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An Embedded Systems Course Using The Oopic Microcontroller

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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

Real-Time and Embedded Systems Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.170.1 - 7.170.7

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Paper Authors

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Henry Chaya

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Session 1420

An Embedded Systems Course Using the OOPic Microcontroller

Henry Chaya Manhattan College Riverdale, New York


A new course titled "Introduction to Embedded Systems" based on the OOPic microcontroller from Savage Innovations has been offered at Manhattan College. The OOPic microcontroller was chosen for several reasons. It can be programmed in several high-level languages similar to Basic, Java or C; it has several predefined objects to facilitate interface programming with a variety of devices; in-circuit debugging is a simple procedure and the device is very affordable. The present course is for sophomore electrical engineering students who have had a course in Visual Basic. Two goals of the course are to teach elements of C++ and to provide interface- programming projects that are creative and interesting. Another goal is to address programming and performance issues relevant to embedded system programming such as timing and event- driven procedures. While the OOPic fulfilled the educational needs of this introductory course, its slow speed and limited memory preclude its use in more advanced courses.


Recently the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Manhattan College has been revising its curriculum for electrical engineering students. One of the goals is to give more attention to high-level programming languages. All engineering students take a required course in Visual Basic during the common freshman year. For electrical engineering students this was the only high level language covered in the curriculum. A course during the Spring of sophomore year covered assembly language programming for the 8051 microcontroller. Feedback from employers and alumni clearly indicated that we needed to improve the coverage of high-level languages.

A course in C or C++ was indicated. With changes in the curriculum, three credits became available during the Fall of the sophomore year. Requiring the introductory C++ course offered by the Computer Science department was an option. However, the department felt hands-on experiments with hardware would stimulate student interest in electrical engineering. So the author prepared a new course that would cover C++ and interfacing to sensors and actuators.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Chaya, H. (2002, June), An Embedded Systems Course Using The Oopic Microcontroller Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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