Below is a preview of our week-by-week plan for the entire quarter. There may be slight adjustments and rearrangements as we go. The schedule for the final project is set and will not change.

In the readings below, K&R refers to Kernighan and Ritchie's classic text The C Programming Language (accessible via Stanford's subscription to Safari Books Online). Nick Parlante's EssentialC is another great C reference. Please do the recommended readings before lecture for best effect!

Week 1
Mon 4/1
Introduction and Welcome ( slides, code )


Lab/assign Lab 0: Orientation ( writeup )

Please do the Lab 0 prelab preparation before coming to lab.

Assignment 0: Git oriented ( writeup )
Fri 4/5
RISC-V assembly and machine code ( slides, code )
Week 2
Mon 4/8
From Assembly to C ( slides, code )
  • Our one-page guide to RISC-V.
  • Brush up on C basics (syntax, data types, operators, control structures) via your favorite C reference; sections 1-2 of Nick Parlante's EssentialC; or chapters 1, 2, and 3 of K&R. Skip content on I/O and standard libraries (we are bare metal!)
  • Read Dennis Ritchie's account of the history of C
  • Try out the Compiler Explorer demoed in lecture
  • Read our guides on make and gcc
Lab/assign Lab 1: Getting to know your Mango Pi ( writeup )

Please do the Lab 1 prelab preparation before coming to lab.

Assignment 1: Larson Scanner ( writeup )
Fri 4/12
C Pointers and Arrays ( slides, code )
  • Before lecture, read EssentialC chapters 3 (skip material on structures) and 6 (skip material on the heap and memory management) or K&R 5.1-5.4. C-strings are primitive compared to Java/C++ strings; take note of the manual effort required to use and pitfalls to avoid.
  • C volatile can be subtle and tricky. See GeeksForGeeks advice on correct use and John Regehr's blog on what NOT to do with volatile
Week 3
Mon 4/15
C Functions ( slides, code )
  • Read up on C functions (Chapter 4 in K&R, or Section 4 in Essential C).
Lab/assign Lab 2: Below C Level ( writeup )

Prelab to prep before lab.

Assignment 2: Clock ( writeup )
Fri 4/19
Communication and the Serial Protocol ( slides, code )
  • Read about characters and strings, IO functions (putc,puts,printf), and structures (Sections 1.5, 1.6, 1.9, 5.5, 6, 7 in K&R; or Section 3 in EssentialC).
  • Poul-Henning Kamp's essay on The Most Expensive One-byte Mistake. Did Ken, Dennis, and Brian choose wrong with NUL-terminated text strings?
  • Read Sparkfun's tutorial on serial communication.
Week 4
Mon 4/22
Modules, Libraries, and Linking ( slides, code )
Lab/assign Lab 3: Debugging and Testing ( writeup )

Prelab to prep before lab.

Assignment 3: String Formatting ( writeup )
Fri 4/26
Memory Management ( slides, code )
  • Read our overview of stack frames
  • Review dynamic memory allocation (malloc/free in C) and the operation of the heap (K&R 5.6-5.9 or Essential C Section 6). Consider the comparison/contrast between stack and heap allocation and use cases for each.
Week 5
Mon 4/29
C Mastery ( slides, code )

We've crossed the halfway point! We will use this lecture to catch-up/expand on lecture content covered lightly on first pass, and discuss how to further your mastery of C.


Lab/assign Lab 4: Linked and Loaded ( writeup )

Prelab to prep before lab.

Assignment 4: Backtrace and Malloc ( writeup )
Fri 5/3
Keyboards and the PS/2 Protocol ( slides, code )
  • Read Adam Chapweske's overview of the PS/2 protocol for keyboards and mice.
  • Neat video from Ben Eater demonstrating how to read PS/2 scancode via breadboard wizardry. He does it all in hardware, thankfully easier for us in software!
Week 6
Mon 5/6
Graphics and the framebuffer ( slides, code )
Lab/assign Lab 5: Keyboard Surfin' ( writeup )

Prelab to prep before lab.

Assignment 5: Keyboard and Simple Shell ( writeup )
Fri 5/10
Interrupts ( slides, code )

In this first lecture on interrupts, we'll focus on the low-level mechanics and what needs to happen at the assembly level to enable and process an interrupt.

Week 7
Mon 5/13
Interrupts, cont'd ( slides, code )

Now we move up to the higher-level abstractions for interrupts, including library support for managing interrupt handlers and best practices for interrupt-safe code.

Lab/assign Lab 6: Drawing into the Framebuffer ( writeup )

Prelab to prep before lab.

Assignment 6: Graphics Library and Console ( writeup )
Fri 5/17
Sensors ( slides, code )
Week 8
Mon 5/20
Lab/assign Lab 7: Mango Pi, Interrupted ( writeup )

Prelab to prep before lab.

Assignment 7: System Monitor with Interrupts ( writeup )
Fri 5/24
Week 9
Mon 5/27
Object-oriented programming
Lab/assign Lab 8: Project Team Meeting 1 Final Project
Fri 5/31
RISC-V: origins, design, and future opportunities
Week 10
Mon 6/3
Lab/assign Lab 9: Project Team Meeting 2
Fri 6/7
Wrap or There and Back Again
Week 11
Final Project
Demo session Fri 6/7 at 3:30 pm
Code submission due Fri 6/7 at 11:59 pm