Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2006 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings


1-15 (11.78)

Conference Name

2006 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, June 18-21, 2006


Courses in microprocessors and microcontrollers are standard parts of the Engineering Technology core curricula. The traditional course material developments include both lectures and associated laboratory exercises. No matter how creative is the curriculum; it is usually budgetary constraints that confine the creativity when developing new curricula. This limits the freedom of the major approach in new course development.

This article demonstrates new course lecture and laboratories material development that starts from ground up with both a hardware platform and simulation software design for microprocessor/microcontroller related courses. It is not only very cost effective, but also does not limit the instructor's creativity when developing new curricula. The only obstacle is the instructor's imagination on courses and laboratories activities. This system can be implemented at no cost to the department for sponsoring the courses. As a matter of fact, the initial trials of this system have generated revenue, thereby supporting future improvements and development needs.

This new approach in course improvement starts with the design of a hardware platform in a custom made evaluation board. It involves the system circuit and power supply design, printed circuit board layout, prototype testing, and circuit board fabrication. The second step is to design the simulation software for laboratory uses. The total design and development of both software and hardware was a two year evolutionary process.


© 2006 American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, Chicago, Illinois, June 18-21, 2006.

Original Publication Citation

Hsiung, S., & Willis, J. (2006). A new approach in microprocessor/microcontroller courses/laboratories material design and development. Paper presented at the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.