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Design Guide Details
Date: 30-12-16

Online course on Embedded Systems MODULE -1 (Introduction)

 Embedded Systems is simply the brain of the most of the electronics based systems to access, process, store and control the data. Few simple electronics circuits can be intelligently hardware designed without a microprocessor or microcontroller but is not worth the economics except for simple passive operations. So it's more or less must to put this so called silicon brain, which we engineers call as microcontroller in all electronics systems.

Embedded market is experiencing best of it's times and double-digit market growth will continue for some more years. It will continue to grow as long as semiconductor ICs are used for data processing. This may be vague but to be precise, your career growth is assured for another five years. This is only a prediction/extrapolation based on the current trends in the industry. Who knows what may come in future, however next two years, it's going to be very hot and growing field. That too for India, where engineers have extra edge over other regions when it comes to programming will surely lead in the growth. Though programming is a major task in embedded systems. Programming knowledge alone won't help much in getting into this world. The real challenge is in understanding the electronics hardware and also other interface hardware (Automobile engine, heart patient's ECG, to a motor in a satellite).

Here in this free online course on embedded hardware and software, our objective is to train in embedded systems design to pass entry-level stage and prepare to deep dive into complex embedded systems world, if you find it easy and interesting.

We recommend the readers/attendees for this course should be a holder of Bachelor of Engineering/Technology or Bachelor of Sciences in Electronics or it's closely allied branches. Otherwise if you are strong in theoretical parts of analog circuits, digital circuits, and microprocessor can also grasp this content easily. One thing is must; you should love C programming.

What is Embedded System?

Being an electronic engineer, you might have seen PC desktop's motherboard; it's an embedded system. It has microprocessor (Pentium or Athlon), memory (DRAM DIMM module and onboard SRAM) , I/O interface (keyboard, mouse etc..), Peripheral communication interface (PCI, USB port, etc). This PC system's architecture is designed for application such as net surfing, excel, word, powerpoint, and you know the rest!!!. Say you want to use same computer to monitor the engine of your bike or car. Can you think of using big PC for that purpose? It's so impractical. The i/p and o/p are totally different, here comes customizing your own microprocessor/microcontroller, memory, display, i/o and peripheral interface and also the operating system. This field of designing application specific computer systems is called embedded systems development. If the response of the computer system need to be real time and highly reliable then it's called Real Time Embedded System. The real time means, say in a control system where a speed of motor need to varied the moment some parameter deflect from it's original value, then it's real time; no waiting or hanging.

To define in a sentence, Embedded Systems is a special purpose computer system/board, which encapsulates all the devices such as processor, memory, interface and control in single package or board to perform only a specific application tasks.

embedded system diagram

   Figure 1: Sample block diagram of a typical embedded system.

   

embedded board
Figure 2: PowerPC based embedded board.

       The most common examples are,

     Cell-phones
     Automatic Teller Machine
     The Digital Interfaced Gasoline Station
     Airborne Flight Control System
     Automotive Engine Health Monitoring System
     Home Security Systems
     Modern Air-conditioners
     Washing Machines
     Medical Equipment
     DVD Players
     Printers
     Medical Equipment
     The list goes on………. Wherever the microcontroller is used it's embedded computer.

 

        The leading applications of embedded market are,

       Communication
       Computer Peripherals
       Industrial Control and Automotive
       Consumer Electronics
       Test and Measurement
       Medical
       Military/Aerospace

This only is a list of popular applications. The embedded is now getting into lot more interesting applications such as RFID, Agriculture etc.. Each application need some domain knowledge of it's interface hardware. Say the project is to develop a coffee vending machine controller; the embedded programmer/designer has to have knowledge on how the valves dispensing hot water and milk operate and their technical specification.
The user interface design is different for each application. Some application may not need graphic interface at all but some may need audio interface.

Embedded systems - Learning curve
Development for embedded systems is different from common practices in many ways. For new developers in the embedded systems world, there is a learning curve to understand where conventional practices are no longer valid in this new environment. To be an embedded systems developer, s/he need to know many things about the hardware on which software will be executed. Often embedded systems are connected to some sort of control system (activating some switch, rotating a motor) and the developer also needs knowledge of that system as well. If the CPU and/or the operating system are different on the target embedded platform, s/he have to do cross-platform development, which has its own issues. There are different testing techniques as well because most of the embedded systems don't have a monitor screen where error messages or test results can be displayed.

All of these issues make embedded systems development much more complicated than writing a program on a UNIX machine (or a windows PC) and then executing it.

Click on the link below to enter Module-2 and other modules

Module 2: Microprocessor, Microcontroller, MCU Manufacturers, introduction to programming

The other modules below are put in three streams based on the hardware boards used in the course, you read more on that in module-2 (above link).

Stream-Discovery Stream-LPCXpresso Stream-AME-51

Module 3b: Installation of ARM Cortex M0 based STM32F0 kit from ST Microelectronics and sample code

Module 4: Sample programs -1 for ARM Cortex M0 based on STM32F0

Module 5b: ARM Cortex M0 Architecture.

Module 6b: Sample program-2 (interfacing keypad)

Module 7: Serial communication concepts -1

Module 8: RS-232 Basics

Module 9: Controller Area Networking (CAN)

Module 10: LIN

Module 11: I2C Bus Interface

Module 12: SPI Bus Interface

Module14: USB Interface

Module15: SRAM memory interface

Module16: Flash memory interface

Module17: LCD display panel interface

Module18: Touch pane interface

Module19: Audio/video interface

Module 3a: Installation of ARM Cortex M0 based LPCXpresso kit from NXP Semiconductor and sample code

Module 4: Sample programs -1 for ARM Cortex M0 based LPCXpress

Module 5a: ARM Cortex M0 Architecture.

Module 6a: Sample program-2 (interfacing keypad)

Module 7: Serial communication concepts -1

Module 8: RS-232 Basics

Module 9: Controller Area Networking (CAN)

Module 10: LIN

Module 11: I2C Bus Interface

Module 12: SPI Bus Interface

Module14: USB Interface

Module15: SRAM memory interface

Module16: Flash memory interface

Module17: LCD display panel interface

Module18: Touch pane interface

Module19: Audio/video interface

Module 3: Installation of OKI's ARM7 KIT(old module, suggest to skip this module)

Module 4: Sample programs -1 for ARM7 TDMI MCU

Module 5: OKI ARM-7 Processor Architecture.

Module 6: Sample programs -2 for ARM7 TDMI MCU

Module 7: Serial communication concepts -1

Module 8: RS-232 Basics

Module 9: Controller Area Networking (CAN)

Module 10: LIN

Module 11: I2C Bus Interface

Module 12: SPI Bus Interface

Module14: USB Interface

Module15: SRAM memory interface

Module16: Flash memory interface

Module17: LCD display panel interface

Module18: Touch pane interface

Module19: Audio/video interface

 

ABOUT THIS COURSE:

Totally EEHerald plan to bring 20+ modules. You can be assured of completing basic course in Embedded Systems after studying and practicing exercises in all the modules. We will give priority to programming and serial communications (SPI, USB, CAN etc..), and also building projects.

This free tutorials on embedded systems is prepared by embedded professionals with fairly good industrial experience, however we want your feedback on this course content; please email your questions, suggestions and comments to editor@eeherald.com. Your questions on present modules will be answered in the revised modules. We may change the course content based on the majority of your requests and feedbacks.

Please let your friends know about this course, we request you to email this link to your friends and colleagues who are interested in embedded system.

2 Comments
Default user
Default user
sharon maxwell 18-04-17
HIIIIIIIIIIIIII.
Default user
sharon maxwell 18-04-17
Such a wonderful content for the Embedded system. so plz keep sharing :) Embedded system training at CETPA .
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