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WIMP51 Processor: Envisioning and Recreating the Platform for Implementing Student Design Projects

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Microprocessor, Microcontrollers, and Embedded Systems Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

26.1742.1 - 26.1742.12

DOI

10.18260/p.25078

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25078

Download Count

139

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Paper Authors

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Mason Marshall Missouri University of Science and Technology

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MASON MARSHALL, is an undergraduate at Missouri University of Science and Technology and Missouri State University’s Cooperative Engineering Program. He is majoring in electrical engineering and physics.

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Ariel Moss Missouri S&T

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Ariel Moss is an Associate Operations Engineer at Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. She received her BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in cooperation with Missouri State University in 2014.

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Larry Gene Garringer Missouri S&T

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Larry Garringer is an Undergraduate Senior in the BS Electrical Engineering program at Missouri University of Science and Technology and Missouri State University Cooperative Engineering program. His emphasis is in Electronics and research interests include microcontrollers and computer architecture.

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Rohit Dua Missouri University of Science & Technology

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ROHIT DUA, Ph.D is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and Missouri State University’s Cooperative Engineering Program. His research interests include engineering education. (http://web.mst.edu/~rdua/)

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Abstract

WIMP51 Processor: Envisioning and Recreating the Platform for Implementing Student Design Projects The Digital Systems Design course aims to introduce Electrical and ComputerEngineering majors to systems design using microcontrollers. This course, required forComputer Engineering majors, but an elective for Electrical Engineering majors, follows therequired Introduction to Computer Engineering course. An attempt is, also, made to introducestudents to computer organization and architecture skills. The microcontroller courseconcentrates on the 8051 family of microcontrollers. The 8051’s internal architecture is complexfor students to grasp at that level. Instead, the internal conceptual working, of themicrocontroller, is explained, using the instruction set, over the course of an entire semester. Inorder to introduce students to a typical internal architecture, 8051’s smaller subset, WeekendInstructional Microprocessor (WIMP51), was previously designed, which is rudimentary indesign and has a small instruction set1. The original WIMP51 was created using VHDL1.Students, taking the Introduction to Computer Engineering course, are not required to learnVHDL. Depending on the instructor’s decision, VHDL is rarely introduced at that level. Insteadstudents create and simulate digital circuits in Altera’s Quartus II design software using BlockDiagram Files (BDF), which is a pictorial method of creating a digital circuit. Once designed andsimulated, the digital circuit can be tested on Altera’s DE II FPGA board. In order to provide a platform for students to better visualize, understand and learn theinternal organization and architecture, of the WIMP51 processor, a student oriented projectedwas implemented to redesign WIMP51, using the original inspiration (a similar but differentimplementation!); in Quartus II design software using BDF. A group of junior and senior levelElectrical Engineering students were given the task, using the basic organizational diagram andinstruction set as reference, and the knowledge learnt in the Introduction to ComputerEngineering course, to recreate the WIMP51 processor. The difference in the twoimplementations includes some changes to the original internal organization, logic developmentof the internal hardware and the original instruction set. The created processor can bedownloaded onto the FPGA board and tested. Using multiple test programs, students canunderstand the working of the WIMP51. This platform allows for the easy implementation of amajor class project. Students are required to create their own version of the WIMP51 processor,by adding a single or multiple instructions, depending on complexity, to the current instructionset. This paper discusses, in depth, the recreation of the WIMP51 processor and describes thedesigned features to help students obtain a deeper understanding of the internal working of theprocessor. Figure 1: Part of the recreated WIMP51 top-level entity diagramBibliography[1] D. Sullins, H. Pottinger, and D. G. Beetner, “The WIMP51: A Simple Processor and Visualization Tool toIntroduce Undergraduates to Computer Organization,” Computers in Education Journal, vol. 13, pp 17-23, Jan.2003.

Marshall, M., & Moss, A., & Garringer, L. G., & Dua, R. (2015, June), WIMP51 Processor: Envisioning and Recreating the Platform for Implementing Student Design Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25078

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