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Bridging the Gap between Computer Engineers and Software Developers by Incorporating the PYNQ Platform into a Graduate Course on Embedded System Design Using FPGA

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Chirag Parikh Grand Valley State University

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Chirag Parikh is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his B.S. degree from University of Mumbai, India in 2000. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas in 2003 and 2007 respectively. His research interest is in area of digital systems, hardware modeling, and cryptography and also published various papers in the same. He has taught C programming, Microcontroller Applications and Introductory/Advanced Digital courses at the undergraduate level. He has also taught a graduate level course in the area of Advanced FPGA Implementation.

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Ryan T. Aldridge Grand Valley State University

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Today, Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) play a very important role in several embedded applications used in the area of defense systems, automotive, bioinformatics, cryptography, consumer electronics and many more. Despite their potential as high-performance computing platform, they are rarely used within datacenters and other general-purpose computing infrastructure. Due to complicated process flow for developing and implementing applications on an FPGA, application developers without any hardware design background find it difficult to adapt and develop FPGA applications. Xilinx recently introduced the PYNQ platform that enables engineers and programmers to develop embedded systems at a higher abstraction level without having the necessary hardware design background.

At Grand Valley State University, we have partnered with Xilinx, a leading manufacturer of FPGAs and a leading provider of programmable platforms to develop a graduate level course for Computer Engineering curriculum to bridge the gap between computer engineers and software developers. This course would allow students from engineering and computer science majors to be able to develop and implement applications on FPGAs using Python programming language and overlays that are similar to software libraries. In this paper, we describe the structure of the course along with the associated topics and laboratory exercises.

Parikh, C., & Aldridge, R. T. (2018, June), Bridging the Gap between Computer Engineers and Software Developers by Incorporating the PYNQ Platform into a Graduate Course on Embedded System Design Using FPGA Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30158

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