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Linking Simulation Tools To Laboratory Experiments: Teaching Design Verification In Engineering Technology

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Using Animation and Simulation in ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.816.1 - 7.816.10



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Paper Authors

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Jay Porter

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James Ochoa

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Session 3449

Linking Simulation Tools to Laboratory Experiments: Teaching Design Verification in Engineering Technology

Jay R. Porter, James Ochoa, Sanjay Tumati Texas A&M University

I. Introduction

The Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) program at Texas A&M University is currently working with industry to incorporate both digital and analog testing techniques into the curriculum. One area that has been identified as important by industry is helping future engineers understand the concept of integrating simulation into the design verification and testing process. This has led to ongoing efforts by the authors to bring simulation into the laboratory in both the analog and digital electronics course sequences.

One approach currently used requires the students to manually use simulation tools while testing their circuits in the laboratory to debug and verify design requirements. A better method, which is currently being developed, is to integrate simulation results directly into the test equipment. This paper will discuss continuing work to integrate simulation into both the digital and the analog laboratory curricula. The authors will discuss new tools that allow direct correlation between simulated and actual circuit responses. These include the integration of Altera’s MaxPlus II simulation results for digital systems and Cadence’s ORCAD PSpice results for analog systems. It should be noted that while ORCAD could be used for both analog and digital simulations, the authors use MaxPlus II in the digital courses so that simulated circuits can be downloaded to actual devices for testing.

II. Using Simulation to Verify Design in the Classroom

The typical electronics engineering technology program emphasizes circuit analysis and design in two major areas: analog electronics and digital electronics. In courses emphasizing digital electronics, students are taught analysis and design skills and are asked to apply them to problems from simple combinational logic circuits to more complex problems such as the design of a simple microprocessor. In the analog area, students are taught to work with passive components, semiconductor devices, and more complex analog integrated circuits. They are then asked to use these components to design circuits such as filters, amplifiers, etc… Because of the applied nature of engineering technology, these courses generally have a lab component where concepts taught in the classroom can be reinforced with hands-on experience. Circuits designed on paper are constructed, tested and evaluated.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Porter, J., & Ochoa, J. (2002, June), Linking Simulation Tools To Laboratory Experiments: Teaching Design Verification In Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10798

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