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Sep 01, 2023

Unit 46 Embedded Systems - Pearson Higher Nationals in Engineering

Assignment - Microcontroller Architecture and System Design

Learning Outcome 1: Explore the principle features of a microcontroller and explain the purpose of its constituent parts
Learning Outcome 2: Evaluate the applications of embedded systems in the wider environment, including in networked systems

This assignment assesses the learner`s ability to understand microcontroller-based systems, including
microcontroller architecture, the role and application of various peripherals and the applications of microcontrollers in networked systems

Case Scenario:
You are a junior computer engineer at a company that manufactures remote and radio control cars. Your R&D team is currently working on designing a new line of RC cars, which requires your knowledge on microcontrollers to make integral design decisions for upcoming products.

The design has the following base requirements:
- Driving multiple DC motors for wheels
- Buttons and joysticks on the controllers to accelerate, brake, reverse
- Status LED`s
- Ultrasonic distance sensors for automatic braking
- LCD display speedometer

You are required to determine an appropriate microcontroller for this project by performing a survey of the available options and justifying their applicability to the requirements by providing written reports on the asked tasks below to your supervisor.

Task 1

Select a microcontroller from the following list of microcontrollers and, using the official datasheet, examine whether it meets the project requirements:
- ATmega 328
- ATmega 2560
- PIC16F877
- MK20DX128

Your examination/investigation should give an indication of the following metrics for your selected microcontroller:
- Internal architecture and instruction set and instruction set architecture
- Hardware interfaces including: IO ports (number of IO ports and multiplexed capabilities, if present), peripherals, (including counters/timers, ADCs, PWM, SPI, UART, USART, I2C, as applicable)
Ensure that an explanation of the various functions of the microcontroller elements (including a diagram/schematic) is included in your report. Ensure that you cite all sources accordingly.

Task 1.1
Provide an evaluation of the selected microcontroller architecture and subsystems, exploring key electrical characteristics, timing, memory capabilities, interrupt capabilities, ALU size (instruction width).

Task 1.2
Perform a more detailed critical evaluation of the microcontroller characteristics and subsystems, highlighting its applicability to the design criteria specified.

Task 2
Your boss is of the opinion that the company should branch off into the production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones, which will potentially have autonomous capabilities. This means that these units would require a GPS system. In no more than two pages, explain how embedded systems can include GPS subsystems and be interfaced with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Task 2.1
Identify trends of embedded systems in IoT-enabled spaces.

Task 2.2
Of the trends identified in Part 2.1 above, critically evaluate these trends, identifying technical and economic factors and their impact on IoT technology.

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