Connected Embedded Systems Architecture

Course Number: 18-744-SV

Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Location: Silicon Valley

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Spring

Connected Embedded Systems Architecture (CESA) is a one-semester lab-based course that addresses the core concepts of modern embedded systems with a particular emphasis on the emerging field of apps that span small, embedded devices (including wearable electronics, so-called Internet of Things devices, and mobile phones) to the cloud. We will examine the evolution of the nature of IoT from the early days of wireless sensor networks to the future vision of federated, time-synchronized, scalable, virtualized "fog computing" platforms.

The course is designed to take a systems approach and, as such, will include relevant topics from both software (cloud, network, device) and hardware (network and device). The course content is aimed at systems engineers who wish to architect, develop and deploy cloud-connected embedded systems in which the "apps" change, mature and evolve over time. The course stresses the creation of engineering frameworks in which tradeoffs can be rationally made between computing and storage that should be done on coin-cell-powered devices vs. computing and storage that should be done in the network or in the cloud.


Class format

Lab- and project-based

Home department


Target audience

CMU Silicon Valley (SV) students.

Background required

  • Solid understanding of programming in C.
  • Familiarity with the principles of computer architecture and basic electronics lab technique.  This is a hands-on class with an emphasis on understanding theory and applying it in the lab.
  • Familiarity with Python.

Faculty and instructors who have taught this course in the past

Bob Iannucci, Ed Katz