June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.227.1 - 22.227.12
ARM/FPGA/I2C Sensor Network Development and Teaching PlatformThe computer engineering technology program has a very well-built course sequence in digitaland embedded systems design with a strong emphasis on hands-on experience for the students.The last module in the sequence is being taught as a capstone course that is geared more towardsindustrial like applications and industrial design environment. This includes project managementtechniques, version control and project sign-off milestones.Based on the above guidelines, we are developing a design experience for the students based ona popular commercial computer architecture such as the ARM processor; the flexibility ofextending this architecture by creating hardware accelerator blocks by the integration of a highdensity FPGA; and by the addition of off-the-shelf sensor components that are interconnectedthrough the popular I2C communications bus.During the course, the students will be assigned the following tasks: assemble and test their PCBboards, which are mostly surface mount devices; bring up power generation devices on board;familiarize with the ARM architecture; analyze and develop the optimal hardware and softwarepartitions to allow system’s maintenance and future upgradeability; identification of alreadyavailable intellectual property blocks for reutilization; use of external logic analyzer; extend theARM architecture by designing hardware accelerators; use of internal FPGA debuggingcapabilities; analyze system’s power consumption and use of advanced power optimizationtechniques; explore pipelined architectures and their impact on algorithm’s speedup; attaintiming closure given system’s specifications; work with a tight area/resources budget whilemaintaining system’s performance; create a sensors communication network by using on boardI2C devices and possibly a wireless network by using Zigbee or other similar standard.Out of this capstone experience the students must be comfortable to work in an industry typeenvironment by: working in teams, selecting leadership, work towards achievable milestones,work on a version control environment, work under a bug tracking system, work ondocumentation deliverables, demonstrate intermediate and final project’s prototyping phases.
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