O.7 Microcontroller Design

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A microcontroller (or MCU, short for microcontroller unit) is a small, simple computer on a single integrated circuit containing a processor core, limited memory, and programmable input/output peripherals and sensors. Microcontrollers are typically inexpensive and have little or no interface for human interaction. They are typically programmed for a fixed function with little or no change over their lifecycle.

Specific topics to be covered in this knowledge unit include, but are not limited to:

  • Typical instruction sets and architectures
  • Common programming environments for microcontrollers
  • How the real-time requirements and simple architecture of the typical microcontroller require special programming considerations
  • Cyber considerations and issues related to microcontrollers and the larger systems they are typically integrated into

Outcome: Students are knowledgeable of the concepts, methods, techniques, technologies, requirements, and development tools commonly used in the design and implementation of microcontroller applications. They will be able to develop or make a substantial modification to a simple microcontroller-based system and identify the cyber concerns associated with such a system.