Course detail

Microcontrollers and Embedded Systems

FEKT-MPA-MKSAcad. year: 2022/2023

Students learn the advanced features of the C language, its use in microcontrollers programming, and the details of ARM Cortex-M architecture and peripherals of STMicroelectronics STM32 MCUs. They learn to design and program drivers for the most common peripherals such as button inputs, multiplex displays, graphic displays, shift registers, temperature sensors, etc. The course shows the procedures necessary for the design of complex applications with STM32 microcontrollers, including the topics of source code management and documentation.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The graduate is able: (a) describe the structure of ARM Cortex-M core; (b) describe basic blocks of STMicroelectronics STM32; (c) create firmware in C language including GCC specialties; (d) design and use connection of selected microcontroller peripherals; (e) design and assemble own device with microcontroller including firmware.


Attendant should be able to:
- describe main microcontroller blocks and their function
- design simple C program
- design program for setup of basic peripherals, interrupt control and separate functions and function calls
- analyze simple electronics circuits with passive parts and transistors and choose corresponding way of connecting to the microprocessor.
The subject knowledge on the Bachelor's degree level is requested.


Not applicable.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Teaching methods depend on the type of course unit as specified in the article 7 of BUT Rules for Studies and Examinations.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Students are evaluated continuously during the semester for active work in computer exercises and a midterm test. The compulsory final exam consists of a written, practical and oral part. 

Course curriculum

1. C language: constants and operators, control structures, preprocessor, functions, memory classes, pointers.
2. C language: arrays, strings, struct, union, enum, bit operations, inline, volatile, naked, state machines.
3. C language: introduction to libc libraries, arm-none-eabi-gcc compiler, printf and stdout.
4. C language: specialties in libc and gcc, combination with ASM, basic libraries.
5. Source code: Doxygen, Subversion; coding style.
6. Embedded systems design principles, introduction to RTOS, cooperative RTOS.
7. ARM Cortex-M core: architecture, features, NVIC, GPIO.
8. STM32 peripherials: counter/timer (SysTick, tone generator, PWM etc.), RTC, ADC, DAC.
9. STM32 communication: UART (RS232/485), SPI, I2C, 1-wire, DMA.
10. High-level firmware development, middlewares, STM32CubeMX tool.
11. Preemptive operating system FreeRTOS, application debugging over SWD.
12. Peripherals: buttons, normal LED, multiplexed LED, rotary encoder, text display, beeper, shift registers.
13. Peripherals: graphic display (drivers, vector graphics, TV screen); motors (DC motor, bridges, stepper motor, servo, BLDC).

Work placements

Not applicable.


The aim of the course is to deepen students' knowledge of microprocessor technology and programming in C, to familiarize them with ARM Cortex-M core, with STMicroelectronics STM32 MCUs, and learn to design the hardware and firmware for the most common peripherals.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

The content and forms of instruction in the evaluated course are specified by a regulation issued by the lecturer responsible for the course and updated for every academic year.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

MARTIN, T. The Insider's Guide To The STM32 ARM Based Microcontroller. Hitex Ltd., UK, 2008. (EN)
BROWN, G. Discovering the STM32 Microcontroller [online]. 2016 [cit. 2018-08-13]. Available: (EN)

Recommended reading

Not applicable.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme MPA-TEC Master's, 1. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional
  • Programme MPAJ-TEC Master's, 1. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional
  • Programme MPA-SAP Master's, 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

Exercise in computer lab

39 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer