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Implementing Pld Technology In An Introductory Digital Logic Course

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.248.1 - 1.248.4



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Paper Authors

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Ph.D., Albert B. (Bill) Grubbs Jr.

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Antony Anthony

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

Session 3548 Implementing PLD Technology in An Introductory Digital Logic Course by Albert B. (Bill) Grubbs Jr., Ph.D. and Antony Anthony Department of Engineering Technology University of North Texas Denton, Texas


This paper describes a project accomplished in a partnership between the Department of Engineering Technology (ETEC) at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas and Altera Corporation in San Jose, California. The purpose of the project was to upgrade the digital logic course lectures and laboratories to incorporate the latest hardware and software technologies. The major thrust was in the laboratories resulting in new equipment, remodeled facilities, greater use of computer aided engineering software, and enhanced learning activities.

Previous laboratory experiences

For the most part, the digital logic course is taught as in most engineering technology curriculums. The lecture covers topics beginning with binary concepts and progressing through combinational and sequential devices. Laboratory experiences are designed to complement the theory studied in the lecture classes. Both analysis and design concepts are introduced.

The previous computer design and analysis software were several generations behind current computer aided engineering software. The software relied heavily on text commands. The design process required generating tiles in various formats to be used by other programs to generate logic diagrams, perform simulations, and generate waveforms and state tables. The experience was less than desirable considering that today’s students are accustomed to windows-based integrated applications sotlware.

Once a digital logic circuit was designed, it was tested using traditional breadboard systems that included switches, power supplies, LED indicators, etc. As the students gained knowledge and experience, the task of testing increasingly complex digital logic circuits became a limiting factor in their laboratory experiences. Mainly the combination of outdated software and complex wiring on the breadboards were the problem, not the underlying digital logic theory. In addition, student designs were limited to the inventory of components and devices available in the parts storeroom.

Alternatives to traditional integrated circuits An alternative to using standard integrated circuit devices is to implement the logic design in programmable logic devices (PLD). A PLD is a device that contains large numbers of gates, flip flops, and registers that are interconnected on the chip. Specific digital logic designs are implemented through the process of programming the device. In some cases, the devices are programmable only once because fusible links are actually blown to create the design. Other PLD devices, similar to EEPROM memory devices, allow the reprogramming of devices so that new designs may be implemented.

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Grubbs Jr., P. A. B. B., & Anthony, A. (1996, June), Implementing Pld Technology In An Introductory Digital Logic Course Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6100

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