ECE 473/573 - System Design with Microcontrollers
CRN 20315/20316 - Fall 2017

  Tuesday, Thursday 8:30-9:50 am; LINC 302

   W 1100-1350 : TBA ; DEAR203
   R 1000-1250 : TBA ; DEAR203
   F 1400-1650 : TBA ; DEAR203

(Note: "NOSPAM" = "orst")
  Roger Traylor
  Office: KEC3095
  Office Hours: Via email only

  Gurjeet Singh
  Office: DB203
  Office hours by email appointment

Jason Matthews
  Office: DB203
  Office hours by email appointment

Emanuel Caceres
  Office: DB203
  Office hours by email appointment

Praveen Venkatachala
  Office: DB203
  Office hours by email appointment

About This Class

The purpose of this course is to equip students to competently design small, embedded microcontroller systems. This course uses a microcontroller as a component in electronic system design. Our target microcontroller, the Atmel ATMega128, provides extensive I/O and peripherals. It will be considered as a flexible logic component to be embedded into a system.

This is a design course. This means that you will be expected to show considerable creativity, resourcefulness and persistence. You will need to read long datasheets, improvise around problems, and extract information from obscure sources. You will need to apply material from many of the courses you have already taken. You will have to find solutions on your own from incomplete specifications. Welcome to the real world of design.

There is a considerable reading load for this class. Consider this typical for doing non-trivial design work. The number of pages is large and the material can be obtuse. I will not be looking for recall of bit-by-bit details, but clear understanding of concepts and how to apply them. Quasi-weekly self evaluations may be provided to check your understanding.

Lab assignments will require a detailed design based on a general specifications. Step-by-step instructions are not provided. Detailed designs will be generated by the student. Complete designs to be graded include C and/or assembly language code, digital and analog circuit schematics, and documentation.

I will expect your in-class participation. Some of you will have innovative solutions and approaches that need to be shared. Be prepared to voice your opinion, show off your hardware and explain your code.

You may work in groups on homework and projects if you wish. Sharing of design approaches, philosophy, flow charts or coding ideas is strongly suggested. However, sharing of detailed information such as design calculations, or actual code is not approved and will meet with the strongest action that I can bring. Your project represents your individual work, not the product of group work.

A mail reflector (or list) for the class will be established by the beginning of class. The mailgroup is how I communicate with you outside the classroom. It can also be used as an interactive forum where you discuss problems and solutions. Such usage is encouraged. Students who register early for ECE473 are automatically added to the class mail list. You may initially not be on the if you register late. You should be added within a day or so. The name of the class list for ECE473 is: (NOSPAM = orst). You will not be able to post to this list from any other than your engr account.

Where ever you do your code development, back it up. Many sad stories here. Back up disks are cheap.

Commit yourself to learning either vim or emacs. To write code, you need to use a programming editor. I can almost guarantee you are surely going to do a lot of programming in your career. So use an efficient tool. So,... don't fight it, once you catch on, you will never go back. I do all my writing in vim.

Schedule and Assignments

Period Date Lecture Topics Lab Work Reading and
Self Evaluation
1 Thursday
Sept 21
Intro to ECE473
Intro and Motivation
Mega128 Overview
Inclass exercise:Voltmeter paper design
Lab 1 - Tool Testdrive
  -Due in lab, 9/28-9/30 (1 wk)
ATmega128 Datasheet
  -pgs. 0-11, (upto ALU section)
AVR brings RISC to 8-bit World
C compiler for AVR
Efficient C Coding for AVR
2 Tuesday
Sept 26
Editing with vim
a vim "complaint"
  -Getting in and out of Vim
  -Moving around in Vim
  -Adding and deleting in Vim
  -Dot, make, split, shell commands
Inclass exercise:
  -newkeyer.c .vimrc
Port I/O
Video: ESD Diode chalktalk
Video: ESD Diode conduction chalktalk
Inclass Demo:
  -Floating inputs, ESD diodes, Schematics
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs. 5-7, Pin Descriptions
  -pg. 318, DC Characteristics
  -pgs. 66-70, I/O Ports
About ESD Diodes
What is ESD? (pgs2-3)
Basic vi help
Vim for C programmers
Self Evaluation - wk1
Schematics for self eval
3 Thursday
Sept 28
Switch Debouncing
Inclass Demo:
  -Switch bounce on scope
  -Switch bounce effect on software
Inclass Exercise: download_script
Debugging Techniques
Shameless plug for schematics
Discussion of Lab 2
  -Time multiplexing LED display
  -Scanning switches
Lab 2 - LED & Pushbuttons
  -Due in lab, 10/12-14 (2 wks)
Lab 2 Skeleton code
Schematic Notes
Example LED display test code
A Guide to Debouncing
A DSP-style debouncer
Developing a good bedside manner
4 Tuesday
Oct 3
GNU Compiler
Assembly Language & GCC
GNU Make
Inclass Exercise tar file
Self Evaluation - wk2
Automatic makefile dependencies
5 Thursday
Oct 5
Lab 1 Code differences
Embedded Programming
Killer Apps
Git Lecture/Inclass work
Git Quick Reference
  -Character Operations
  -Busy-wait loops
  -Standard Integer Types
  -General Utilities
Using a2ps
Write great code (article only)
Debugging Embedded C
Programming uCs in C
C usage in embedded apps
6 Tuesday
Oct 10
Debugging Interrupts
Inclass Exercise:   Download script
Avr-libc, interrupts section
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs 15-17, Interrupt and reset handling
  -pgs 11-12, Status register GIE bit
  -pgs 60-62, Interrupts
Break code with volatile
Self Evaluation - wk3
7 Thursday
Oct 12
Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)
Lab 3 Discussion
Inclass Exercise
Lab 3 - Interrupts and SPI
  -Due in lab, 10/26-28 (2 wks)
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs. 163-170 SPI
Introduction to SPI
8 Tuesday
Oct 17
8-Bit Timer/Counters, TCNT0 & TCNT2
Lab discussion
    -Encoder operation
    -Decoder glitches
    -"Scope out" SPI transactions
In-class Programming Work
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs. 93-111 TCNT0
  -pgs. 145-160 TCNT2
AVR130 setup, use of AVR Timers
DN024 Timer/Counter Basics
Self Evaluation - wk4
9 Thursday
Oct 19
16-Bit Timer/Counters TCNT1, TCNT3
Inclass Exercises:
AVR Datasheet
Sine waves from uCs
  -pgs. 112-142 TCNT1 and TCNT3
  -pgs. 143-144 TCNT1-3, Prescalers
10 Tuesday
Oct 24
Inclass Exercise - Stimulus Reaction Timer   -wget_script
11 Thursday
Oct 26
Industry Overview
  -Electronic Design 2015 Salary Survey
  -Electronic Design 2014 Salary Survey
Lab 4 - Alarm Clock
  -Clone hd44780_driver: Github
  -Due in lab, 11/9-11 (2 wks)
12 Tuesday
Oct 31
Analog Comparator, ADC
Inclass Exercise - ADC voltmeter - wget_script
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs. 227-229 Analog Comparator
  -pgs. 230-245 A to D Converter
  -pgs. 54-55 Voltage Reference
  -pgs. 171-197 USART
Bandgap References
DN021 Using the ADC
Self Evaluation - wk6
13 Thursday
Nov 2
UART strings in Flash
Two Wire Serial Interface (I2C)
Inclass demo - Scoping out I2C
Inclass coding - Thermometer  - wget_script
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs. 198-226, TWI
I2C overview
Network Peripherals with I2C
I2C Bidirectional level shifter
Phillips I2C Manual (pgs. 2-25)
Phillips I2C Usage with a uC
14 Tuesday
Nov 7
Project discussion
Inclass coding - UART - wget_script
Guest Speaker
AVR Datasheet
  -pgs. 19-24, EEPROM Memory
Accessing the EEPROM
Self Evaluation - wk7
15 Thursday
Nov 9
Power Management and Sleep Modes
Reset Sources
XDIV/Sleep code
Reset/Brownout code
Watchdog code
Lab 5 - Remote Temp Sensor
  -uart functions.c
  -uart functions.c for Mega48 only
  -uart_functions.h for Mega 48 only
  -Early checkoff:11/30-12/2
  -Late checkoff with final project
AVR Datasheet
  -pages 52-56, Watchdog Timer
  -page 50, Brownout Detection
Great Watchdogs
Power Management
Nov 10
Veterans day - No classes
Thanks to all who serve and have served our country.
16 Tuesday
Nov 14
Guest Speaker
Project Q & A
  -Discussion of lab work.
17 Thursday
Nov 16
Guest Speaker
  -Brad Nelson, New Product Manager
   Electrical & Computer Engineer
   Skip-Line, Inc.
Lock bits and Fuse bits
Self Evaluation - wk9
18 Tuesday
Nov 21
Architecting the Final Project
  -How to approach the final project.
  -Class Presentations - TBA
Final Project: FM Clock Radio
  -Clone si4734 driver: Github
  -si4734 connection detail
  -si4734 code snippets
  -Finish the FM alarm clock radio.
  -Due 12/7 (Wednesday, finals wk.) (2+ weeks)
Nov 23
Thanksgiving - No Classes
  -Give thanks
  -Code while you feast
19 Tuesday
Nov 28
Class Presentations - TBA
20 Tuesday
Nov 30
Class Recap - TBA
Final Project Due Wednesday
Dec 6, by 5pm
Implied By Design