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Online, Introductory Microcontroller Labs And Exercises For Engineering Students

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.950.1 - 13.950.5



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Paper Authors

author page

Marc McComb Microchip Technology, Inc.

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

Online, Introductory Microcontroller Labs and Exercises for Engineering Students


This paper will explain several introductory, hands-on labs developed for Web-based teaching and learning. Utilizing the Internet to deliver self-directed, inexpensive, current instructional material extends the role of educational institutions. With instant availability, low cost, convenience and better accessibility, online education increases the pool of students that can be reached.

The labs presented here are based upon Microchip Technology’s 8-bit PIC® microcontroller (MCU) architecture, as well as its peripherals and possible applications. Only the most fundamental of embedded knowledge is assumed, such as knowledge of binary numbering systems and basic digital circuitry. The labs could potentially serve as a resource for university/college professors who would like to use them in the classroom.

This paper will explain how these labs are formatted, how to use them and the learning objectives or benefits to the student that each provides. One lab will be chosen and dissected, to provide the audience with an insightful overview of the general format used. Future labs will also be discussed, to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the direction in which this program is moving.


The Internet provides an opportunity for both educators and employers to offer quality educational resources for engineering students. Introductory learning materials developed by a manufacturer can supply students with unique insight into a technology or process that complements what is learned in the classroom. Microchip’s Academic Program has recently dedicated a section of its Web site to such learning resources. There, the student will find introductory materials on 8- bit PIC MCUs and related topics. These materials include introductory tutorials, presentations, labs and exercises on the basics of architecture, peripherals, methods to optimize design using the PIC MCU and common applications. The intention is to provide the student with a solid foundation in embedded technology that will serve as a stepping stone into the more advanced topics that are covered in application notes and technical briefs provided by Microchip and other manufacturers. These labs have been formatted so that they can be easily implemented into a classroom environment by a professor, or used by the student as supplementary information to embedded concepts learned in university/college engineering curriculum.

McComb, M. (2008, June), Online, Introductory Microcontroller Labs And Exercises For Engineering Students Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4216

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