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ENGR 100.250:  Microprocessors and Toys (CSE)


Peter Chen (EECS),

Pauline Khan (TechComm),

Evan Radeen (TechComm)

Winter Term

Student smiling at group members assembling wooden parts

***Page update in progress. Video coming soon***

Course Description:

Microprocessors and computing systems have become pervasive and have enabled the intelligent functioning of cars, chatbots, computers, phones, watches, websites, and countless other systems.  In this course, you will build the hardware and software of a complete computing system, including the microprocessor, operating system-level code, and application program.  You will also exercise your creativity and ingenuity by designing and building your own smart educational toy that uses your own microprocessor.  Along the way, you will learn:

    • The basics of how computing systems work, including number representation, digital logic, computer architecture, assembly-language programming, input/output devices, and digital audio
    • Technical communication integral to any real-world engineering project, such as working on teams, understanding audience and purpose, organizing ideas, structuring presentations, writing memos and reports, and giving presentations

Term Project

Students propose, design, build, and demonstrate their own microprocessor-based educational toy. Each team’s toy runs on a microprocessor built by the team and can use a wide variety of input/output devices through device drivers written by the team.


Build digital circuits on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA); build a working microprocessor on the FPGA; write device drivers for input/output devices.

Drawing of a robot holding sign that says “I love ENGR 100” on whiteboard
Student drilling two pieces of wood together
Black toolbox filled with colorful parts on table in front of classroom