The Application Studies of Embedded System Development Platforms

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

American Society of Engineering Education 2015 Illinois-Indiana Section Conference

Conference Location

Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, IN


Embedded computer systems are changing more often than other computing environments since the scope of their application domain is expanding. In the past, embedded system development was largely focused on 8-bit, standalone systems written directly in assembly language. These systems were characterized by slow CPUs (Central Processing Unit), kilobytes of memory, and limited peripheral devices on the chip. Nowadays they are embracing ever-widening application domains to include not only 8-bit standalone systems but real-time, networked, Operating-System based, wireless systems with megabytes of memory and 32-bit CPUs, with very rich peripheral devices. In the same time, the rapid advancement of low-cost embedded system kits such as Raspberry Pi1, Arduino2, etc. propose challenges and also opportunities to engineering educators for delivering contents and skills and engaging students in hands-on projects in embedded system teaching, which may take the advantages of a variety of platforms. On one hand, there are so many embedded platforms to choose, from ARM-based development kits, such as, MCB Series from Keil, Lab-in-Box from FreeScale, LaunchPad from TI, etc to low-cost platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi. These platforms can help educators and students to accelerate their learning pace by working on real-world projects. On the other hand, this also proposes challenges as students are confused to pick which platform for their design projects. In this paper, three main ARM-based embedded system platforms are studied, and, the features and their application areas are compared. This study will be very helpful in the teaching and learning of embedded systems to engineering educators and students and give students some ideas to find suitable embedded system platforms in their design projects.



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