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The University of Southampton

ELEC3227 Embedded Networked Systems

Module Overview

With rapid popularity and advancements in technologies like the internet-of-things (IoT) and network-on-chip (NoC), the ability to connect and network embedded devices is becoming ever more commonplace, and a feature of most electronic devices. This module is concerned with how electronic and computing devices can network with one-another. The module is not deeply concerned with physical layer communications, e.g. modulating signals onto carriers, as students already have a solid background in this from modules in previous years. The module explores the structure and purpose of layers in protocol stacks, through to example protocols (such as Bluetooth, LoRaWAN, ZigBee) and security implications of networking approaches and appropriate countermeasures. A key part of the module is the coursework, in which students design and implement their own network protocol(s).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The principles of layered networking models
  • Architectures and protocols which enable embedded networking
  • Issues regarding the security of embedded networks
  • The impact of protocol design on energy-consumption and energy-efficiency
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Balance the trade-offs between performance and efficiency in networking protocols
  • Select appropriate protocols to meet application/QoS requirements
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret standardisation documents
  • Communicate your technical work
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design, implement and test embedded networking protocols


Network architectures and principles Physical networks and their design Layered networking models: - Data link layer principles and protocols - Network layer principles and protocols - Transport layer principles and protocols - Application layer principles and protocols Example network protocols and architectures (e.g. Bluetooth, ZigBee, LoRa/LoRaWAN, TCP/IP) Network-on-chip protocols Energy and power efficiency Network security Emerging network technologies Standardisation of communication protocols

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Syllabus material will be taught through the lectures and supporting tutorials. Learning will be through a combination of independent study alongside the taught sessions, the coursework and lab activities.

Completion of assessment task21
Follow-up work12
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Wider reading or practice59
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Andrew S. Tanenbaum, David J. Wetherall. (2011). Computer Networks. 


Assessment Strategy

Laboratory sessions (typically scheduled in the labs on level 2 of the Zepler building). Length of each session: 3 hours Number of sessions completed by each student: 3 Max number of students per session: unlimited Demonstrator:student ratio: 1:12 Preferred teaching weeks: 3 to 5


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 40%
Final Assessment  60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: ELEC1201

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