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A New Rapid Microprocessor System Design Laboratory Development For Digital Design Education

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Computer ET Projects and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.86.1 - 11.86.7



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Paper Authors


Yong-Kyu Jung Texas A&M University

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YONG-KYU JUNG is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in College Station. He received his B.S.E.E. from Korea University (Seoul) in 1985, an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) in 1997 and in 2001 respectively. He was a vice president of VLSI technology (2001-2004) at VP Technologies Inc. His research interest is R4 Computing that is Rapid, Reconfigurable and Reliable computing systems design and implementation for future Reengineering.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A New Rapid Microprocessor System Design Laboratory Development for Digital Design Education


This paper presents a new rapid microprocessor system design laboratory to be used in the early stages of digital design education. To reduce a gap between current digital fundamentals and computer design courses, a register-transfer level (RTL) microprocessor design, which provides both functional and structural features and implementation options of the design, is taught in the new laboratory. In addition, this rapid RTL microprocessor system design laboratory offers a closer pre-industrial, real-world design experience, because an RTL design is considered as one of the preferable forms of the silicon chip design.


Because technology has evolved drastically, introducing design practices that are similar to real- world projects into the classroom is one of the crucial issues facing engineering education societies. Before discussing detailed activities, an examination of the “pros and cons” of current digital design practices in the classroom [1] is worthwhile. In industry, delivering the most marketable and typically large-scale, high-quality products in the shortest amount of time is critical. Engineering education, on the other hand, usually deals with more general subjects that may not often, if ever, be used during the post-academic engineering career, as well as with practices involving small design regardless of quality. In particular, students take a series of digital design courses – such as Digital Fundamentals, Logic Circuits and Computer Architectures – to learn microprocessor system design. Few intensive courses can compensate for the drawbacks of many courses taught in the current curricula. These intensive courses are typically coupled with laboratory exercises that include hardware design language (HDL)-based implementations. Because laboratory work is one of the most effective learning tools for novice students, providing intuitive, easy-to-use and expendable instruments is another important factor in the eventual delivery of better outcomes.

Since programmable devices and associated tool sets have been introduced in academia, digital system designs using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have often been added to existing curricula to enhance the practical learning process [2]. For instance, FPGA-based platforms along with configurable processor cores have been successfully used for various large classroom projects [3]. We are continuously encouraged to reduce the time spent teaching topics related to digital system design. We also have to adapt a rapid digital system design process for smoother migration toward the next level of courses. A customized processor platform and design

Jung, Y. (2006, June), A New Rapid Microprocessor System Design Laboratory Development For Digital Design Education Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--668

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