Microcontroller Programming 101

Document created by GUO XIAOLI Employee on Jul 12, 2012Last modified by GUO XIAOLI Employee on Jul 17, 2012
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Getting Started with the Freescale Cup

How to achieve the goal of creating an autonomous vehicle that quickly navigates around a track?


Before continuing with this tutorial, students should take the time to choose which Freescale Microcontroller your team is going to use. The Introduction to Freescale Cup Training article has some details about how to choose your microcontroller. Although the concepts and end results are similar no matter which microcontroller you decide to utilize, much of the software implementation details will differ.

What is a Microcontroller?


For information on what a microcontroller is head to the microcontrollers article.

Getting Started - Learn to Program a microcontroller


First off, you are going to need to know C programming. For a crash-course head to c-programming-for-embedded-systems.


The classic first application to learn how to program a microcontroller is to get through the process of Blinking an LED. This wiki contains a tutorial for each of the Cup microprocessors which simplifies the process of setting up the evaluation board, installing the Integrated Development Environment, and programming the board with a simple set of software which blinks a LED. The Blink a LED tutorial is the first of 4 tutorials designed to familiarize students with the process of designing a cup car.


These four tutorials will introduce students to many of the fundamentals of robotics, the software used to control the locomotion and sensors on an autonomous line following vehicle, and provide example code which help simplify the process of creating a competitive entry in the Freescale Cup.

Here is an outline of the Basic Microcontroller Programming Tutorial:


  1. Read the microcontroller article
  2. Choose a microcontroller
  3. Set up the development environment
  4. Set up the microcontroller evaluation board
  5. Program A LED
  6. move to the next tutorial…