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Introduction to Embedded Systems Software and Development Environments (Coursera)

Introduction to Embedded Systems Software and Development Environments is the first course of the upcoming Embedded Software Essentials Specialization. This course is focused on giving you real world coding experience and hands on project work with ARM based Microcontrollers.

You will learn how to implement software configuration management and develop embedded software applications. Course assignments include creating a build system using the GNU Toolchain GCC, using Git version control, and developing software in Linux on a Virtual Machine. The course concludes with a project where you will create your own build system and firmware that can manipulate memory.

Later courses of the Specialization will use hardware tools to program and debug microcontrollers with bare-metal firmware. Using a Texas Instruments MSP432 Development Kit, you will configure a variety of peripherals, write numerous programs, and see your work execute on your own embedded platform!

Syllabus

WEEK 1

Embedded System Development Components

Module 1 will introduce the learner to the components of your embedded system software development process. This module will be a quick overview for many topics with detailed analysis to follow in later modules and courses. We start with defining the hardware and software building blocks of Embedded Systems which will include a C-programming refresher. Next you will learn about the important tools a developer will need to use to help design, build and manage their designs. This includes development environments, version control and the hardware kits to install on. Learners will install and use a Virtual machine to complete Week 1 Application Assignment.

Graded: Week 1 Quiz

Graded: Week 1 Application Assignment

WEEK 2

Compilation with GCC and GNU Make

Module 2 will introduce the learner to the software development build system. Most software engineers are very knowledgeable about their build system as we need them to translate our high-level software languages to our architecture specific implementations. There are some important platform and architecture concepts that are introduced in the build system to help enforce good software design techniques. Learners will create their own build systems and utilize build tools to analyze their embedded software implementations.

Graded: Week 2 Quiz

Graded: Week 2 Application Assignment

WEEK 3

Memory Types, Segments and Management

Module 3 will begin to introduce important embedded concepts like the memory systems in their design. Learners will understand how the software to hardware mapping occurs for their designs including differentiating between your program code and your program data. Memory systems have many platform and architecture dependencies, and you will begin to learn about some of the fundamental concepts a software engineer needs to know to utilize all parts of an embedded system’s memory.

Graded: Week 3 Quiz

Graded: Programming Assignment Quiz

WEEK 4

Course 1 Final Assessment

During this week you are to going to combine what you have learned in modules 1-3 to write some memory manipulation software, incorporate into your build system and then run some test functions. At the end of the assignment you will perform a detailed code review of other learners’ software. Reviewing other learners code is very important for both your growth of software design but also for the coder to gain valuable feedback. Professional software engineering regularly go through software reviews when developing code.

Graded: Expanded Build System and Memory

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