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New to Embedded Programming
duncanstives
#1 Posted : Friday, August 22, 2014 6:08:09 AM(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 8/22/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1

Hi all,
Sorry if this sounds overly vague, ambitious, or otherwise stupid but I am a production engineer at a small company that is diving into a new line of business with both feet. Having no one with more than the tiniest bit of software or programming experience I was put in charge of the project... I need to become proficient with (or at least slightly knowledgeable about) embedded programming of SoCs by some time early last week.

Recommend courses, web sites developer boards, whatever... I don't really care if they cost money or not and I don't really care if I have to travel but time is of the greatest importance... I will get to hire people if I need to (and I will) but I need to be able to know my a** from a hole in the ground so to speak... Specifically I am looking for information on:
Embedded C
Assembly Language
Major manufacturers/Players in the industry
Terminology
Overall architecture of these types of systems
Everything

My software experience is extensive in ladder logic and stuff like that (production equipment using PLCs), a tiny bit of BASIC as 12 year old kid, a little bit of reading here and there and that's it... Assume I am a complete idiot and you probably won't be disappointed.
ANY help pointing me in the right direction will be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Miro Samek
#2 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2014 11:16:16 AM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 1/21/2013(UTC)
Posts: 10

Perhaps a good starting point for you could be the "Modern Embedded Systems Programming" video course on YouTube. This course teaches the C programming language, but with the embedded software perspective. Specifically, in every lesson you see how the CPU (ARM Cortex-M in this course) executes your code and how the newly introduced concepts are ultimately implemented.
PurpleAlien
#3 Posted : Sunday, August 31, 2014 7:07:06 AM(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 8/31/2014(UTC)
Posts: 3

Hi.

In addition to what Miro pointed out, I'd like to add the following:

- For a beginners book that should have enough to give you a starting point, have a look at "Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software" by Elecia White, published by O'Reilly.

- To see how assembly language works, and indeed, how a processor works, you could have a brief look at the MIPS assembly language in conjunction with the SPIM emulator (http://sourceforge.net/projects/spimsimulator/). However, don't spend too much time on assembler; that will come further down the road.

- Some of the major players are ARM (and everyone who licenses ARM which are quite a few), but also Renesas, plus some PIC/ATMEL, etc. To learn more about the different players, check out the available development boards e.g., on a supplier site such as Mouser: http://fi.mouser.com/Emb...ards-Kits-ARM/_/N-8x0x4 (that's just ARM, but should give you a filter with all the manufacturers etc.) You can do the same for the Renesas stuff etc.

- To get familiar with the terminology, the book I suggested above should give you a starting point. In addition, you'll have lots of reading ahead of you. Getting active with a development board can probably help you get familiar with the terminology as well, as you will have to get through the development environment set-up, building a first application, etc.

- Architecture can encompass a lot of different aspects. However, you can start a bottom up approach whereby you start for example with a often used SOC (system on chip) such as i.MX6 from Freescale or similar and look at the datasheet. This will give you an idea of what is in the chip, but also with the interfaces it has available to communicate with other devices outside the SOC.


Hope this helps a little,
Johan.
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