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Continuing Education Center
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January 15 - Day 5: Segger Embedded Studio Does IoT
Continuing Education Center 
1/15/2016  332 comments
The Segger Embedded Studio includes built-in support for the Nordic nRF51822. Today’s lecture will focus on using Segger Embedded Studio and a J-Link Pro to bring an nRF51822-based IoT device to life.
January 14 - Day 4: Coding with Segger’s embOS
Continuing Education Center 
1/14/2016  325 comments
This class will concentrate on setting up and running Segger’s embOS RTOS on our STMicro STM32F407VG-based ARM hardware platform.
January 13 - Day 3: Exercising Segger’s emPower Platform
Continuing Education Center 
1/13/2016  374 comments
Segger recently announced the availability of a new evaluation platform based on the Freescale Kinetis MK66FN2M0VMD18 32-bit microcontroller. In this lecture we will examine and exercise the emPower hardware using Segger Embedded Studio and a combination of Segger middleware components.
January 12 - Day 2: ARMing a microSD Card to an MCU
Continuing Education Center 
1/12/2016  387 comments
This class will utilize the ARM hardware we previously constructed. We will use elements of the STMicro STM32 Standard Peripheral Libraries, Segger Embedded Studio, and J-Link Pro to add microSD storage capability to our ARM microcontroller complex.
January 11 - Day 1: Segger Embedded Studio Walk-around
Continuing Education Center 
1/11/2016  432 comments
This lecture will introduce you to the Segger Embedded Studio. Rather than just talk about the integrated development environment, we will assemble and code an ARM microcontroller complex with the STMicroelectronics STM32F407VG using Segger Embedded Studio and the J-Link Pro.
December 18 - Day 5: Example Motor Control Designs
Continuing Education Center 
12/18/2015  505 comments
This final class will examine other types of motor control implementations, selected by the course students, and provide links to resources available to speed development.
December 17 - Day 4: Implementation Details
Continuing Education Center 
12/17/2015  536 comments
This penultimate class will dig into the details of the implementation and “tuning” phases critical to an MCU-based motor control design. The capabilities provided by the STMicro kit will be explored in detail.
December 16 - Day 3: Motor Control Algorithm Details
Continuing Education Center 
12/16/2015  558 comments
This class will provide a detailed look at the key algorithms used in motor control design. We will explore, hands-on, actual code. Field Oriented Control (FOC) and six-step algorithms will be covered.
December 15 - Day 2: MCU Development Environments
Continuing Education Center 
12/15/2015  550 comments
This class will provide a background on the development environments typically found for MCU-based motor control designs. We will investigate particularly the STM32 Nucleo FOC kit (P-NUCLEO-IHM001) hands-on.
December 14 - Day 1: Motor Control Introduction and Overview
Continuing Education Center 
12/14/2015  591 comments
This class will provide a quick introduction and overview of the key types of motors and control algorithms for microcontroller-based motor designs.
December 4 - Day 5: Running and Troubleshooting Our RTOS Design
Continuing Education Center 
12/4/2015  578 comments
Now that our code is written, we will need to test and debug it. In this final class, we will see how the debugger works with the RTOS to provide task-level debugging to help us debug and make the application work. The finished code will be available to help course students follow along and compare with their own code.
December 3 - Day 4: Reviewing and Writing Our Tasks
Continuing Education Center 
12/3/2015  546 comments
In this penultimate class, we will take what we learned so far and define the tasks of our simple project. We will look at some simple “lightweight” elements that we may choose for our project, such as messaging, events, semaphores, and mutexes.
December 2 - Day 3: Writing Our Board Support Package
Continuing Education Center 
12/2/2015  578 comments
One of the biggest drawbacks to “free” software is the lack of hands-on support for customization. Although you can buy support to assist in the creation of your board definitions (I/O, clocking, etc), there is good documentation to help us in this task. In this class, we will first define our project board and then write our own board support package (BSP) for our RTOS implementation.
December 1 - Day 2: RTOS System Development Setup
Continuing Education Center 
12/1/2015  508 comments
Our toolset will be an important part of making our project successful. We will investigate the tools that we will be using and how to install and set them up. Our toolkit will consist of the Kinetis Development System, Kinetis SDK (software development kit), and, of course, the MQX RTOS. All three are large, but free downloads are available from Freescale.
November 30 - Day 1: Introduction to MQX and RTOS Refresher
Continuing Education Center 
11/30/2015  526 comments
In this leadoff class, we will review the basics of how a task-switching RTOS operates and the design criteria we need to begin our project. We will look at the Freescale MQX real-time operating system and the elements that we will be using in our project.
November 20 - Day 5: Other Peripheral Functions
Continuing Education Center 
11/20/2015  495 comments
Other important differences in peripheral implementations will be covered in this class, including USB, Ethernet, Security, and external memory interfaces.
November 19 - Day 4: Analog Peripherals
Continuing Education Center 
11/19/2015  558 comments
Analog peripherals, such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs), have significant feature differences from manufacturer to manufacturer, and this class will highlight several of the most important ones.
November 18 - Day 3: Timers
Continuing Education Center 
11/18/2015  567 comments
Timers are perhaps the most complex of peripherals, with the widest range of supported features. This class will dig into the details of several common timer implementations.
November 17 - Day 2: Serial Interfaces
Continuing Education Center 
11/17/2015  584 comments
Serial interface peripherals support interface standards such as I2C and SPI. This class will cover the key differences in common interface implementations by MCU makers.
November 16 - Day 1: Standard Peripheral Functions
Continuing Education Center 
11/16/2015  621 comments
This class will provide an overview of standard peripheral functions so you can better see the differences between MCU manufacturer implementations.
November 6 - Day 5: IoT and the Physical Web
Continuing Education Center 
11/6/2015  582 comments
The word of the day is “beacon.” This lecture will detail the methods required to scratch-build an Eddystone beacon. We will also scratch-build a device that will transport the beacon’s data to a remote device via the cloud.
November 5 - Day 4: Basic for iOS Meets IoT
Continuing Education Center 
11/5/2015  489 comments
This class will concentrate on connecting “things” to iPhones using the latest version of Anywhere Software’s B4i (Basic for iOS), which allows a designer to create iOS apps without a local Mac computer. We will use B4i to connect iPhones or any iOS device to a Bluetooth Smart- or WiFi-enabled device we will have designed and built earlier in the course.
November 4 - Day 3: Scratch-Building a WiFi-Enabled Device
Continuing Education Center 
11/4/2015  509 comments
WiFi radio costs have lowered to Bluetooth Smart radio levels, enabling us to build an inexpensive WiFi “thing” in this class. We will fill our device with code that allows it to be monitored and controlled locally or via the Internet.
November 3 - Day 2: Scratch-Building Microchip’s RN4020
Continuing Education Center 
11/3/2015  471 comments
This class will utilize Microchip’s Curiosity Development Tool, MPLAB X and the MPLAB Code Configurator to assist in the design and assembly of an RN4020-based “thing”. The resultant “thing” design will be able to stand alone or operate under the control of a host PIC microcontroller.
November 2 - Day 1: Tooling Up for Internet of Things
Continuing Education Center 
11/2/2015  610 comments
This lecture will construct our first “thing” in the weeklong course. In addition to describing the design process, the class will examine the hardware and firmware tools for scratch-building our device. We will code and outfit our “thing” to perform environmental monitoring tasks.
October 23 - Day 5: An Internet-Connected Weather Station
Continuing Education Center 
10/23/2015  434 comments
Weather stations are a fun way to test embedded software skills. This session will pull together all the concepts examined over this course by interfacing light, humidity, and temperature sensors to the STM32L0 Nucelo board and creating the necessary application to transmit sensor data to be Electric Imp client, which will then enable the data to be formatted and displayed on the Weather Underground website.
October 22 - Day 4: Connecting to an Internet Client
Continuing Education Center 
10/22/2015  445 comments
Sending data out into the Internet is great, but doing something with the data is even greater. This class will examine the Electric Imp cloud-based client software and how to develop a demonstration application using the Squirrel programming language. Attendees will learn the differences between C and Squirrel and get a basic client application up and running that will form the baseline for the connected weather station taught in the final class.
October 21 - Day 3: Introduction to the Electric Imp
Continuing Education Center 
10/21/2015  389 comments
In this session attendees will learn how to connect an embedded system to the Internet using a WiFi module known as the Electric Imp. You will learn how to set up the Electric Imp and connect it to the STM32L0 Nucleo board. The session will leverage the base code reviewed in Day 1 in order to demonstrate portable code concepts. You will leave the session knowing how to work the board and transmit basic data over the universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART).
October 20 - Day 2: Design Patterns for Analog and Digital Sensors
Continuing Education Center 
10/20/2015  429 comments
Every embedded system is monitoring some type of sensor whether it’s digital or analog. These sensor types are handled differently most of the time. In this session, attendees will learn how to create a basic analog-to-digital converter driver that can be used to monitor a light sensor. The I2C interface will also be examined in detail as the basis for the Day 5 session on interfacing with digital sensors.
October 19 - Day 1: Code Reviews and Refactoring
Continuing Education Center 
10/19/2015  534 comments
Code reviews are one of the cheapest ways to reduce development costs. Finding bugs become exponentially more expensive later in the development cycle. This session will examine best practices for performing a code review via a baseline code project for the STM32 Nucleo board. Changes to the code base will be identified, with recommendations for changes, refactoring, and project organization.
October 9 - Day 5: Future Directions
Continuing Education Center 
10/9/2015  427 comments
Since this is a relatively new area of standardization, there is a lot of activity in the standards community. In this class we will discuss some of these activities. Looking especially at the IEEE activities we will get a feel for the range of standards being considered. We will also look at other standards bodies. Additionally, we will discuss how to get involved in a standards activity as an individual or industry representative.
October 8 - Day 4: System Standards
Continuing Education Center 
10/8/2015  403 comments
The IoT generally consists of a large number of devices, diverse in both quantity and type, used to perform particular functions. Operating as a “system” they encompass a wide range of applications. The considerations of the IoT system, such as control and data storage and access will be discussed and the standards appropriate to “system” as a whole will be explored.
October 7 - Day 3: Communication Standards
Continuing Education Center 
10/7/2015  435 comments
The most well developed set of standards for the IoT is in the communications area. That said, there is still a lot of activity around communications standards. We will look at the current landscape and discuss efforts of bodies like the IEEE to provide the standards necessary. Methods of communication for remote sensors and industrial devices will are also of particular concern and these will be discussed as well.
October 6 - Day 2: Device Standards
Continuing Education Center 
10/6/2015  437 comments
Devices used in the IoT span a very wide range. They can be extremely simple or can perform complex functions. In this lecture we will look at both hardware and software standards either in place or under development. Many of these are “industry” standards. We will also look at formal standardization efforts for such “industry” standards.
October 5 - Day 1: IoT Standards Overview
Continuing Education Center 
10/5/2015  506 comments
In this class we will look at the standards landscape for the IoT. This will include motivations, current and established standards and standards participants. We will develop a model that will be used in the following lectures to discuss the various types of standards.
September 18 - Day 5: Future Trends
Continuing Education Center 
9/18/2015  538 comments
This class will review some of the most recent trends in MCU-based sensor designs in order to explore the future types of applications MCUs will need to address and the most likely enhancements they will need to be successful.
September 17 - Day 4: More Example Designs
Continuing Education Center 
9/17/2015  583 comments
This class will continue exploring reference designs and development platforms provided by MCU manufacturers to help you more quickly and efficiently create MCU-based sensor designs.
September 16 - Day 3: Example MCU-based Sensor Designs
Continuing Education Center 
9/16/2015  568 comments
Many MCU manufacturers have targeted sensor designs and provided reference designs and product examples. This class will explore some of these resources that can help you more efficiently implement your designs.
September 15 - Day 2: MCUs as Sensor Controllers
Continuing Education Center 
9/15/2015  652 comments
This class will review several key MCU features - like low power, serial communications, and data processing - that are critical for efficient MCU-based sensor implementations.
September 14 - Day 1: Sensors in the IoT
Continuing Education Center 
9/14/2015  631 comments
Sensors will be, literally, the eyes and ears of the IoT. This class will describe several common sensors and their requirements for use in efficient MCU-based designs.
September 4 - Day 5: Robust Firmware Concepts
Continuing Education Center 
9/4/2015  541 comments
There are many concepts that can be used to help increase the robustness of embedded software. This session will review a wide variety of them. An in depth look at watchdog design, stack monitoring and memory management will be explored. Attendees will walk away with the ability to implement a reliable watchdog and perform essential checks such as RAM and ROM testing.
September 3 - Day 4: ASSERT and printf
Continuing Education Center 
9/3/2015  687 comments
The ASSERT macro is a critical component of embedded software development but an often under implemented and misunderstood tool. Using printf has also held a stigma that often leaves devlopers confused and hesitant. This session will walk attendees through how to setup these two tools and use them properly to help improve the reliability of their embedded system.
September 2 - Day 3: UART Driver and STM32CubeMx
Continuing Education Center 
9/2/2015  671 comments
This session will examine how to create a UART driver that will be used in later sessions with printf and assert. Driver development can be greatly accelerated by using available vendor tools such as the STM32CubeMx toolset. The tool will be examined in detailed as part of the driver development exercise. Attendees will walk away with software examples on how to create a UART driver and an understanding of the STM32CubeMx tool.
September 1 - Day 2: Doxygen and PC-Lint
Continuing Education Center 
9/1/2015  738 comments
In a fast paced environment, properly documenting and checking code for errors often goes ignored but they are absolutely critical to robust product design. This session will examine how to use Doxygen to document code and also generate the code documentation for the developer. PC-Lint configuration and utilization will also be examined. Attendees will walk away with a deep understanding of how to use these two crucial development tools.
August 31 - Day 1: Portable C Concepts
Continuing Education Center 
8/31/2015  809 comments
This session will introduce a subset of the C language and design techniques that are suitable for writing portable code. An STM32 Nucleo development kit utilizing a Cortex-M0+ will be used for example code. Attendees will walk away from this session with the knowledge of how to design software that can be reused through APIs and HALs.
August 21 - Day 5: Programming Environments and Future Directions
Continuing Education Center 
8/21/2015  624 comments
In this final lecture we will look at programming environments available for the ARM Cortex-M series of processors. We will look specifically at tools from IAR and ARM. In addition, we will look at future directions for ARM and their partners.
August 20 - Day 4: Advanced Device Applications
Continuing Education Center 
8/20/2015  570 comments
Beyond the basic SoC, ARM processors are being used in configurable devices including those with FPGAs and other types of programmable logic. We will discuss a couple of these devices and look at how the ARM processor integrates with the device to enhance functionality.
August 19 - Day 3: ARM Based Devices – Standard SoC
Continuing Education Center 
8/19/2015  624 comments
ARM provides and architecture and the Intellectual Property (IP) for chip designers to implement devices. In this lecture we will look at several specific implementations in the basic System on Chip (SoC) market. This will not be an exhaustive list, but will give a good overview of how the Cortex-M architecture is used and will arm the student with knowledge that can be used to intelligently decide which implementation to use in a specific application.
August 18 - Day 2: Cortex-M Series Details
Continuing Education Center 
8/18/2015  686 comments
In this lecture we will go over the Cortex-M architecture. This includes the instruction set variations, which are many. We will also discuss power management, interrupts, memory management and related topics of the basic Cortex-M family.
August 17 - Day 1: Understanding ARM
Continuing Education Center 
8/17/2015  679 comments
Just what is ARM (the company and the product)? In this lecture we will look at what ARM is, where it came from and give an overview of the various families of products available and their areas of application.
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