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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

Building Machine Vision Applications using OpenMV

Jun 12, 20202:00pm EDT
There is much that can be done with machine vision. In this session, we are going to examine how to pull together everything we have learned so far into an application. Attendees will review what we have covered and be given ideas on how to pull it all together and where they can go from here.
Jun 11, 20202:00pm EDT
The OpenMV camera is based on an STM32 Arm Cortex-M microcontroller that is capable of running machine learning inferences. In this session, we will explore how we detect objects using machine learning. Attendees will learn about machine learning and how we can apply it in machine vision...
Jun 10, 20202:00pm EDT
In a machine vision application, it can be critical to not just detect a specific condition but to also react to it. In this session, we are going to explore how to utilize the onboard expansion input / output to control external devices using the OpenMV camera. Attendees will walk away...
Jun 9, 20202:00pm EDT
The OpenMV IDE uses MicroPython and a collection of libraries to allow a developer to quickly and easily develop and deploy machine vision applications. In this session, we will learn how to write an application for the OpenMV camera. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of how to write...
Jun 8, 20202:00pm EDT
The ability for a system to “see” can dramatically increase its capabilities. Machine vision has traditionally been not only expensive, but also has required a niche expertise. In this session, we will explore machine vision and look at the capabilities that embedded systems developers might be...

Writing Neural Network Code: Introduction to TensorFlow, Hands-On

May 15, 20202:00pm EDT
For our last class, we will look at how we can use data science to gather our models for training and testing then use those data sets to carry out those tasks. We will cover some of the principles of how to divide our data sets between the training and testing tasks as well as ways of using the...
May 14, 20202:00pm EDT
Now that we have acquainted ourselves with TensorFlow and the development environment, in this penultimate class we will look at how we can take the ANN definitions we worked with early in the week and program them into our own networks.
May 13, 20202:00pm EDT
TensorFlow and its derivatives such as TensorFlow Lite have become one of the prevalent programming environments for developing ANNs. We will look at the development environment for TensorFlow including the use of Jupyter notebooks on Google Colab – no local development system needed! We will build...
May 12, 20202:00pm EDT
Many common programming languages have been used over the years to program neurons and complete ANNs, from Lisp to Python to C++. Other specialized languages have been used including Torch, Keras, and of course TensorFlow. Building on our first class, we will look at the various programming...
May 11, 20202:00pm EDT
To best understand how Artificial Neural networks (ANN) are used in artificial intelligence (AI), in this leadoff class we will look at the ways that ANNs have been used in theoretical as well as applied applications. The class will start from the first hardcoded neurons through some of the...

Getting Started with Secure Software

Apr 24, 20202:00pm EDT
Implementing a secure solution from scratch can be intimidating, but the fact is that developers don’t have to start from scratch. There are several secure frameworks and solutions already available that developers can leverage in order to accelerate the secure software implementation. In this...
Apr 23, 20202:00pm EDT
Establishing a root-of-trust (RoT) and securely booting a system can be challenging for developers who are new to embedded security. These concepts form the bases of a secure solution and must be mastered. In this session, we will explore important concepts such as root-of-trust, chain-of-trust and...
Apr 22, 20202:00pm EDT
Secure solutions are often achieved through layers of system isolation. There are several different technologies that developers can leverage to ensure that they are able to isolate their software successfully. In this session, we are going to examine the solutions that are available to isolate the...
Apr 21, 20202:00pm EDT
One common mistake that teams often make when attempting to secure their systems is to try to bolt security on at the end. A security threats analysis must be performed early in the development cycle in order to appropriately identify the assets that will be protected, the threats those assets face...
Apr 20, 20202:00pm EDT
One of the biggest challenges facing embedded software developers that need to implement security is understanding how much security is needed. It’s not uncommon to dramatically undershoot or overshoot the right amount which either leads to compromised devices or an overly expensive development...

Hands on with ROS (Robot Operating System)

Mar 27, 20202:00pm EDT
Participants with engage with a simple controller using the ROS publisher-subscriber method. A discussion of the ROS publisher-subscriber message handling for monitoring and control will be presented. Also, software code, physical hardware components, electrical wiring, and circuit schematic...
Mar 26, 20202:00pm EDT
The application of angle control with a ROS subscriber will be discussed and demonstrated in this Day 4 session. To illustrate ROS angle control, a servo motor will be demonstrated. Also, examples of angle control applications will be presented in the discussion. In addition, participants will...
Mar 25, 20202:00pm EDT
This session will discuss the attributes of a ROS Publisher component. Participants will learn how a ROS publisher can monitor events of digital sensors or electromechanical switches. In this interactive format participants will learn how to wire these physical monitoring devices to a ROS hardware...
Mar 24, 20202:00pm EDT
The Day 2 session will allow course participants to explore the subscriber technique to control an external device. Participants will learn about the ROS subscriber by blinking a discrete LED. Also, enhancing the LED display using a micro:bit will be discussed in this session. Lab Project: Blinking...
Mar 23, 20202:00pm EDT
A review of the concepts, terminology, and components that comprise of the ROS architecture will be presented in the Day 1 session of the webinar course. Participants will be presented with the software library components in an interactive format that will allow the installation of the ROS...

AI in Embedded Systems

Feb 28, 20202:00pm EST
Examples of embedded AI/ML will be given to give a feel for what can be done. These examples will range from simple to complex.
Feb 27, 20202:00pm EST
Embedded systems are just that—systems that interact with the environment and other systems in a complex way. This includes cloud computing resources, edge processing and the communications to tie it all together. We will look at new devices and capabilities in this area.
Feb 26, 20202:00pm EST
The other side of the system is the hardware. We will discuss the advances in hardware that make the implementation of AI/ML in embedded systems. This is a fast-moving area driven by improvements in areas such as memory capacity, processor speed and new processor types.
Feb 25, 20202:00pm EST
We will review in detail the algorithmic landscape making up the software and analytic side of the system. This class will provide an overview of the topic of AI/ML and some history, as well as examples of detailed algorithms.
Feb 24, 20202:00pm EST
In this class we look at the environment we are considering and the requirements for such systems. Overall AI approaches will be outlined. The types of devices available that make the use of AI in embedded systems will be reviewed, as well as some of the expanded capabilities brought in by cloud...

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...