Fundamentals of Computers Code:  22.629    :  6
View general information   Description   The subject within the syllabus as a whole   Prior knowledge   Learning objectives and results   Content   View the UOC learning resources used in the subject   Additional information on support tools and learning resources   Guidelines on assessment at the UOC   View the assessment model  
This is the course plan for the second semester of the academic year 2023/2024. To check whether the course is being run this semester, go to the Virtual Campus section More UOC / The University / Programmes of study section on Campus. Once teaching starts, you'll be able to find it in the classroom. The course plan may be subject to change.

Computer Fundamentals is an optional third-year course. This course aims to be the entry point to the knowledge of computer architecture. Hence, prior knowledge of this discipline is not needed, but it is convenient to have a basic understanding of arithmetic. In all probability, any professional practice related to these studies will require hardware knowledge. The objective of this course is to acquire the necessary concepts to understand what is a computer and be able to develop any professional activity in its environment. Specifically, in Computer Fundamentals, we will introduce and consolidate the principles of operation of a computer. Thus, the objectives of this subject are: i) To know how to represent information in different systems (binary, hexadecimal, decimal) and do arithmetic operations; ii) to know how to analyze and synthesize combinational and sequential digital circuits used to built a computer


Computer Fundamentals (CF) has a strong relationship with the Structure of Computers course, since it deals with the basic principles of operation and design of computers. In CF, it is studied the principles to design a digital system as a computer. In summary, it is an optional course that has a strong link with the rest of the subjects of the degree. Students will be able to acquire knowledge and practical skills to understand the design of computers, and understanding the principle designs that affect their performance.


There are no defined prerequisites. The contents of the subject can be assimilated without additional material. In any case, it is convenient to have basic notions of arithmetic.


This subject aims to introduce and consolidate the operating principles of digital circuitry as the basis of digital electronics used in digital systems in general and in digital computers in particular. The objectives of this course are to know how to analyze and synthesize combinational and sequential digital circuits, know how to design digital systems.

The competencies that will be developed in the learning of this subject are listed below.

  • Ability to analyze a problem with the appropriate level of abstraction and apply the skills and knowledge acquired to solve it.
  • Ability to identify the elements of a computer and its operating principles.
  • Ability to analyze the architecture and organization of digital systems and applications on the network.
  • Teamwork.


This course is divided into five different modules:

Module 1: Computer Basics
   1. Introduction. Brief historical perspective
   2. Computers and their use
   3. Hierarchical structure of a computer
   4. Encoding information using binary signals

Module 2: Representation of numerical information
   1. Numbers and representation systems
   2. Representation of numbers on a computer
   3. Other types of representations

Module 3: Combinational logic circuits
   1. Fundamentals of Digital Electronics
   2. Implementation of combinational logic circuits
   3. Combinational blocks

Module 4: Sequential Logic Circuits
   1. Characterization of sequential logic circuits
   2. The Flip-flop D
   3. Sequential blocks
   4. Moore's model


Information representation Audiovisual
Combinational circuits (Karnaugh method) Audiovisual
Sequential circuits (Circuit analysis) Audiovisual
VerilUOC: basics and instalation Audiovisual
VerilCirc: presentation Audiovisual
Introduction to extended state machines Audiovisual
Moore's Model Audiovisual


Students will have access to different book where the contents of the course are explained and study guides to find easily the contents to acquire.

Additionally, the students will have access to VerilUOC, a tool to practice the design of digital circuits, and practice exercises related to optimization using Karnaugh maps and analysis of chronograms


The assessment process is based on students' own work and the assumption that this work is original and has been carried out by them.

In assessment activities, the following irregular behaviours, among others, may have serious academic and disciplinary consequences: someone else being involved in carrying out the student's assessment test or activity, or the work being not entirely original; copying another's work or committing plagiarism; attempting to cheat to obtain better academic results; collaborating in, covering up or encouraging copying; or using unauthorized material, software or devices during assessment.

If students are caught engaging in any of these irregular behaviours, they may receive a fail mark (D/0) for the assessable activities set out in the course plan (including the final tests) or in the final mark for the course. This could be because they have used unauthorized materials, software or devices (e.g. social networking sites or internet search engines) during the tests, because they have copied text fragments from an external source (internet, notes, books, articles, other student's projects or activities, etc.) without correctly citing the source, or because they have engaged in any other irregular conduct.

In accordance with the UOC's academic regulations , irregular conduct during assessment, besides leading to a failing mark for the course, may be grounds for disciplinary proceedings and, where appropriate, the corresponding punishment, as established in the UOC's coexistence regulations.

In its assessment process, the UOC reserves the right to:

  • Ask the student to provide proof of their identity, as established in the university's academic regulations.
  • Request that students provide evidence of the authorship of their work, throughout the assessment process, both in continuous and final assessment, by means of an oral test or by whatever other synchronous or asynchronous means the UOC specifies. These means will check students' knowledge and competencies to verify authorship of their work, and under no circumstances will they constitute a second assessment. If it is not possible to guarantee the student's authorship, they will receive a D grade in the case of continuous assessment or a Fail in the case of final assessment.

    For this purpose, the UOC may require that students use a microphone, webcam or other devices during the assessment process, in which case it will be the student's responsibility to check that such devices are working correctly.


In order to pass the course, you must pass the continuous assessment and take an exam.

Your final mark for the course will be calculated as follows:

  • If you pass the continuous assessment and get the required minimum mark in the exam, your final mark will be based on the weightings specified in the course plan.
  • If you pass the continuous assessment but don't get the required minimum mark in the exam, your final mark will be your numerical mark from the exam.
  • If you pass the continuous assessment and don't sit the exam, you'll get a final mark of Fail (3).
  • If you don't pass the continuous assessment, your final mark will be the mark you received in the continuous assessment.
  • If you don't take part in the continuous assessment, you'll receive a final mark of Absent.