Microcontrollers (MCUs) are used in countless commercial applications as well as by hobbyists. Some applications include automotive and environmental control systems, robotics, appliances, automatic cameras, cell phones, and entertainment systems.
Students in the CPET and EET programs at NHTI are required to purchase their own full development microprocessor system and use it to program, interface, and implement embedded systems using the 68HC11 microprocessor/microcontroller.
Motorola's S68HC11EVBU Universal Evaluation Board is used to develop an understanding of microcontroller concepts and applications. Software and hardware applications with Motorola's 68HC11 Assembly language and 68HC11 MCU are emphasized in developing microcontroller systems and embedded microsystems. Students will use fundamental programming skills, development and documentation to implement real-time control software support for systems development. Hardware interfacing and MCU subsystems are used in data acquisition and real-time control applications.
Topics covered include:
- Introduction to S68HC11EVBU package and documentation
- Architecture: registers, memory, buses and subsystems
- Modes of operation
- Programmers model: registers and status flags
- Addressing modes instruction set
- Programming structure and documentation
- The cross assembler and BUFFALO monitor
- Linear programming, branching and looping
- Ordered lists and lookup tables (LUTs)
- The stack, subroutines, interrupts and resets
- BUFFALO monitor input/output (I/O) routines
- Parallel I/O: simple I/O, polling and handshaking
- Serial communications: protocols and interfacing
- Programmable timer operations
- Analog to digital subsystem
- Data Acquisition
- Digital Signal processing
Mastering the basics of electronics requires proficiency in both digital and analog electronics. Our well-balanced curriculum contains plenty of both.
All digital electronics, from the simplest calculator to the most complex computers and digital communications systems, are built on the fundamental digital theories taught in our classes. Although many courses explain and implement basic gates and logic functions, EL226 (Digital Electronics) includes minimization theory, simple state machine design, programmable logic and interfacing of digital to the rest of the electronics world.
Analog electronics is the core of all electronics. Although digital applications have overtaken some traditional analog applications, such as digital telephones and CD players, the underlying analog principles remain. The core analog courses in our curriculum are EL110 and EL210 (Electronics I and II).
Electronics I introduces basic analysis techniques and most of the basic electronics devices including various types of diodes, transistors and operational amplifiers. Electronics II advances to more complex applications such as active filters and sensor interfacing. Non-ideal characteristics of linear devices, including offset, gain and linearity errors, are examined. Other electronic devices such as triacs and optoisolators are also introduced.
The EET program culminates in a senior design project unique to the two year Degree at NHTI. The design process includes the specification, development, implementation and testing of curriculum related projects. Students are required to submit a project definition, maintain accurate records of time expended, document work using logbooks, and submit periodic progress reports throughout the design process. On completion of the design process, students will submit technical write-ups and give a formal presentation of the project.
Graduates of the EET program are routinely successful in securing jobs in their chosen field and/or continuing their education toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technology (BSET) or Electrical Engineering (BSEE). Most students graduating from the EET program continue their program of study at 4-year institutions. Students enter ETAC/ABET accredited Engineering Technology programs at universities as juniors with two years of credit for studies satisfactorily completed in the EET program at NHTI. Some students elect to complete their studies in Electrical Engineering Degrees typically requiring more than two years of study. Those graduates who choose to enter the workplace are usually encouraged to continue their education part-time, subsidized by the employer.