New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Electrical and Computer
The Introduction to Digital System Design which is a 4 credit hour course, including lab, was upgraded in Fall 2014 to improve student learning. The improvements were based on course outcome surveys, instructors’ observations and industry trend. The digital hardware design in industry is now heavily dependent on Hardware Description Languages (HDLs) for implementing complex digital systems. This course has been revised to prepare the students adequately for upper level courses involving HDL, solving real world problems and ultimately getting them ready for the workforce.
The laboratory upgrades included more of sequential circuit design labs, hands-on labs using Nexys4 board, and the addition of a design project. These additional assignments, in an attached learning style, closely follow the topics taught in lecture. A new textbook is also used that supports the use of HDL in logic design and emphasizes the relationships between HDL statements and the corresponding digital hardware.
The paper addresses the new structure as compared to what was previously offered. In the old style, Hardware Description Language learning was mainly captured in only 1/3 of the labs, with very little HDL in-class learning. The course upgrades now accomplish advancing the HDL in-class and in-lab learning with a project that integrates various components in the course.
The new course offers tutorial sessions that supplement the textbook, and assist students create a design source targeting the FPGA on the Nexys4 board, create a user constraint file (XDC) to constrain pin locations, simulate the design, synthesize and implement the design, generate the bitstream and finally download the design to the board and verify the functionality. Four structured labs related to combinational design and other four labs related to sequential design follow the same pattern, and are designed to assist with simulation and design verification using test benches and downloading the bit stream to the board for the hardware implementation.
The paper details the new model of delivering the course, project samples, and students’ satisfaction with this new approach.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015