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Embedded Systems Design: Responding To The Challenge

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Embedded Computing

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

23

Page Numbers

14.528.1 - 14.528.23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4532

Download Count

102

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Paper Authors

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Steven Barrett University of Wyoming

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Jeffrey Anderson University of Wyoming

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Jeffrey R. Anderson received his PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wyoming with a research emphasis in image processing in 2004. He received his BS and ME from the University of Utah in 1989 and 1992, respectively. He has worked on a closed loop controller for mechanical ventilation of patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome. Additionally, he has worded on a servo lung simulator with related control method that was awarded a U.S. patent. Current research work is in segmentation of objects in serial sectioned images. He is an assistant academic professional lecturer at eh University of Wyoming in the electrical and computer engineering department.

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Jerry Hamann University of Wyoming

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Robert Kubichek University of Wyoming

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Robert F. Kubichek received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1985. He has worked in research positions at the BDM Corporation and the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (U.S. Dept. of Commerce), and was an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado from 1989-1991. He joined the University of Wyoming in 1991, where he is now an associate professor. Current research interests include remote sensing and speech analysis and processing applications.

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Suresh Muknahallipatna University of Wyoming

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Suresh Muknahallipatna received his B. E. degree in Electrical Engineering and Master’s of Engineering from the University of Bangalore, India, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He completed his Ph.D. degree at the University of Wyoming in 1995, with an emphasis on Neural Networks. He is a currently Associate Professor in the Dept. of ECE at the University of Wyoming. His current areas of expertise are performance analysis, modeling and simulations of storage area networks, mobile ad-hoc networks, and nano-satellite network.

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John Pierre University of Wyoming

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John W. Pierre received the B.S. degree (1986) in EE with a minor in economics from Montana State University. He also received the M.S. degree (1989) in EE with a minor in statistics and the Ph.D. degree (1991) in EE from the University of Minnesota. He worked as an electrical design engineer at Tektronix before attending the University of Minnesota. Since 1992, he has been on the faculty in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Wyoming where he is currently a professor. He received UW's College of Engineering Graduate Teaching and Research Award in 2005. His research interests include signal processing education, statistical signal processing, system identification, and signal processing applications to power systems. He is an active member of IEEE and ASEE Societies.

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David Whitman University of Wyoming

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David L. Whitman received the B.S. degree (1975) in EE from the University of Wyoming. He also received the Ph.D. degree (1978) in Mineral Engineering from the University of Wyoming. He worked in the synthetic fuels arena prior to becoming a faculty member in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming in 1981. From 1989 to 2005, he was the Associate Dean of Academics and since 2005 has been a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received UW's College of Engineering Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1990 and 2004 and the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001. He is currently the President-Elect of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) and an active member of IEEE and ASEE Societies.

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Cameron Wright University of Wyoming Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6029-1896

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Cameron H. G. Wright, Ph.D, P.E., is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. His research interests include signal and image processing, real-time embedded computer systems, biomedical instrumentation, and engineering education. He is a member of IEEE, ASEE, SPIE, BMES, NSPE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. E-mail: c.h.g.wright@ieee.org Web page: http://wwweng.uwyo.edu/electrical/faculty/wright.html

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

Embedded Systems Design: Responding to the Challenge

Abstract

A recent IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer Online article indicated that U.S. institutions of higher learning need to provide embedded systems design programs. The article cited that “only a few colleges and universities have good embedded systems programs in place.” The article further mentioned that “many engineers in embedded systems development are getting close to retirement age.” In this paper we will outline our program in embedded systems development including coursework in microcontrollers, digital signal processors, programmable logic controllers, and embedded systems design. We provide education on embedded systems concepts starting with middle school enhancement programs through graduate level coursework. A common thread through these programs is heavy emphasis on design. The curriculum allows a student to become an expert in embedded systems or allows them to selectively choose certain portions to enhance and augment their chosen area of expertise. Much of the design exercises and laboratories have been developed by student engineers. As a case study, we will discuss recent efforts to expand our course and laboratory coverage of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). We made these modifications in response to our constituents in the field who requested engineers be better prepared to design industrial systems controlled by PLCs.

Background

In the February 2008 IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer Online, Mike Anderson, Chief Scientist of the PTR Group, Incorporated wrote a definitive article entitled, “Help Wanted: Embedded Engineers - Why the United States is losing its edge in embedded systems…[1]” An abbreviated version of the paper was later published in the IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer Digest in March 2008 [2]. In the article, Anderson describes the prevalent use of embedded systems in a wide variety of industries and notes that on average the citizen of an industrialized nation comes into contact with over 48 embedded systems everyday [1].

To be considered an embedded system Anderson notes it must operate in a constrained resource environment, be economically viable, interact with users and the environment, contain both hardware and software firmware, and operate on low power devices [1]. Anderson further notes that common design characteristics of an embedded system are resource limitations, the application of low power processors, battery operation, limited memory and storage, and the use of many features at low cost [1]. In addition to these design characteristics, Anderson indicates that an embedded design engineer must also be comfortable with the concepts of thermal loading, the MIPS/watts ratio, an intimate knowledge of the target hardware to the register level, and the software interaction with the registers. Furthermore, the engineer must be aware of the overhead involved with the specific choice of software compiler employed to program the target system [1].

Anderson laments that the U.S. is facing an embedded system developer shortage crisis. He notes that it is not the number of engineering graduates that are of concern; however, the

Barrett, S., & Anderson, J., & Hamann, J., & Kubichek, R., & Muknahallipatna, S., & Pierre, J., & Whitman, D., & Wright, C. (2009, June), Embedded Systems Design: Responding To The Challenge Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4532

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