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Embedded Software in Context

by Plymouth University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

Welcome to Embedded Software in Context. 

This is a stage-1 (UK level 4) undergraduate module on software development and programming aimed at electronics and robotics engineering students. However, it may also be of value to A'Level Computer Science students.

Software is an increasingly important aspect of modern electronics systems with very few electronic systems being untouched by software. Arguably, programming and software engineering are now consider an essential skill. Consider most consumer electronics devices today and you will see that the vast majority will include a microcontroller device running some software. In complex modern electronic systems, the business intelligence is often encapsulated in the software.

In this course, we focus on the following key areas:

  • Fundamentals of computer architecture
  • Embedded C and C++ programming
  • Hardware-Software interfaces 
  • Software engineering and best practice
Software Platform
So we can focus on these issues (without the distraction of complex 1000+ page data sheets!), we will be developing embedded software using an embedded variant of the popular Linux Operating System. Linux developer is a very transferrable skill as the majority of embedded operating systems support a UNIX-like software interface.

Hardware Platform
This year, we will introduce and use the “BeagleBone Black” (BBB) target platform. This powerful device is capable of running an operating system such as Linux , Android or QnX. It is similar in concept to the currently popular RaspberryPi, except it utilises a more recent generation of CPU core, is faster and is more targeted at higher-education (as opposed to schools). 
If you prefer to use a Raspberry Pi, you might be reassured to know that programming will be almost identical on each platform.
Embedded Software in Context
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