About (Spring 2022)

This page offers information about the class offering (SPRING 2022) (Updated January 4,2022)


Please find the Syllabus for Spring 2022 at the following link:

Link for Spring 2022 Syllabus (Google Sheet)

Note: One big challenge of this class is the hardware component – specially with COVID. When developing hardware, we must deal with manufacturers, the state of supply of ICs, and many other unexpected issues that can affect our build and over which we have little to no control over. As such, the times on the syllabus are tentative – sometimes, dates shift due to unforeseen circumstances. We ask prospective students for their understanding – best efforts are made to meet the times related to HW, and accommodations are done when the unexpected happens (for example, if a board is delayed by a week by the manufacturer, this is taken into account on the grading and flow of the class).


ESE516 is completely a hands-on class. All grading will be from programming tasks, schematic/layout tasks, and physical prototyping. No quizzes or exams will be done – all theory will be tested for in practice! Some writing may be asked in some assignments, as well as recordings showing your prototype working.

Grading and assignment weight can be found in the tab “Grading” of the syllabus link above (#Syllabus)

Course Times

Course Times are Monday and Wednesday, 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm. Until February classes will be done via Zoom, and then in person (University Covid Protocol permitting). Classes will be recorded and links will be posted for them to students to review when they cannot make it to the class or want to review.

You can find the Zoom invite in the Piazza forum as a pinned post (please see below).

Resource List

Note: To have access to these resources you need to be enrolled in the class and added to the class list. If you are enrolled but do not have access, please e-mail the staff!

Piazza: This is the main form of communication in the class. Questions can be asked here, and class announcements will be posted here as well. You should be invited to Piazza if you are registered in the class – if not, please contact me!

Google Drive: The class has a Google Drive that is used to share files with students and also for delivery of work. You should be invited to the class Google Drive if you are registered in the class – if not, please contact me


Please visit the F.A.Q. for more information on pre-requisites and information for prospective students!

Windows for Mac and Linux Machines

During the semester, we will use two main software suites: Altium 21, used for PCBA development, and Microchip Studio (formerly Atmel Studio), the IDE we will use for embedded development.

Both software solutions are only available for Windows. Sadly, we cannot provide support of other software solutions for people who have a Mac or Linux machine.

For people that only have a Linux or Mac machine, there are different resources that the university has in place that can be of use for you.

We will provide accounts for Altium 21 starting next Wednesday (January 19th, 2022). We will begin working with Altium from the first class. Please plan to have one of the solutions below ready if you have a Mac/Linux machine!

1.) Use a virtual machine/dual boot (preferred)

Students can use a virtual machine or double boot.

Apple users can use Bootcamp

Apple and Linux users can use a free license of VMWARE provided by the school. 

Windows 10 Images can be acquired free from the schools Microsoft Azure account


You can connect to a Windows instance from Penn and work on a remote machine. Speed might depend on internet connection (maybe). More information on this link