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Educational application of virtual instruments based on reconfigurable logic

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4 Author(s)
M. J. Moure ; Inst. de Electron. Aplicada, Vigo Univ., Spain ; M. D. Valdes ; E. Mandado ; A. Salverria

A number of computer assisted learning (CAL) tools which complement traditional learning methods have been developed due to the decreasing cost and increasing capacity of personal computers. Nevertheless, there are only a few experiences of combining CAL tools with practical experiments. This is the particular case of electronics where practical education is based on traditional independent instruments and CAL tools are use for simulation only. A new approach of CAL tools in electronics is the virtual instrumentation technique. Virtual instruments result from the combination of a general purpose computer with a generic data acquisition system in order to emulate several traditional measurement instruments. Virtual instruments are characterized by their versatility and low cost so they are very suitable for educational applications. Nevertheless, the operation rate of these instruments is limited by the general-purpose orientation of the hardware. In this work, the authors propose a new solution for the implementation of virtual instruments based on reconfigurable data acquisition systems. The whole system is characterized by its versatility because software and hardware modules change dynamically according to the application requirements. By this way, virtual instruments provides a link between CAL tools and the external systems used in practical experiments

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Microelectronic Systems Education, 1999. MSE'99. IEEE International Conference on

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