Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Computers in Education
This article discusses our continuing efforts to integrate the Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) into the digital system design course. The course follows on from the first-year digital logic course. Programmable gate arrays had previously been introduced in our senior-level embedded system course, but the recent trend toward applications in industry demanded that FPGAs be introduced earlier in the Electrical and Computer Engineering curricula. In the fall semester of 2009 we began introducing FPGAs into the digital system design course. This allowed our second-year students to explore high-level circuit designs with a state-of-the-art Computer-Aid Design suite (CAD) with Xilinx’s FPGAs.
In this work, we describe the revision for the digital system design course starting in 2015, including software and hardware upgrades that improved our hands-on laboratory exercises. Because Xilinx ISE 14.7 version no longer supported newer FPGAs devices, we adopted the Xilinx Artix-7 FPGAs on the Basys-3 educational board and the Xilinx Vivado design suite.
We also provide some historical context regarding to the evolution of the laboratory exercises used for this course. Two new lab exercises were developed to address student concerns from the student survey in 2015, including introducing the hierarchical design flow for FPGAs earlier in the course, as well as lack of real-world examples in the lab exercises. In this paper, we describe two new computer gaming labs added in 2016 along with evaluation data showing marked improvement in students’ perception of the course.
Liu, C. C. (2018, June), Use of FPGAs in a Digital System Design Course with Computer Gaming Applications Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31188
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