date_range Débute le 20 janvier 2016
event_note Se termine le 6 mai 2016
list 16 séquences
assignment Niveau : Introductif
chat_bubble_outline Langue : Anglais
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Les infos clés

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En résumé

Learn how electronic gadgets are designed, developed, and built as embedded systems that shape the world.

This is a hands-on, learn-by-doing course that shows you how to build solutions to real-world problems using embedded systems. 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.

This is the third time we have offered this course. Since the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive we do not plan major changes from the previous offering of the course. There are 14 labs, but students can pick and choose seven of them to achieve certification. The three labs that students found most rewarding were the finite state machine traffic light controller, generating sound using a digital to analog convertor, and creating a smart object using Wifi communication. This time we will make minor changes to a few labs to enhance the fun and focus the learning on embedded systems.

To complete this course, you will be required to purchase a Texas Instruments TM4C123 microcontroller kit and a few electronic components. This microcontroller has a state-of-the-art ARM Cortex-M4 processor.

We will provide instructions about purchasing the kit and installing required software at:


How will the Spring 2016 course be the same as the course run Spring 2015?

This course will be lab-based using the same Texas Instruments Tiva series TM4C123 LaunchPad and the set of extra components. We will continue to use the Keil development system, and students will first develop/test in simulation followed by testing on the real board. 12 of the 14 labs will be essentially the same and two labs will be upgraded. Same as last year, students will need to complete at least seven of the labs on the real board to achieve certification.

How will the Spring 2016 course be different from the course run Spring 2015?

This time we will make minor changes to a few labs to enhance the fun and focus the learning on embedded systems.

Is this class related to a campus course of The University of Texas at Austin?

Yes, this course corresponds to the Electrical and Computer Engineering course EE319K Introduction to Embedded Systems, which is a required course offered in the freshman year to all ECE students and some BME students.

Is there a textbook associated with this class?

The class is based on the textbook Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers ISBN: 978-1477508992. However, the purchase of the textbook is not required.

Do I need a Windows PC?

Yes, any system running Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 will be ok. Furthermore, with a third party virtualization software like Parallels or VMware Fusion, one can install the Windows operating system on a Mac.

How much does it cost to take this class?

It does not cost anything to take the class. However, since this a lab-based class, there is a lab kit you will purchase. You will also have the option of obtaining an ID Verified certificate for a $50 fee.

How much does the kit cost?

In the US one can purchase the microcontroller board and parts for about $40 USD plus shipping. There is also an optional graphics display for an additional $10 USD plus shipping. The optional graphics display will make the last lab a lot more fun. The CC3100 Boosterpack costs $20 USD plus shipping and will be required if you wish to complete the Wifi lab.

Can I take this course without buying the kit?

Yes, there are three approaches to taking this class.

  1. You could listen to the videos, read the assignments, and play with the interactive learning tools.
  2. The second option involves installing the Keil uVision integrated development environment on a Windows PC, and performing the lab assignments in simulation mode.
  3. The third option, which fully captures the essence of embedded systems, can be done by performing the lab assignments on a real system that you will purchase.

Can I use another microcontroller?

If you are following approach one, where you are listening to the videos, reading the assignments and playing with the interactive tools, then you can use any microcontroller. However, if you wish to obtain certification, you will need to use the Tiva series TM4C123 so you can interact with the automatic graders.

What does it mean for the display to be optional?

In the last lab you will build an arcade-style game. We expect most students will connect the microcontroller board to the PC. In this manner the game output can be displayed on a window of the PC. However, for about $10 USD plus shipping, you can order a small Nokia 5110 LCD display so your game can be operated in a stand-alone fashion.

Will this course really take 10 hours per week?

The first option of just listening, reading and playing with interactive animations will take two or three hours per week. The second option of performing the labs in simulation will take five or six hours per week. The third option of building and testing systems on the real microcontroller will require 10 hours per week.

Can I take this course if I have never programmed before?

Anyone is allowed register, but we believe to get the maximum benefit you should have prior programming experience at an introductory level. However, this could be your second class involving programming.

Can I contact the Instructors or Teaching Assistants?

Yes, but not directly. The discussion forums are the appropriate venue for questions about the course. Instructors will monitor these forums and try to respond to the most important questions; in many cases responses from other students will be adequate and faster.

I really want to take this course, what is next?

You should purchase the microcontroller and extra electronics before the start of class. This class is available worldwide and we will provide region-specific methods to obtain the kit at


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Le programme

  • Understanding of embedded systems using modular design and abstraction
  • C programming: considering both function and style
  • How to build and test circuits with switches, LEDs, resistors, potentiometers, and liquid crystal displays
  • Synchronizaztion of hardware and software input/output with switches, lights, sound, sensors. motors, and liquid crystal displays
  • How to solve problems using a finite state machine
  • Implementation of an I/O driver and multi-threaded programming using interrupts
  • Debugging using oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and software instrumentation
  • How to read a data sheet
  • How to construct a smart object and create a system as part of the Internet of Things

Les intervenants

  • Jonathan Valvano
  • Dr. Ramesh Yerraballi

Le concepteur

University of Texas at Austin

La plateforme

EdX est une plateforme d'apprentissage en ligne (dite FLOT ou MOOC). Elle héberge et met gratuitement à disposition des cours en ligne de niveau universitaire à travers le monde entier. Elle mène également des recherches sur l'apprentissage en ligne et la façon dont les utilisateurs utilisent celle-ci. Elle est à but non lucratif et la plateforme utilise un logiciel open source.

EdX a été fondée par le Massachusetts Institute of Technology et par l'université Harvard en mai 2012. En 2014, environ 50 écoles, associations et organisations internationales offrent ou projettent d'offrir des cours sur EdX. En juillet 2014, elle avait plus de 2,5 millions d'utilisateurs suivant plus de 200 cours en ligne.

Les deux universités américaines qui financent la plateforme ont investi 60 millions USD dans son développement. La plateforme France Université Numérique utilise la technologie openedX, supportée par Google.

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