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A Paradigm Shift In Digital System Design Education With Industry Participation

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.27.1 - 1.27.14



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Paper Authors

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Vijay K. Madisetti

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James H. Aylor

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David P. Wilsey

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Anthony J. Gadient

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

Session 1232

A Paradigm Shift in Digital System Design Education With Industry Participation

Anthony J. Gadient, Vijay K. Madisetti, James H. Aylor, David P. Wilsey

The RASSP Education & Facilitation Team SCRA 5300 International Blvd., N. Charleston, SC 29418


While the commercial Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and the academic/industrial research communities have been aware of the requirement for an intensive effort to study the digital system design practice in its entirety, resource needs, fuzzy objectives, and short-time horizon have handicapped progress. The Rapid Prototyping of Application Specific Signal Processors (RASSP) program is a major ARPA/Tri- Service effort that is overcoming these previous handicaps. This effort is bringing a number of new technologies that will lead to shorter prototyping times, improved product quality, and reduced life cycle costs to fruition. In an effort to ensure the successful transfer of these new technologies, the RASSP Education & Facilitation (RASSP E&F) program is working with small and medium size universities to incorporate these new technologies into their undergraduate and graduate curricula. Only by successfully inserting these rapid- prototyping technologies into the curricula and research activities of the university community will the long term benefits of these technologies be realized. This paper discusses the need to change the existing embedded digital system design education paradigm, and the efforts being undertaken by the RASSP E&F program to work with the university community to effect this change. The result is a clarion call to stimulate academic participation in a progressive educational program that adopts the latest instructional methods and industrial strength tools to revolutionize the way system design is taught in United State’s colleges and universities.

1. Introduction

Embedded digital systems are those digital electronics systems that are dedicated to specific applications, include both hardware and software, and customarily operate in rigid real-time, standalone environments. The market for embedded digital systems is estimated to be about two orders of magnitude larger than the personal computer (PC) market1. Significantly, its share as a percent of the total electronics market is growing due to products that increasingly rely upon embedded electronics to provide the flexibility consumers want. This situation is evidenced in smart cards that are automating a variety of transactions (banking, medical, etc.) to smart military systems that enable a “fire and forget” paradigm.

In 1993, the Department of Defense (DoD) ARPA and Tri-Services initiated a major, $150M, 4.5 year effort, called the Rapid Prototyping of Application-Specific Signal Processors (RASSP) program, focused on improving the process by which embedded digital systems are designed. The technologies being developed by the RASSP program will be instrumental in enabling the cost-effective development of the smart embedded digital systems desired today.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Madisetti, V. K., & Aylor, J. H., & Wilsey, D. P., & Gadient, A. J. (1996, June), A Paradigm Shift In Digital System Design Education With Industry Participation Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6224

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