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An Advanced Microcontroller Systems Course For Upper Level Undergraduate Curriculum

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.159.1 - 7.159.6



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Paper Authors

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Teofilo Caceras

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James Ochoa

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 2432

An Advanced Microcontroller Systems Course for Upper-Level Undergraduate Curriculum

Teofilo A. Caceres, Zachary Combs and James A. Ochoa Texas A&M University


The Electronics Engineering Technology program at Texas A&M University prepares undergraduate students to “hit the ground running” in industry engineering positions. The program has a strong system-integration curriculum emphasizing the theory and application of both analog and digital electronics. Recognizing the popularity and importance of embedded processors, the EET program offers a Microcontroller Systems course (ENTC 349) that focuses on microcontroller architecture and interfacing.

Traditional microcontroller/microprocessor courses focus considerable attention on architectures, instruction sets and addressing modes for simple devices like the Motorola 68000 or Intel 8051/8088. However, these devices provide only simple interfacing resources and lack the ability to simultaneously connect to multiple sensors and actuators. Often, students are limited to integrating a parallel port and UART to the processor. In contrast, students in ENTC 349 work with the powerful 32-bit Motorola 68332 microcontroller.

The 68332 microcontroller is a multi-module processor with on-chip CPU, RAM, a serial communication interface, a serial peripheral interface, a time processing unit, and a system integration module. In the first several weeks of the semester, students study the processor’s overall architecture and then focus on the CPU (i.e., instruction set and addressing modes). Students then explore the architecture and operation of each of the other modules. As the modules are covered in lecture, students are given laboratory problems that involve interfacing the 68332 to external circuitry. The individual labs lead up to a final project that is completed during the last four weeks of the semester. The project requires interfacing the microcontroller to multiple external devices (incl. analog-to-digital converter, H-bridge motor controller, etc) and creating a real-time user interface and motor control program.

This paper will discuss the course structure and will provide a detailed description of the final project, including required hardware and software resources.

I. Introduction.

The Electronics Engineering Technology Program at Texas A&M University teaches an advanced microcontroller systems course, ENTC 349: Microcontroller Systems, which utilizes a complex Motorola microcontroller. Students in the course learn about microcontroller architecture, instruction sets, and addressing modes as they would in most microcontrollers Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Caceras, T., & Ochoa, J. (2002, June), An Advanced Microcontroller Systems Course For Upper Level Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10887

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