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An Introductory Digital Logic Design Laboratory

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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

4.81.1 - 4.81.3

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Paper Authors

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Daniel J. Tylavsky

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

Session 2532

An Introductory Digital-Logic Design Laboratory Daniel J. Tylavsky ( Department of Electrical Engineering Arizona State University


A series of digital-logic design laboratory experiments have been created for a first course in digital logic design. These laboratory experiments are aimed primarily at first and second year electrical engineering and computer science/engineering students. The laboratory exercises include a set of six hardware laboratory experiments, and eight digital-logic simulation experiments. To receive a copy of the digital-design experiments discussed in this paper, send a request to

I. Hardware Laboratory Experiments

The objective of the hardware laboratory design is to start students with basic experiments that emphasize common laboratory measuring and debugging techniques. Later more sophisticated experiments emphasize the design skills students have acquired in the lecture portion of the class as shown in Table 1.

All of the hardware labs emphasize hardware realizations. Later labs include some use of digital-logic simulations to simulate circuits students build using TTL hardware. The objective of this mix is to allow students to discover, on their own, the role that simulation plays in the prototyping of complex engineering systems. There are more tasks included in the experiments than students can complete in the laboratory time allotted for most college courses. Selecting a subset of cohesive tasks that vary from semester to semester allows students to rely on their own understanding of the material rather than that of students from previous semesters. The order of the experiments is chosen to be in synchronism with the order of topics covered by most textbooks on introductory digital-logic design.

In the capstone design project, students are assigned to produce two designs that meet a given functional specification and pick the better of the two designs using their own metric. It is part of their task to define what "better" means and to describe in their report how one of their designs is better than the other. They then develop a LogicWorks™ simulation to “proof” their concept and demonstrate this simulation to a teaching assistant. The “proofed” concept is then built in the hardware lab and again demonstrated to a teaching assistant. A final report on their capstone design project is a requirement. This project and report allows students to demonstrate three things. They demonstrate their knowledge of synchronous machine construction by designing (typically) a Mealy and Moore machine that meets the problem statement. They demonstrate their knowledge of building and debugging circuitry, using both hardware and a hardware simulator. They demonstrate in their final report the communication skills they have developed during the semester.

Tylavsky, D. J. (1999, June), An Introductory Digital Logic Design Laboratory Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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