What Is a Program?

Mark M. Budnik
A free video tutorial from Mark M. Budnik
Brandt Professor of Engineering, Valparaiso University
4.6 instructor rating • 21 courses • 56,405 students

Lecture description

Students will be able to explain how programs provide the step-by-step instructions microcontrollers use to complete a task.

Learn more from the full course

Microcontrollers and the C Programming Language (MSP430)

Create C programs for a microcontroller using inputs/outputs, timers, analog-to-digital converters, comm ports, and LCD.

01:45:27 of on-demand video • Updated May 2020

  • Program microcontrollers with the C programming language.
  • Use timer peripherals
  • Use communication peripherals
  • Use analog-to-digital converter peripherals
  • Use a liquid crystal display (LCD)
  • Use the MSP430 to develop embedded systems
English [Auto] Now you know what microcontrollers and embedded systems are you might be wondering how does the controller brain know what to do. Well as designers we create a set of instructions called the program that tells the controller what type of inputs it needs to monitor and how to adjust its outputs appropriately. For example an official calculator my contorts program will specify that when the equal key is pressed the calculator should perform the required arithmetic and display the answer. Similarly if you press the call button on your cell phone's touch screen the microcontroller should recognize your request and initiate the call. We can accomplish all these things by writing programs or programs a set of instructions that tells a microcontroller what actions to perform in order to complete a certain task. Microcontrollers read these programs and evaluate instructions line by line. These instructions tell the microcontroller what to do dissimilar to you following a recipe when you were cooking dinner just as there are almost limitless possibilities to different dinner recipes. You can write programs to accomplish virtually anything you want. Similar to spoken languages. There are many different programming languages that you can choose from and it's up to you the programmer to decide which language is most appropriate. Any given situation later in the section will be learning how to program a microcontroller in a programming language called C. While it isn't the most user friendly language C has many features that lend themselves well to microcontrollers As such most microcontroller programs these days are written in the C programming language. Remember like a recipe a program is simply a set of instructions that tells them what actions to perform in order to complete a specified task. Next we're going to show you a tool that you will use to create your programs. The Integrated Development Environment.