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Introducing Hybrid Design Approach At The Undergraduate Level

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Embedded System Design

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

15.805.1 - 15.805.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16966

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

biography

Firas Hassan Ohio Northern University

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Dr. Firas Hassan is an assistant professor at Ohio Northern University. He finished his PhD studies at The University of Akron and worked for one year as a visiting professor. His area of research is hardware implementation of real-time embedded image processing algorithms

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biography

Srinivasa Vemuru Ohio Northern University

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Srinivasa Vemuru obtained his bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in
1984 and 1986, respectively. He received his PhD from the University of Toledo in 1991. From 1991-2001 he served as faculty member in the
Department of Electrical Engineering at the City College of the City University of New York. He is currently an associate professor in the
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Ohio Northern University. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of analog and digital electronic circuit design, embedded systems,
wireless sensor networks, built-in self test, and RF integrated circuits.

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

Introducing hybrid design approach at the undergraduate level

Abstract

Nowadays, embedded developers are designing their applications using a hybrid approach where the configurable components of the design are implemented in software, and the time critical components are implemented in hardware. Most of the universities, on the other hand, are still teaching these two design approaches separately. A typical electrical and computer engineering (ECE) program includes a class on embedded software design using microcontrollers and a class on hardware design using field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). This paper explains a teaching plan to introduce this hybrid design approach at the undergraduate level. The plan was applied successfully in an elective class at the University of Akron. A similar approach is used in a required course for computer engineering students at the Ohio Northern University. This paper presents the teaching plans and experiences from the two course offerings.

Introduction

In today’s quickly changing world, staying up-to-date is a recipe for success. Currently, embedded design companies are using a hybrid approach to implement configurable and real- time application. In such approach, the embedded developer can achieve configurability and real- time constraints on a single chip. The configurable components of the design are implemented in software, and the time critical components are implemented in hardware. Field programmable gate array (FPGA) providers such as Alter and Xilinx are offering soft cores for configurable processors1,2. Using these soft cores, the developer can select a processor that best fits his application without paying overhead or sacrificing performance. After building his own version of the configurable processor, the developer adds the hardware components of his design as peripheral devices surrounding the processor but on the same chip. The software part of the design runs on the processor itself. This important design concept can be easily introduced at the undergraduate level by using the teaching plan described in this paper.

There is a continuous expansion of the scope of electrical and computer engineering in the technology-oriented world. This requires the curriculum committees to look at a more efficient and effective means of covering these topics within a four-year undergraduate program to ensure that their graduates are well prepared to excel in the industrial/research world. There is a critical need to provide undergraduate electrical and computer engineering (ECE) students with an experience of studying the tradeoffs of hardware and software implementation in embedded systems3-5. A typical electrical and computer engineering (ECE) program includes a class on embedded software design using microcontrollers6 and a class on hardware design using field programmable gate arrays7. In most universities one or both of these courses are required core courses. Hardware/software co-design approaches have been used at other universities targeting undergraduates and graduate students8-16. This paper explains a teaching plan to introduce this hybrid design approach at the undergraduate level that introduces both these topics in a single course. The plan was applied successfully in an elective class at the University of Akron . A similar approach is used in a required course for computer engineering students at the Ohio

Hassan, F., & Vemuru, S. (2010, June), Introducing Hybrid Design Approach At The Undergraduate Level Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16966

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