Embedded Systems – Shape The World

Build real-world embedded solutions using a bottom-up approach from simple to complex in this hands-on, lab-based course.

About The Course

How do they do it? If that is your reaction every time you see an electronic gadget you like, then wonder no more. Join us on a journey that will unravel how these electronic gadgets are designed, developed, and built as embedded systems that shape the world.

We have enhanced the class since the first version concluded in May 2014. This second version will include additional teaching material for Finite State Machines, how to use a data sheet, how to debug, and an additional chapter on wireless communication and the Internet of Things.  In Spring 2014, there were 11 sequential labs and students had to finish eight of them to obtain certification. This time, there will be 13 labs and students will be allowed to choose and complete any seven of them to achieve certification.

This is a hands-on, learn-by-doing course that shows you how to build solutions to real-world problems using embedded systems. Each student will purchase a Texas Instruments TM4C123 microcontroller kit and a few electronic components. This microcontroller has a state-of-the-art ARM Cortex-M4 processor. The course uses a bottom-up approach to problem solving, building gradually from simple interfacing of switches and LEDs to complex concepts like display drivers, digital to analog conversion, generation of sound, analog to digital conversion, graphics, interrupts, and communication. We will present both general principles and practical tips for building circuits and programming the microcontroller in the C programming language. You will develop debugging skills using oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and software instrumentation. Laboratory assignments are first performed in simulation, and then you will build and debug your system on the real microcontroller. At the conclusion of this course you will possess the knowledge to build your own arcade-style game from the ground up.

We will provide instructions about purchasing the kit and installing required software at: http://users.ece.utexas.edu/~valvano/edX.

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Recommended Background

Computer programming course in any language with exposure to variables, arithmetic, logic, loops, and functions. High school physics course covering current, voltage, resistance, and power.