An Introduction and Background of Universal Microcontroller Trainer

Pages: 10 (2545 words) Published: November 29, 2012


This section begins with a discussion of the role and importance of Microcontroller in everyday life. As we all know, Microcontrollers are considered as a major discovery in terms of science and technology. Just like the other major advances, it can control system and devices which can make people’s lives better and easier. Based on “The Microcontroller Idea Book” by Jan Axelson, Microcontroller is a computer-on-a-chip, or a single chip computer. It is said to be a single-chip computer because it contains memory and Input or Output interfaces in addition to the Central Processing Unit (CPU). Micro, as its name implies, advised that the device is small and Controller, however, tells that the device might be used to control objects as well as processes. Moreover, MCU has been described as an embedded controller, because the Microcontroller and its support circuits are often built into, or embedded in, the devices that they control. Basically, any product that interacts with its user has a microcontroller inside.

The field of Microcontroller (MCU) beginning is due to the development of integrated circuits. It enabled the storing of hundreds of thousands of transistors into one chip which was later used in the manufacturing of Microcontrollers. Nowadays, we can find Microcontrollers in almost all kinds of things. Most of those things and devices are well-known to utilize for measuring, storing, calculating, controlling, and displaying of information. One of the largest applications of Microcontroller is in automobiles as it includes at least one MCU for engine control. In test equipment, microcontrollers make it easy to add features such as the ability to store measurements, to create and store user routines, and to display messages. In a desktop computer, MCU is founded inside keyboards, modems, printers, and other peripherals. Furthermore, products that we are fond of using like cameras, video recorders, compact-disk players, and ovens also use Microcontrollers.

Background of the Study

Microcontrollers have only been with us for a few decades but its impact on our lives is intense. Most of the microcontroller parts can be found in all electronic devices; it can be found on products which we use in our home like microwave ovens, alarm clock, washing machines, toys, and stereo equipment. Other common devices such as cash register, weighing scales, typewriters, photocopiers, elevators, industrial automation device, safety system, cars and traffic signals are some examples of microcontroller application. Numerous types of microcontrollers were designed and they quickly became man's invisible companion. It is also regarded as a powerful tool that allows a designer in creating his own design. Some of the crucial influence in the microcontroller development and success are powerful and carefully chosen electronics such as switches, push buttons, sensors, LCD displays, and relays, cheap automatic devices and its power was widely spread prior to the knowledge in programming.

With the necessity of making our MCU experience learning more enjoyable and helping us to do our jobs easier and safer, e- Gizmo decided to develop and launched the first Universal MCU Trainer. Unlike some of those mainstream MCU training kits, the e- Gizmo Training Kit is not attached to any particular type of microcontroller. It is known to be compatible with current MCU boards that include gizDuino, Zilog Encore, AVR ATMEGA8L, and Peripheral Interface Controller (PIC). In this project, the researchers should have the knowledge in programming, training experiments, as well as they should have the manipulation for the kits’ on board peripherals such as Relay and Motor Expander, Analog Voltage Sources, LM34 Temperature Sensor, 3 adjustable Voltage Sources, Digital to Analog DAC circuit, Switch Devices, Rotary Encoder Switch, 2 push button switches, 4 x 3 Keypad Matrix, Input and Output Expander, LED...
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