The use of microprocessors

Physics, Second Cycle
1. year
first or second
Hours per week – 1. or 2. semester:

Enrollment into the program.
Finished course on digital electronics (example: Electronics II, UL FMF Fizika).

Content (Syllabus outline)

Microprocessor basics: inner structure, ALU, memory units, buses, control signals, input/output signals, clock, programming.
Peripheral units and properties: ADC, DAC, counter, DMA, interrupt unit, pulse-width modulation, communication units (UART, SPI, I2C).
Data acquisition: properties of digitized signals, circular buffer, interrupts.
On-line data processing: FIR and IIR filtering, basics of adaptive filtering, amplitude, frequency and phase of digitalized signals, FFT and similar algorithms.

Basics of regulation: PID regulation, stability, implementation in microprocessor
Personal computer and microprocessor: buses, data exchange, programming.
Digital signal processor: building blocks, DSP dedicated hardware.
Basics of programmable logic circuits: FPGA, programming, examples.


The Scientist and Engineer’s Guide to Digital Signal processing, S.W. Smith, California Technical Publishing
The DSP Handbook, A. Bateman, I. Paterson-Stephens, Prentice Hall
Digital Signal Processing; A practical approach, Emmanuel C. Ifeachor, Prentice Hall/Pearson Education Limited

Objectives and competences

Student gets familiar with the inner structure of contemporary microprocessors and learns on programming of basic algorithms used for digital signal processing.

Knowledge and understanding of needs for digital signal processing, overview of contemporary microprocessor building blocks, knowledge of programming and the use of microprocessors.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Practical knowledge in the area of signal acquisition and digital data processing using microprocessors and programmable devices with the accent on on-line processing.

The knowledge gained can be used as a basis for building data acquisition and processing systems as used in laboratories and industry.

Thoughtful selection of means and procedures for on-line data processing.

Transferable skills:
Signal acquisition and processing, programming, sensors, experimental skills, the use of electronic instruments, digital data exchange.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, homework, consultations


Homework with final report or final written exam
Oral exam
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references

doc. dr. D. Ponikvar:
1. D. Ponikvar: Uporaba mikroprocesorjev, študijsko gradivo,
2. D. Ponikvar: Experiments: Labview and RS232, študijsko gradivo,
3. D. Ponikvar: STM32F407 – Discovery project, študijsko gradivo,
4. PONIKVAR, Dušan. Digitalna elektronika za fizike. [Ljubljana: Fakulteta za matematiko in fiziko], 2009. 82 f., ilustr. [COBISS-SI-ID 2565732]
5. PONIKVAR, Dušan. A simple subnanosecond light pulser. IEEE trans. nucl. sci., 2012, vol. 59, no. 6, str. 3218-3220. [COBISS-SI-ID 2552420], [JCR]
6. ZAMPIERI, L., ČADEŽ, Andrej, PONIKVAR, Dušan. The Crab pulsar seen with AquEYE at Asiago Cima Ekar observatory. Advances in Space Research. [Online ed.], 2011, let. 47, št. 2, str. 365-369. [COBISS-SI-ID 362881], [WoS do 14. 2. 2013: št. citatov (TC): 2, čistih citatov (CI): 2, normirano št. čistih citatov (NC): 2, Scopus do 20. 2. 2013: št. citatov (TC): 3, čistih citatov (CI): 3, normirano št. čistih citatov (NC): 3]
7. PONIKVAR, Dušan. Tools and setups for experiments with AC and rotating magnetic fields. Eur. j. phys., 2010, vol. 31, no. 5, str. 1255-1266, doi: 10.1088/0143-0807/31/5/025. [COBISS-SI-ID 2271076], [JCR, WoS do 2. 11. 2010: št. citatov (TC): 0, čistih citatov (CI): 0, normirano št. čistih citatov (NC): 0, Scopus do 18. 1. 2011: št. citatov (TC): 0, čistih citatov (CI): 0, normirano št. čistih citatov (NC): 0]
8. PONIKVAR, Dušan, PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. Conservation of mechanical and electric energy : simple experimental verification. Eur. j. phys., 2009, vol. 30, no. 1, str. 47-56, doi: 10.1088/1043-0807/30/1/005. [COBISS-SI-ID 2153316], [JCR, WoS do 5. 3. 2009: št. citatov (TC): 0, čistih citatov (CI): 0, normirano št. čistih citatov (NC): 0, Scopus do 2. 3. 2011: št. citatov (TC): 0, čistih citatov (CI): 0, normirano št. čistih citatov (NC): 0]
9. PONIKVAR, Dušan. A circuit for mains synchronization has two separate outputs for each half-period. EDN, mar. 2013, iss. 3, str. 52-54. [COBISS-SI-ID 2552164], [JCR]
10. PONIKVAR, Dušan. Regulate a 0 to 500V, 10-mA power supply in a different way. EDN, dec. 2012, iss. 18, str. 60-61. [COBISS-SI-ID 2551908], [JCR]