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The CPLD Provides a Third Option in the Introductory Logic Circuits Course

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

CoED General Technical Session II

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1281.1 - 25.1281.14



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Paper Authors


Jonathan M. Hill University of Hartford

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Jonathan Hill is an Associate Professor in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. He has a Ph.D. and M.S.E.E. from Worcester Polytechnic Inst. in Worcester, Mass., and was previously a Project Engineer at Digital Equipment Corp. He instructs graduate and undergraduate computer engineering computer courses, directs graduate research, and performs research involving embedded microprocessor based systems. His current projects involve small system design, signal processing, and intelligent instrumentation.

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Ying Yu University of Hartford

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Ying Yu received the B.Eng. degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, in 2000. She received the M.Eng. degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Brown University, RI., USA, in 2003 and 2007, respectively. Since 2008, she has been teaching as an Assistant Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Hartford. Her current research interests includes digital signal processing, speech processing, and teaching with new educational methods, which includes peer instruction, clickers, video games, and state-of-the-art CAD tools.

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The CPLD Provides a Third Option in the Introductory Logic Circuits CourseAbstractWe have recently adopted the complex programmable logic devices (CPLD) in our introductory logiccircuits course at [University Name]. While we have long introduced programmable devices inadvanced courses, as the state of the art in logic circuits moves forward, there is a growing push tomake even more and earlier use of programmable logic devices in the electrical and computerengineering curriculum. Until recently, our introductory logic circuits course was taught with TTLdevices, following a very traditional lecture and laboratory format. In response to such pressure, wehave adopted complex programmable logic devices (CPLD) in our introductory logic course.In adopting a programmable device into introductory logic circuits, we chose the CPLD as a means toavoid the all-or-nothing approach that some of our colleagues have adopted and is reflected inacademic literature. In being all-or-nothing, the purely hands-on experience would be replaced entirelyby the software oriented, FPGA based development board related experience where no actual wiring isinvolved. Rather, the CPLD provides us with a viable third option with hands-on experience, usingmodern devices, along with computer aided design tools. Our selected CPLD, used with a classicalbreadboard, and educational activities provides this new option. While on one hand we like havingstudents build logic circuits by hand, extensive wiring does introduces practical limits.Given the potentially wide reaching impact on the curriculum, we are taking this change to theintroductory logic circuits course in steps. This paper presents our first results. So far we haveintroduced CPLDs while making few changes to the actual content of the course. We have developedentirely new laboratory projects and activities. In addition, new tutorial material was written tointroduce students to the design tools. In particular, we are most concerned that our students have ameaningful laboratory experience. In this paper we also present our future plans.

Hill, J. M., & Yu, Y. (2012, June), The CPLD Provides a Third Option in the Introductory Logic Circuits Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22038

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