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An Advanced Digital Systems Course: Asic's And Hcpld's

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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

1.59.1 - 1.59.4



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Gregory L. Moss

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

Session 3548

An Advanced Digital Systems Course: ASICs and HCPLDs

Gregory L. Moss Purdue University


Industry analysts predict that application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) will be the primary medium for the design of electronic products by the turn of the century. We are in the midst of an ASIC revolution. Many basic product objectives may be unattainable without using ASICs. ASICs provide many system design benefits including improvements in performance, reliability, power, system size, cost, and market competitiveness. There are several different ASIC methodologies available for system design and implementation. Full custom, cell-based, array-based, and programmable logic are the major choices; each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages to be weighed. This new revolution in digital logic design is made possible through electronic design automation tools that run on workstations and desktop personal computers. The computer aided engineering tools that are available today are having a significant impact upon the design of digital systems. With these powerful computer tools, industry is discovering that engineers can readily improve their productivity in creating digital designs.

Programmable logic devices (PLDs) allow designers to quickly and easily develop new digital circuits of moderate complexity for specialized applications. The low cost and availability of high-capacity programmable logic is changing the face of the design process by replacing perhaps hundreds of standard ICs with a single HCPLD chip. With PLDs, the designer is able to specify the necessary function or functions that the devices must produce. HCPLDs also make it possible for students to implement larger and more complex logic designs in the lab.

The explosive growth rate of ASICs forms an imperative for engineering and engineering technology schools to provide appropriate educational experiences for their students. Several options are available to institutions. This paper will look at some of the options and will describe an Advanced Digital Systems course taught at Purdue University in Electrical Engineering Technology.

ASIC Issues

ASIC technology provides a number of advantages in digital system design to industry. Their use will typically permit expanded functionality for a product in a smaller space using fewer parts, thereby decreasing power and cooling requirements overall and increasing system reliability. System performance gains can often be achieved through higher levels of integration attained with ASICs. Time to market for new products can be drastically reduced with some types of ASICs, resulting in the potential for greater profits to the companies who choose to take advantage of this technology,

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Moss, G. L. (1996, June), An Advanced Digital Systems Course: Asic's And Hcpld's Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5881

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