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Design Hardware for Embedded Systems

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Uderman, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Uderman

    Uderman Guest

    Hello all.

    I would like to know how can I design the hardware of my embedded
    system. Right now I just have an idea of a project, a processos family
    that I probably will use, and a few perifericals that would be
    present. I would like to know how can I build the hardware of this
    system, what metodology and tools to use.

    I would like to build a system with those hardwar pieces
    (Microcontroller + Periferials), test it, and then start working on
    the software for my hardware design.

    I have looked at tools like RealView for ARM development. It looks
    like that with this tool I can work from the point I am right now to
    develop the hardware and software of a embedded system. Other tool
    that I have checked is Proteus VSM. Are those the correct tools to
    work with. Are there any free or open tools that I could use?

    I don't know if I made myself clear with my above explanation. Basicly
    I would like to assembly my microcontroller and periphericals in a
    system, to build and then test my hardware design. Then, I also would
    like to build the software for this hardware. I have some experience
    with the software design, but no experience at all with the hardware
    design, so I need more help in this part.

    Thank you very much for any help, I really need it! If you need any
    futher information in order to help me, please let me know.

    Felipe Uderman
    Uderman, Jul 10, 2007
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  2. Uderman

    Tim Wescott Guest

    Asking what tools to use to design your hardware is almost like asking
    what tools you need to use to install nails in your house. The correct
    answer to the nails question is "hammer", but having one won't help you
    drive nails if you don't already know how to do it -- you learn to drive
    nails by watching someone else do it, and once you've done that you know
    you need a hammer.

    I suggest that you start reading electronics hobbyist magazines. There
    aren't too many left, but I know that Nuts & Volts, Circuit Cellar, QST
    (from the American Radio Relay League) and QEX (same) will all educate
    you in all the steps if you diligently read articles for six months or
    so. Building kits will also help. Buying evaluation boards is a good
    way to get a working embeddable sub-system; with one in hand all you
    have to do is add the parts of the circuit that are unique to your
    problem and proceed.

    Once you've done that then you can start thinking about acquiring
    schematic capture and PC layout tools to design a PC board, and
    soldering irons and hand tools and all the other things you need to
    assemble one, and all the wrenches, pliers, cutters and whatnot you need
    to put the thing in a case or otherwise mount it in your system.


    Tim Wescott
    Wescott Design Services

    Do you need to implement control loops in software?
    "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" gives you just what it says.
    See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
    Tim Wescott, Jul 10, 2007
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  3. Before you go arbitrarily selecting a processor chip and other peripheral
    items there are a few steps to accomplish first. Tim Wescott covered a few
    good ideas for you to follow through with.

    Whether as a hobbyist or as an engineer in training the project needs a goal
    so that you know when you have achieved what you set out to do. Once you
    have defined the main goal, there will be a number of sub-goals that you
    need to achieve along the way.

    The books at this link:-


    will certainly give you some guidance on the way to approach the design and
    programming of embedded systems. Jack has also reviewed a number of books
    on the topic and probing around his site would lead you to a long list of
    useful books.

    If the answers you get seem non-specific then it is because your original
    question was rather non-specific. None of the experts here claim to be
    practitioners in any form of telepathy so we are left waiting for what you
    have in mind. Be specific about your goals and questions and we may be able
    to assist more.

    Paul E. Bennett ....................<email://>
    Forth based HIDECS Consultancy .....<http://www.amleth.demon.co.uk/>
    Mob: +44 (0)7811-639972
    Tel: +44 (0)1235-811095
    Going Forth Safely ..... EBA. www.electric-boat-association.org.uk..
    Paul E. Bennett, Jul 10, 2007
  4. Uderman

    zhangmei Guest

    Hello Felipe,

    I would recommend you a teaching platform for embedded systems:

    The University of Guelph has a teaching course for this platform, you
    can download the teaching ebook from here:

    zhangmei, Jul 11, 2007
  5. Uderman

    Tom Lucas Guest

    In addition to the good advice given by Tim and Paul I would suggest
    thaqt you might want to consider buying a development kit which loosely
    fits what might be in the final product. This will let you develop your
    software without wondering if your bugs are really hardware problems.

    There are loads of them out there and the range in price wildly. I've
    used expensive kits from LogicPD for LCD development, cheaper ones from
    Hitex for initial forays into ARM processors and very cheap ones from TI
    for tinkering with USB.
    Tom Lucas, Jul 11, 2007
  6. Uderman

    John B Guest

    Further to the good advice from Tim; if you're in Europe you should
    subscribe to Elektor magazine.

    Personally I would suggest the Atmel STK500 development kit, which
    together with Atmel's free AVR Studio software will give you a great
    starting point. There's also a mountain of public domain projects to
    look at here:

    John B, Jul 11, 2007
  7. Uderman

    Uderman Guest

    Thank you for all your adivices, it really helped me understando the
    size of my problem :), And sorry about my late response, life is a bit
    messy right now, so many things to do, and I forgot this topic here.
    Yes, it is a long road, but also interesting. I have subscribe to the
    Circuit Cellar Magazine, but will just receive my frist number by mid
    september. I also bought an ARM development Kit, Philips LPC213, and a
    few books. I am also trying to contact people at open hardware
    projects, as it is a very good way of learning and contributing.


    Felipe Uderman
    Uderman, Aug 18, 2007
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