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An Embedded Dsp Development System For Teaching Real Time Interfacing

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.65.1 - 4.65.12

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Michael Morrow

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

Session 3532

An Embedded DSP Development System for Teaching Real-Time Interfacing

Michael G. Morrow United States Naval Academy

I. Introduction

Historically, microcomputer interfacing has been taught using relatively low-performance 8 bit systems. While this generally provided students with a simple architecture and instruction set, it also presented serious limitations, particularly in obtaining real-time operation. To overcome this performance shortfall, the Texas Instruments TMS320C31 DSP Starter Kit (DSK) will be used as the engine for new laboratory stations in an advanced microcomputer course emphasizing real- time interface design and operation in embedded systems. Using the DSK as the basis of a prototyping system provides far greater speed, data bandwidth, and computational capabilities, while the straightforward register architecture and floating point hardware actually reduce programming complexity.

A first stage demonstration prototype was constructed that augmented the DSK with an electrically erasable memory, boot source selection, a reset controller, and a digital/analog wire- wrap prototyping area. This allowed for either hosted operation for debugging and programming, or stand-alone embedded operation. The demonstration system was designed to accept the DSK as a daughterboard, using the DSK expansion headers for direct board-to-board connection. The prototype served as a test vehicle for the development of the final laboratory station. Additionally, this prototype board was used to construct a low cost, variable frequency, precision three-phase power supply for use in our general electrical engineering courses. Implementation required only a small number of additional components and clearly demonstrated the utility of this prototyping system, particularly in design projects. By using this prototyping system as a foundation, the students are able to undertake much more ambitious interfacing and signal processing design projects, without having to design the entire system from the ground up.

The laboratory station retains all of the features of the demonstration system, and adds a high speed electrically programmable logic device (EPLD) (which our students learn and utilize in a prior course), a solderless bread-boarding area, and a multi-output power supply. This system allows interfacing to complex devices while eliminating the need for discrete device “glue logic” with its inherent power, delay and signal concerns. We view this or similar systems as being essential to maintaining a credible EE/ECE undergraduate program. This paper will discuss the two prototype development systems and how they will be integrated into the real-time interfacing curriculum.

Morrow, M. (1999, June), An Embedded Dsp Development System For Teaching Real Time Interfacing Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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