Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-747SV: Wireless Device Architecture




Growth of the Internet of Things depends on semiconductor devices, "systems-on-chip (SoC)," with significant computational, communications and sensing capabilities. Integration of entire systems on one or a very small number of dies has made it possible to deploy hundreds of billions of end-points that will link the cyber world with the physical world. At this scale, a key design requirement is that such devices can be handled at most once during their lifetime. Batteries should be life-long, and reprogramming should be over-the-air. How then should such devices be architected?

We begin by examining modern digital communications including modulation and coding schemes, basic RF subsystems and antennas. We examine the computational structures that allow us to reduce communication to computation. Anticipating that such devices will need to be highly programmable, we consider concepts from traditional computer architecture and their applicability to this energy-constrained domain. We also examine the rapid evolution of transducer technologies and how these are being integrated into SoCs. Then, we consider how an architect can make tradeoffs across these domains to meet design objectives.

Students will take advantage of a purpose-built experimental platform called PowerDué that enables deep exploration of these topics in realistic applications. Background in computer architecture, signals and systems, and E&M field theory is recommended.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing

Last Modified: 2019-05-29 10:31AM

Semesters offered:

  • Fall 2019
  • Fall 2018
  • Fall 2017
  • Fall 2016