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Now you can earn IEEE Professional Development Hours by attending CEC courses.
  • All class times are listed in Eastern Time.
  • All classes will consist of a 45 minute lecture and an interactive chat session.
  • Registered users must sign up to participate and get credit for each course.
  • A downloadable calendar invite is available for each course. Register and visit each classroom page to download the invite.
  • Questions? Please contact us here.

Digi-Key Continuing Education Center, hosted on Design News, will get you up to working speed quickly in a host of technologies you've been meaning to study, but haven't had the time, via a series of 45-minute online lessons – all without leaving the comfort of your lab or office. Our faculty of expert tutors has divided the interdisciplinary world of design engineering into five dimensions: microcontrollers (basic and advanced), sensors, wireless, power, and lighting.

All of these topics will be tackled in a dedicated week of interactive tutorials where you can ask questions of the tutor, discuss knotty issues with your fellow students, and download a wealth of additional learning materials. (Don't worry if you can't attend a particular course live – seminars are also archived, and our online educational discussions take place 24 hours a day.)

Upcoming Classes

CEC Semester Seventeen 2020

XBee Radio Modules

Jan 31, 20202:00pm EST
The final lecture in this series will consist of an application based on a XBee Wi-Fi module. If you have followed my chain of lectures, you know that I like to do things with cell phones. So, we’re going to assemble an application that involves interfacing an XBee Wi-Fi module with your phone.
Jan 30, 20202:00pm EST
The object of today’s lecture is to introduce you to an easy to use mesh network implementation. DigiMesh is a proprietary wireless mesh networking topology developed by Digi’s RF engineering experts which allows for time synchronized sleeping nodes and low-power operation. Unlike ZigBee, DigiMesh...
Jan 29, 20202:00pm EST
Today’s discussion centers around the design and construction of a high-power long-range 900MHz XBee-based sensor node. The co-star of the project is a very low power ARM microcontroller. Firmware details will be exposed along with the hardware design details.
Jan 28, 20202:00pm EST
MicroPython is a popular scaled-down version of Python that is designed to run on microcontrollers. Today’s lecture will consist of MicroPython code segments performing various tasks on and around various XBee modules. This lecture will also look at how to use MicroPython running on an ARM...
Jan 27, 20202:00pm EST
The lecture series will begin with an examination of the available XBee development tools. Development tools provided by Digi will be utilized to configure and exercise various XBee radio modules. Development tools that are useful in XBee development but not offered as “official” Digi development...
CEC Semester Sixteen 2019

Multi-Sensor Data Fusion

Dec 13, 20192:00pm EST
In this class, we will give examples of multi-sensor data fusion, which include robotics, autonomous vehicles, and military aviation.
Dec 12, 20192:00pm EST
In this class, we pull together the lessons learned in the previous sessions to come up with a general approach to the problem. We will demonstrate how systems can be developed and discuss some of the tools that will prove useful. This includes frameworks that can be applied to multiple problems.
Dec 11, 20192:00pm EST
Understanding the types of sensors involved is critical. Each type of sensor contains different information and covers a different spatial range. By layering sensors in an intelligent way, we can develop the picture required for the task at hand.
Dec 10, 20192:00pm EST
Many types of algorithms can be used in multi-sensor data fusion. Many are statistical, but not all. In this class, we will discuss the types of algorithms available.
Dec 9, 20192:00pm EST
In this class, we will review the sensor fusion problem and lay out requirements. The use of multiple, heterogeneous sensors requires more processing and is more complex than situations using a single sensor type.

Designing and Launching an Embedded Product

Nov 22, 20192:00pm EST
The modern development cycle is often short on time and budgets which leaves developers scrambling. Developers who are scrambling often make mistakes which just exacerbates the problem. In this session, we are going to examine modern techniques for accelerating time to market. Attendees will...
Nov 21, 20192:00pm EST
There is often a trade-off between cost, time-to-market and quality that needs to be balanced. While some would argue this relationship no longer exists, I see the trade-offs time and again. In this session, we are going to discuss what it means to develop a quality product which includes defining...
Nov 20, 20192:00pm EST
There is often a bug among entrepreneurs to build a complex, feature rich product on the first pass. Unfortunately, these entrepreneurs are trying to design the third or fourth iteration of the product the first time and that can result in delays to market, cost overruns and even the business...
Nov 19, 20192:00pm EST
One key factor that I have repeatedly seen in companies that successfully launch a quality product is that they take the time up front to put their design and development processes in place. In this session, we are going to explore design and development processes and how they can be applied to...
Nov 18, 20192:00pm EST
We often have the mindset, “Build it and they will come,” but anyone who has started a business before knows that is the mantra for failure. In this session, we will examine the business side of development. Attendees will learn about the trade-offs that need to be made from a business perspective...

Easy TCP/IP for IoT

Oct 25, 20192:00pm EDT
The final lecture in this series will consist of an application based on MQTT, which rides on TCP/IP. MQTT is a Client Server publish/subscribe messaging transport protocol that lends itself well to IoT devices. In this final installment, we’re going to put MQTT on your phone.
Oct 24, 20192:00pm EDT
STMicroelectronics is known for their low-cost NUCLEO development boards. Easy is what this lecture series is all about and today we’ll see just how easy it is to load and run a TCP/IP stack with NUCLEO development boards.
Oct 23, 20192:00pm EDT
WIZnet offers a number of Ethernet devices that are backed up by a hardwired TCP/IP stack. Today’s discussion will entail interfacing WIZnet modules to Microchip PIC and STM32 ARM microcontrollers.
Oct 22, 20192:00pm EDT
The Nordic nrf52832 is a Bluetooth IC based on an ARM Cortex-M4 core. Today’s lecture will demonstrate the nrf52832’s ability to execute a TCP/IP application. The TCP/IP application is twofold and consists of communications over TCP/IP between client and server IoT devices.
Oct 21, 20192:00pm EDT
The lecture series will begin by defining the elements that make up TCP/IP. The knowledge gained from our study of basic TCP/IP operations and concepts will be supported with the realization of an ENC28J60-enabled IoT device.

NFC-connected Phone as a User Interface? There's an App For That! – Hands On

Sep 27, 20192:00pm EDT
For our final class, we will use the NXP NTAG Explorer kit to read and write the tag’s info that we access with our app to close the loop between the phone and our embedded device. We will look at the tradeoffs and areas for improvement for the future use of this user interface.
Sep 26, 20192:00pm EDT
For our penultimate class, we will look at ways we can implement NFC capability to our app so we can communicate via the phone’s NFC interface with a passive tag to sense, identify and read and write to the tag.
Sep 25, 20192:00pm EDT
Now that we have our development environment set up from the first class, we will go through the steps of developing our basic android application. For our third day, we will build the basic structure and user interface, and test it on the phone.
Sep 24, 20192:00pm EDT
Our second day will be spent learning the basics of Near-Field Communication (NFC) and what the standard specifies for various classes of passive transponder tags. We will define the tag type we will use and what parameters we need to pass back and forth, as well as what security structure we need...
Sep 23, 20192:00pm EDT
We will start our first day by introducing the project goal – write an application on an android phone that will allow us to control and communicate with our embedded device. We will also walk through the steps of installing the android development system on our development PC and writing the app...

Exploring Vision Devices

Aug 30, 20192:00pm EDT
Participants will engage with smart vision devices topic through a hands-on lab project. A discussion on intelligent cameras will be presented to participants including basic components of the smart vision device. Participants will explore this technical topic using the Google AIY Vision Camera...
Aug 29, 20192:00pm EDT
Applications of vision devices in the industrial sector will be discussed in Day 4 of the webinar course. Participants will apply the vision system pipeline discussed in Day 2 for categorizing vision applications with the industrial sectors. Lab Project: Teaching Pixy2 Cam smart sensor for Object...
Aug 28, 20192:00pm EDT
This session will discuss the major components of a machine vision system with participants. Also, off-the-shelf vision devices for makers, educators, and engineers will be identified and explored in this session. Lab Project: Part 1- Introduction to the Pixy2 Cam smart sensor .
Aug 27, 20192:00pm EDT
Day 2 session will allow course participants to explore the market of Machine Vision. Within the discussion, participants will learn Choices, Confusions, and What’s Important elements of the machine vision market. Lab Project: How to attach and use a Pi Camera with a Raspberry Pi single board...
Aug 26, 20192:00pm EDT
A review of the technologies being deployed in embedded vision systems will be presented in Day 1 session of the webinar course. Participants will be presented with a vision system pipeline which will serve as the model for investigating embedded vision systems. Lab Project: Build an Augmented...

Microprocessor-Based Industrial Controllers

Jul 26, 20192:00pm EDT
One benefit of a microprocessor-based industrial controller is the increased capability for connectivity. This may include connectivity between controllers, as well as between controllers and higher-level control systems. It may also include HMI devices both local and remote. Finally, we will look...
Jul 25, 20192:00pm EDT
Continuing the theme of giving specific application examples, we will look at other types of controllers. These will include topics such as burner control, tank level control and protective relay control.
Jul 24, 20192:00pm EDT
It is important to understand actual applications in the field of Microprocessor-Based Industrial controllers. By studying these we can get a good grasp of the issues involved and the engineering process. In this first lecture on the topic, we will review various types of motor control. Control of...
Jul 23, 20192:00pm EDT
A variety of microcontrollers are used. We will discuss the commonalities of these devices and then explore a sampling of specific devices commonly found in these applications.
Jul 22, 20192:00pm EDT
In this lecture, we review the history and detail the concepts common to industrial controllers. We lay out the types of algorithms that are used and the conceptual basis for controller design.