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Diploma in Building and Installation of Embedded Systems

Learn the intricacies of building electronic projects with the use of embedded systems in this free online course.

Free Course
This free online course discusses the digital interfacing of the MSP430 microcontrollers as well as the building and installation of embedded systems. You will learn how to download and install software for the MSP430 microcontroller, and how to plan and build electronic projects. This course will teach you the relevant skills required to manipulate, plan and build projects using an embedded system.
  • Duration

    10-15 Hours
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An embedded system is a microprocessor-based computer hardware system designed to perform a particular function. In this course, you will learn how to build and install one of the most popular applications of the embedded system – the microcontroller. The course begins by showing you how to download and install the most important software for the MSP430 microcontroller (Git and Code Composer Studio [CCS]). Git is a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle small or large files with speed and efficiency. CCS is an integrated development environment used to develop applications for Texas Instruments embedded processors and microcontrollers, such as the MSP430 microcontrollers. You will study how to import existing projects from the Git-cloned path to CCS. The structure of the embedded C programming code will be discussed. You will also consider how to connect the MSP430 LunchBox to a computer and write programs to manipulate the bits and pins of the microcontroller. The digital inputs and output registers, their attributes as well as the configurations of the pull-up and pull-down resistors will be discussed. You will be imparted on the functions of a switch and observe how to interface an MSP430 microcontroller with a switch. Thereafter, you will be introduced to the most important parts of the ecosystem for a microcontroller to function efficiently. The clock and time sources, and their module, types and registers will be scrutinized. Also, you will be introduced to the concept of Interrupts, a mechanism that gives a sense of multitasking. The classification, sources and registers of Interrupts will be highlighted.

Next, you will study some of the important features of embedded systems, which include their ability to count and measure time and events, create analog waveforms using digital controls, their ability to read external analog voltages, and more. The Timer_A module, which is common with the MSP430 microcontroller and its mechanisms, will be covered. You will study how the timer operates in MSP430 microcontrollers, and with the MSP430G2553 microcontroller as an example the components and sources of a timer in the device will be clarified. Then, the various methods of generating pulse width modulation (PWM) signal as well as the software and hardware approaches to generating analog voltages with PWM signals will be examined. You will learn how to read external analog voltages with the analog-to-digital converter. Information like temperature, pressure, distance or light intensity are all continuous in nature and so there is a need to convert those continuous parameters (voltage) into discreet numbers and values. You will study how the microcontroller can generate random numbers with a random number generator. The two types of random number generators, the true hardware random number generator and the pseudo-random number generator, will be highlighted. The three kinds of communication protocols available in MSP430, including their advantages and disadvantages, will be highlighted. You will also be taught how to use a timer for capturing external or internal events.

The significance of the external hardware components of embedded computers will be discussed in the last section of the course. You will also be given a comprehensive run-through on all aspects to consider when building an electronic project. Though this course is about building an electronics project, it should also be seen as a larger framework for planning to create an entire project. You will be taken through the “ten commandments” of building an electronic project, including the requirements, aims, objectives and deliveries of the project, and visualization. The four types of circuit prototyping methods (the breadboard, zeroboard, manhattan style and the custom printed circuit board), their strengths and weaknesses, and their respective tools for prototyping will be emphasized. The ten steps involved in cutting and preparing a custom printed circuit board fabrication using the toner transfer method, which is the fastest way of making custom printed circuit boards, will be explained. Also, you will learn about the finite state machine and datapath. Also, the planning, testing and implementation of an electronics project will be illustrated in a wirelessly powered art installation using an MSP430 microcontroller. Studying the processes involved in building and installing an embedded system will empower you to plan, build and implement a complete system project with the use of important hardware components in the embedded systems. So, why wait? Start your learning journey today.

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