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New And Innovative Educational Material For Teaching Mixed Domain Embedded System Design To Undergraduate/Graduate Students

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Embedded System Design

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.927.1 - 13.927.13



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Paper Authors

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Alex Doboli State University of New York-Stony Brook

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Eddie Currie Resonance Publications, Inc.

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Patrick Kane Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

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Dave Van Ess Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

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

New and Innovative Educational Material for Teaching Mixed-Domain, Embedded Systems to Undergraduate/Graduate Students


Efforts related to development of innovative, mixed-signal system design, teaching materials and methodology are presented that focus on the co-design of performance-optimized modules for signal sensing, control, actuation, and communication in embedded systems. The methods developed to assess the quality and degree of assimilation by students of the key course concepts are also presented. Cypress Semiconductor’s PSoCTM mixed-signal architecture was used to illustrate the concepts covered by the developed materials.


Markets continuously produce new demands and opportunities for creating innovative concepts and technologies in electronic design1,2,8. This includes traditional markets (e.g., telecommunications, consumer goods, military, and automotive industry) and other sectors, such as healthcare and education. Future generation electronic systems will increasingly require continuous information acquisition from distributed heterogeneous sources, real-time information processing, wireless access to large databases, efficient information retrieval/data mining, autonomous operation, and self-adaptation to new conditions, etc8. Successfully meeting these challenges will provide not only interesting research problems but will allow the education curriculum to keep pace with these challenges and opportunities6,9,10.

Addressing the emerging needs of modern electronic systems presents several important characteristics that distinguish them from more traditional embedded systems. Viz.6: • Mixed-domain integrated electronic systems: Many applications require integrated signal acquisition, data processing, control, and actuation2,8,10. The design process involves co- designing the analog circuits, digital blocks, firmware, and software. For example, devising the sensing front-end requires knowledge of analog and mixed-signal circuits, since the sensed signals are of different types (voltages, currents, charges, digital signals, etc.) and characteristics, e.g., offsets, noise, required driving capabilities, etc.. Moreover, efficient accessing of the sensed signal values in a high-level program language (e.g., C++) involves programming languages and techniques, firmware, compilers, and operating systems skills. • Reconfigurable systems: Many modern execution platforms are reconfigurable, and their architecture can be customized (to various degrees) to address the application characteristics. Customization is a very powerful procedure for developing performance- optimized implementations (e.g., optimized for processing accuracy, speed, real-time constraints, energy/power consumption, cost, reliability, and so on). Presently, architectures, such as Cypress Semiconductor’s PSoC family of mixed-signal array1 devices, offer the possibility of customizing not only the digital blocks, but also the analog circuits, I/O ports, interconnect, supply voltages, and clock frequencies. While such customization is powerful, architectural reconfiguration can be a complicated

Doboli, A., & Currie, E., & Kane, P., & Van Ess, D. (2008, June), New And Innovative Educational Material For Teaching Mixed Domain Embedded System Design To Undergraduate/Graduate Students Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4472

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