Networked embedded systems

From Smart Home to Industry 4.0: Get to know the potential and challenges of networking embedded systems

At least since the discussion about the fourth industrial revolution, networked and intercommunicating embedded systems have been on everyone's lips. In this course, the basics are created to understand and evaluate networked embedded systems (also cyber-physical systems - CPS). With the knowledge of the challenges of networking, you are able to plan and use cyber-physical systems.


  • Training without downtime
  • High flexibility through extra-occupational learning
  • High efficiency and applicability through practical content
  • High learning success through the latest teaching and learning methods and innovative educational technologies such as e.g. B. virtual classrooms, learning forums, chats or mobile hardware internships

Next start date

Summer term 2024
Starting on April 17th, 2024
Registration until April 1st, 2024

The course first lays the foundations in the field of communication protocols and discusses the specific properties of both wired protocols such as CAN and Profibus and wireless protocols such as W-Lan and ZigBee. In particular, in the increasingly important field of wireless communication, you will work out what challenges there are in terms of security, real-time capability and energy efficiency in this domain.

Building on this, you will deal with application-specific aspects of distributed and networked embedded systems. Based on two practical examples, you will learn how design decisions, such as a specific routing protocol, affect possible implementations. With the help of the Contiki development environment, you will implement exemplary simulated networked embedded systems and experience the effects of your design decisions on the communication between the modules "up close".

With the knowledge you have acquired, you will be able to understand the specific challenges of networking embedded systems. Not only will you know the structure of communication protocols, you will also be able to compare the various options and evaluate them with regard to a specific application scenario. Furthermore, you will be familiar with the basic functions of the Contiki development environment, which enables you to simulate wireless sensor network applications. 

What prior knowledge do I need?

Fundamentals of information and communication technology are recommended for this course.
You can find more information about the required prior knowledge in the Continuing Education Courses section.


The costs including learning materials, tutoring by a research assistant and the exam amount to 2,300 euros.

How does the course work?

General introductory event in Freiburg

You will get to know the experts and get an overview of the content. The IEMS team will introduce you to the methods of online learning and answer your organizational questions.

E-Training & Online Meeting

You learn flexibly with e-lectures. Work on exercises to check your learning progress. In online meetings and via the forum, you can discuss course content and clarify questions with fellow students and with tutors.

Exam and certificate

At the end of the semester you will take an exam. If you pass, you will receive a certificate from the University of Freiburg. You acquire 6 credit points (ECTS), which may be credited to you in a master's degree.

What can the content be used for?

The networking of embedded systems can offer advantages in numerous fields of application - be it through cost savings in the area of ​​logistics and industrial/process automation or in completely new fields of application such Smart Homes or the Internet of Things. The acquired knowledge opens up a large number of industrially relevant questions in which your specific knowledge will be an advantage.

How is the course structured?

  1. Motivation and introduction
  2. Communication Models and Protocols
  3. Basics of the wired (un)bound bit transmission layer
  4. Basics of the network layer
  5. Network Management
  6. Examples of wired communication protocols
  7. Communication protocols for building automation
  8. Practical examples - working with the Contiki development environment

Which technical expert is in charge of this program?

Prof. Dr. Axel Sikora
Hochschule Offenburg
Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

Contact us!

Your personal contact
Alistair IrelandStudent Advisory Service

Do you have questions about the course or would you like to learn more about the Intelligent Embedded Microsystems continuing education program? We look forward to hearing from you.

To register, send us the completed registration form directly by email to


Download the course information in pdf format!


Download the registration form for this course!