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Teaching embedded computer systems with a Windows-based simulator

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1 Author(s)
C. E. Wick ; Dept. of Weapons & Syst. Eng., US Naval Acad., Annapolis, MD, USA

The Systems Engineering Department at the US Naval Academy provides a set of courses that are designed to introduce modern practices in digital control to undergraduates majoring in systems engineering. A very important element of digital control to be taught is the use of microcontrollers as “embedded” elements in feedback control systems. A good simulation of a real microcontroller can be immensely helpful to demonstrate concepts and to give students some practical experience using embedded processors in a variety of applications. Finding no suitable embedded computer simulator for our undergraduate students, we proceeded to develop and use a Windows based simulation of the PIC16C54/57/71/84 RISC microprocessor family. The program contains a program editor, an assembler, debugging tools, graphical representation for all registers, tools to present signals on device pins, and many other features that are all integrated together in a Windows environment. The paper describes the simulation and discusses our experiences while using the simulation over a period of two semesters in an introductory microcontroller class

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1996. FIE '96. 26th Annual Conference., Proceedings of  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

6-9 Nov 1996