Dependable Integrated Systems

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Learn to develop reliable and trustworthy computing systems that can withstand any failure and provide secure, uninterrupted service.

Flight control systems in aircraft, electronic health records systems, smart grids, and traffic management systems are all dependable integrated systems. Imagine the harm to people if, for example, a car’s system fails due to a minor fault. In essence, a dependable integrated system is a computing system that must function under any circumstance. How should you design it without compromising its reliability, safety, and security? How can you efficiently balance power distribution to minimise energy consumption? Designing for dependability often involves additional costs for redundancy, testing, and safety measures. So, how can you ensure the costs remain low? If you want to come up with solutions to these challenges, the specialisation in Dependable Integrated Systems is the perfect fit for you.

“Spectre and Meltdown are widespread vulnerabilities impacting microprocessor architectures. The main cause is the way the chips were designed: the focus was on optimisation and performance without considering possible security threats. How can you take reliability, safety, and security into account in the design phase? In this specialisation, you will look not only into the optimisation but also into the safety and security of the system.”

Dr. Marco Ottavi, Programme mentor Dependable Integrated Systems

What is Dependable Integrated Systems?

This specialisation combines software engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. The focus is on designing robust computing systems resilient to random failures and security threats, in one word: dependable. If you want, you can choose elective courses to specialise in a certain area. You can explore challenges in the analogue/digital direction. For example, how can you select the right analogue-to-digital conversion architecture based on a set of performance specifications? If you are interested in integrating physical hardware components, such as transistors or integrated circuits, and the software that manages them, you can choose elective courses in the direction of hardware/software integration.

Examples of courses you will follow within this specialisation:
  • Create your own mixed-signal system-on-chip, considering all different aspects of the design in the course System-on-Chip Design.
  • Explore characteristics of embedded systems like efficiency, cost-effectiveness, safety, security, size, performance, and real-time requirements in the course Embedded Computer Architectures I.
  • What techniques do you need to incorporate at the design level to ensure dependable applications? Learn about the significance of dependability in the course Dependable Computing Systems.

Thanks to our collaboration with industry partners, government agencies, and knowledge institutes, you will get to work on assignments with real-world applications. For example, you can contribute to dependable computing systems for space. As we collaborate with the European Space Agency (ESA), you can work on master’s projects such as optimising power consumption in a satellite computing system.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of the Master's in Electrical Engineering with a specialisation in Dependable Integrated Systems, you have acquired specific scientific knowledge, skills, and values that will help you in your future career.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have a solid knowledge of hardware design for the Internet of Things (IoT) applications;
    • understand the specifications of an IoT computing system based on its dependability and real-time requirements;
    • have a clear idea of the role of hardware and software design approaches in application-specific architectures.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can design an IoT system based on hardware specifications;
    • can design new computing systems for ubiquitous AI;
    • can evaluate the best design trade-offs for edge IoT and AI systems based on required performance power and dependability.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • recognise the impact of dependable computing on the advancement of society;
    • understand the ethical considerations when dealing with safety-critical systems; 
    • are aware of the societal impact of edge-based computing systems and ubiquitous AI.


In this video, discover the multifaceted domain of Dependable Integrated Systems. From pioneering research transforming energy grid management to insights from our SlimPark Living Lab on campus, and discussions on Embedded Computer Architectures, delve into the diverse applications and innovations shaping our future.

Other specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better.

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