Degree in Computer Engineering

Study Computer Engineering at La Salle and become a professional with the abilities to work with the latest technologies and new products, designing, implementing and maintaining computer systems for any sector of economic activity

Introduction to Computers

The subject is intended to initiate the student in the functioning of the digital systems and especially in the architecture of the computers. The subject is structured in four parts. In the first part, Boole’s algebra is studied to understand how the binary system works. In the second part, combinational and arithmetic binary systems are studied so the student can design and understand digital basic devices. In the third part, storage digital information elements are studied. Finally, in the fourth part, simple sequential systems are studied so the student can understand the functioning of the control units of a computer and complex digital systems in general. With this syllabus, it is intended to introduce the students to the design and analysis of digital systems, learning the functioning of a computer and understand which are its basic parts.
Type Subject
Primer - Obligatoria

Titular Professors

Previous Knowledge



Graduates of our program: Introduction to the computers, acquire the knowledge and develop the skills that are indicated below:

1. To have the knowledge of the digital world and of its components as well as the way of designing digital systems from the statement of a problem in real terms, for the practice of system connection, evaluation of the response of the different elements, signs and components. (a)
2. To design and to use systems, components, processes or experiments to obtain the established requisites and to analyze and interpret the obtained results. (b+c)
3. To identify, formulate and solve technological base problems that need a digital system to obtain a solution in a multidisciplinary environment of an individual way or as member of a team. (d+e)
4. To use techniques and system´s designing tools; either as a work process or a methodology to take into account when developing a system from the beginning until it works correctly. The most used tools are the ones of systems simulation. (k)


Part I. Boolean algebra
1. Numbering systems
2. Boolean algebra and logic gates

Part II. Combinational systems
3. Combinational logic circuits
4. Combinational functional blocks
5. Binary arithmetic

Part III. Memorization elements
6. Memorization elements
7. Registers
8. Counters

Part IV. Introduction to sequential systems
9. Synchronous sequential systems
10. Memories
11. Synchronous sequential systems with memories


The methodology used in the subject Introduction to Computers combines master classes, flipped classroom sessions and a set of continuous assessment exercises that the student needs to solve alone or with help from other students or the teaching stuff. The contents acquired in class are reinforced with two group practical assignments, that must be submitted during the school year.

In this subject, the estudy is the platform that the teachers use to communicate with the students and, to publish different materials that the students will need (guides, exercises, exams, support contents, etc.)


The evaluation system of the subject is divided in two parts: theory and practical assignments.

Evaluation system for the theory

The evaluation system of the theoretical part of the syllabus is divided in two semesters. For each semester, the final mark will depend on the results obtained in the continuous assessment (AC) mark and the final exams, according to a set of conditions described below.

Continuous assessment

The continuous assessment mark considers two types of activities:

Class exams or tests: the students will solve individual exams for each of the modules of the subject.. The final mark for these exams (CONT) will be obtained by averaging all the class exams of each semester.

If a student does not do one exam, it will have a mark of ‘0’ (zero) on that exam when calculating the average.

Exercises: periodically, the student will have to submit exercises solved at home or in class. From these exercises, the student will obtain a mark weighted between ‘0’ and ‘2’, that will be the mark of continuous assessment exercises (EAC) on the formula written below. If a student does not submit one of these exercises or submits out of the deadline specified by the teacher, it will have a mark of ‘0’ (zero) on that exercise.

The final continuous assessment mark (AC) will be obtained from the marks of the activities described above applying the following formula:

Final semester exam

The students must do the final exams of the semester on the following calls:

First semester: February call, with the possibility of a recall on the extraordinary call of July.
Second semester: ordinary call of June, with the possibility of a recall on the extraordinary call of July.

From each of these exams, the student will obtain a final exam mark of the semester (EXFS), that will be used to calculate the theory mark (TEO) of each semester of the subject considering the following criteria:

If EXFSi < 4, then TEOi = EXFSi, and the student will need to retake the exam on the extraordinary call of July.
If EXFSi &#8805; 4, then the theory mark will be calculated according to the following formula: TEOi = MAX(EXFSi, EXFSi·0,3+ACi·0,7).

Final theory mark

The final theory mark of the subject will be calculated according the following formulas, where TEO1 if the final theory mark of the first semester and TEO2 is the final mark of the second semester:

If TEO1 &#8805; 4 and TEO2 &#8805; 4, the final theory mark of the subject will be TEOFINAL = (TEO1+TEO2)/2.
If TEO1 < 4 or TEO2 < 4, the final mark of the subject will be TEOFINAL = MIN(4, (TEO1+TEO2)/2).

Evaluation of the practical assignments of the subject

The student will need to do two practical assignments outside the class schedule.

In order to be evaluated from the practical assignments, the student will need to solve and submit each of the assignments. The evaluation of each assignment will result on a numeric mark from ‘0’ to ‘10’. If a student fails one assignment (mark lower than 5), it will have the possibility to re-submit it on a retake call before a deadline specified on the requirements of each practical assignment.

Once all the practical assignments are submitted and passed, the final mark of the practical assignments will be the average of each assignment. The mark of each assignment will depend on the result of an interview for each assignment, where the teacher will consider the design and simulation, implementation and report that the student will submit. To qualify the assignment the teachers will use a specific rubric for each assignment.

Considering all these criteria, the practical assignments final mark will be calculated as:

If MARKP1 &#8805; 5 and MARKP2 &#8805; 5, PRACTFINAL = MARKP1 · 0,5 + MARKP2 · 0,5.
Otherwise, if MARKP1 < 5 or MARKP2 < 5, PRACTFINAL = NP (Not presented).

Final mark of the subject

To pass the subject, the student needs to pass both the theory and the practical assignments. The final mark of the subject will be calculated as:

If TEOFINAL &#8805; 5 and PRACTFINAL &#8805; 5, the final mark of the subject will be FINAL_MARK = TEOFINAL · 0,7 + PRACTFINAL · 0,3.
If TEOFINAL < 5, the final mark of the subject will be FINAL_MARK = TEOFINAL.
If PRACTFINAL < 5, the final mark of the subject will be FINAL_MARK = MIN(4, TEOFINAL.).


In any case the marks of the practical assignments of previous years will be validated. That is, the mark of the practical assignments cannot be validated from one year to another year.
All the practical assignments need to meet the specifications from the requirements of the practical assignment document and the set of rules of the practical assignments published on the estudy.
The continuous assessment marks will be considered on both the ordinary and extraordinary calls.
Copying or cheating on any activity will be penalized as established by the university. Both the source and the cheating student will be penalized without exception.

Evaluation Criteria
Basic Bibliography
Additional Material

Apunts d’Introducció als Ordinadors. Enginyeria La Salle.
Enoch O. Hwang, (2005). Digital Logic and Microprocessor Design With VHDL. CL Engineering
Palaniappan, R. (2011). Digital systems design. Bookboon.
Roth Jr, C. H., & Kinney, L. L. (2013). Fundamentals of logic design. Nelson Education.