in the IA-32 architecture and the interrupt controller, interrupt service routines in Assembly and in C.

Study of some typical personal computer peripherals, such as keyboard, mouse, graphics card, real time clock, timer, loudspeaker and serial port.

Programming in the C programming language: main differences with respect to C++ language; structured programming in C. Memory layout of a process. Function calls: mechanisms, parameter passing, storage of local variables and return values. Event based programming. Combined programming in C and the IA-32 processor family assembly.

Creation and use of libraries. Static linking of object code.

 Use of software development tools: gcc, make, gdb, ar, prof, diff, patch and SVN.

Mandatory literature

Muhammad Ali Mazidi, Janice Gillispie Mazidi; The 80X86 IBM PC and compatible computers. ISBN: 0-13-121975-8

Complementary Bibliography

Daniel W. Lewis; Fundamentals of embedded software. ISBN: 0-13-061589-7

Teaching methods and learning activities

A "learn by doing" approach will be used. In the first 9 lab classes, the students will carry out in groups lab assignments about some of the most common PC peripherals.  In the remaining weeks, students will develop a small integration project using several peripherals and the techniques previously studied.

Lecture classes will be used to present the concepts, taking into account their application in the lab assignments, and to discuss the details of the lab assignments and the projects.


Minix 3
SVN: Sistema de controlo de versões
VMware Player
GNU C compiler and binary utilities
Redmine: Aplicação Web para gestão de projetos


Physical sciences > Computer science > Computer architecture
Physical sciences > Computer science > Programming

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho laboratorial 90,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 22,00
Frequência das aulas 70,00
Trabalho laboratorial 70,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

Students have to do and present the final project and they cannot miss more than 25% of the scheduled classes.


Calculation formula of final grade

0,45 * Labs + 0,45 * Project + 0,10 * Class_participation


"Labs" is the average of the grade of 4 labs chosen by the student. For final grades of 19 or 20 "valores", one of the labs "chosen" must be the mouse lab.

Although the lab assignments and the project will be done in groups of 2 students, exceptionally of 1 or 3, members of the same group may have different grades.

An individual lab assignment may take place at the end of the semester, if there is any doubt regarding the students’ grade.

Examinations or Special Assignments

Special exams consist of a project similar to the one developed during the semester, including the presentation of 1) a project proposal and, 2) a project specification. After approval of the latter, the student has a 7 day deadline to develop and present the specified project.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Dirigentes Associativos: The grading rules applied to these students are similar to those applied to other students.

Trabalhadores Estudantes: The grading rules applied to these students are similar to regular students except in two aspects. First, these students must present, in dates and times to agree with the lecturer, the 3 labs to be graded in the lab classes. Second, the weight of the  final project is 50%. The date of presentation/discussion of the different grading elements (including the proposal and the specification of the project) must fall in the corresponding grading period of regular students. In addition, these students must agree with the lecturer a review of their project in the week of 8 to 12 of December. It is the students responsability to get in touch with the instructor at least 7 days in advance for arranging the different dates.


Classification improvement

Students have to do a project and lab assignments in the following year.


In extraordinary situations (such as registration of students who do not know Portuguese), classes can be taught in English.


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