I'm taking an EdX class in embedded systems and I'm having a little trouble fully grasping what a UART is. The UART has been used as a means to an end, so it hasn't been described well yet.
A UART seems to be a communication system centered around a hardware component (also referred to as the UART?). Presumably they are controlled by standardized code libraries? We've been provided with some functions that control the UART, but it is not clear whether this is part of a standard library or written by the educators:
UART_Init(); // initialize UART for printing
It is not yet clear to me whether UARTs are standard on all microcontrollers, or specific to the device we're using. It seems that UARTs have a wide range of I/O capabilities, but what they are, and how widely they are used, is not clear to me.
A beginner-level explanation that can briefly describe and connect any/all of these threads together would rock:
- UART hardware
- UART software interface
- UART's place in the wider electronics world
- overview of usage & capability of UART