Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) and Microchip Technology, together with Digilent Inc. announce the Connected MCU Lab, a new course developed through the companies’ respective university programs. The semester-long curriculum, available to universities worldwide, is designed to be an introductory and first microcontroller (MCU) class taken by undergraduate electronic engineering and computer science students. It delivers an interactive and compelling start to connected embedded systems education – covering MCUs and input/output (I/O), real-time operating system concepts, advanced MIPS processor architecture and cloud connectivity – all presented in a fresh and jargon-free style.
The Connected MCU Lab takes a hands-on approach, leveraging a Wi-Fi enabled development board, tools, software, and cloud services – everything needed to design innovative Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Lessons are based around the chipKIT Wi-FIRE board from Digilent Inc., which uses Microchip’s popular PIC32MZ MCU incorporating a 32-bit MIPS M-Class CPU from Imagination. A chipKIT Basic I/O Shield is used for expansion along with a PICkit 3 In-Circuit Debugger from Microchip. Teachers and students have free access to professional software tools including MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment, MPLAB XC32 C compiler, and MPLAB Harmony Software Development Framework from Microchip, as well as Imagination’s cloud technologies.
The Connected MCU Lab curriculum, authored by Dr. Alexander Dean of North Carolina State University, includes presentation slides for each module, student guide, exercises, tests, solutions, and an Instructor’s Guide.
The MIPS CPU IP core in the PIC32 MCU is part of the same family as “MIPSfpga,” a soft IP core used in many computer architecture and SoC courses, thereby creating powerful synergy between two vital branches of engineering education.
Eighteen universities across Australia, China, Germany, Israel, Portugal, Russia and the United Kingdom participated in the Connected MCU Lab beta program. Academics are welcome to visit www.imgtec.com/university to register and access the course materials.