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An Fpga Based Embedded System Design Laboratory For The Undergraduate Computer Engineering Curriculum

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

14.194.1 - 14.194.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4976

Download Count

245

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Paper Authors

biography

John Bowles University of South Carolina

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John Bowles is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of South Carolina where he teaches and does research in reliable system design. Previously he was employed by NCR Corporation and Bell Laboratories. He has a BS in Engineering Science from the University of Virginia, an MS in Applied Mathematics from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

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biography

Gang Quan University of South Carolina

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Gang Quan is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame. He is the recipient of an NSF Faculty Early Career Award. His research interests include real-time systems, embedded computing, power-/thermal-aware design, electronic design automation, advanced computer architecture, and reconfigurable computing.

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

An FPGA-Based Embedded System Design Laboratory for the Undergraduate Computer Engineering Curriculum

Abstract

The primary focus of this project is the development of FPGA-based materials and practices for an undergraduate embedded system design laboratory. FPGA-based devices are especially well suited for building application-specific systems in an undergraduate embedded system design course due to their comparatively low cost, shorter design cycles and reusability. The laboratory platform uses an FPGA as the hardware substrate onto which students configure and subsequently reconfigure IP core modules using modern embedded system development tools and processes. The course materials are based on exemplary materials presented in recent Xilinx XUP Professor Workshops on embedded system design and are engrained with state-of-the-art concepts and technology applied to emerging methodologies for embedded system design. Student assessments of the course and their own learning have been exceptionally positive.

1. Introduction

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)-based devices are especially well suited for building application-specific systems in an undergraduate embedded system design course. FPGA-based designs have a much shorter design cycle, lower cost, and a smoother learning curve than traditional System-On-A-Chip1 technologies. In addition, the devices are programmable and reprogrammable, which makes them reusable throughout the lab practices and excellent devices for investigating different design alternatives. FPGA devices are also becoming increasingly popular in industrial embedded system designs, therefore, learning to use the tools and design processes for FPGA based embedded systems provides students with skills and experiences that can be readily applied when they begin to compete in the global labor force.

The primary focus of this project is the development of FPGA-based materials and practices for an undergraduate embedded system design laboratory. The laboratory platform uses an FPGA as the hardware substrate onto which students configure and subsequently reconfigure Intellectual Property (IP) core modules using modern embedded system development tools and processes. The course materials are based on exemplary materials presented in recent Xilinx XUP Professor Workshops on embedded system design and are engrained with state-of-the-art concepts and technology applied to emerging methodologies for embedded system design.

1.1. The Lab Environment

Traditionally, the use of FPGAs in the undergraduate curriculum has been pretty much limited to the design and testing of digital circuits instead of the development of more advanced embedded systems6. There are two reasons for this: insufficient hardware capability and lack of an appropriate embedded system design environment. Earlier generations of FPGA devices were quite limited in terms of the available hardware programmable resources such as control logic blocks and they could not accommodate complex components such as processors—which are the most critical component in embedded systems. However, thanks to advances in IC technology, new generations of FPGA devices have significantly greater hardware resources and computing

Bowles, J., & Quan, G. (2009, June), An Fpga Based Embedded System Design Laboratory For The Undergraduate Computer Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4976

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