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Bridging the gap between future software and hardware engineers: a case study using the Nios softcore processor

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4 Author(s)
Kairus, J. ; Signal Process. Lab., Helsinki Univ. of Technol., Espoo, Finland ; Forsten, J. ; Tommiska, M. ; Skytta, J.

As digital designs grow both in size and functionality, the importance of software development concepts has increased. This has led to a demand in the industry for engineers with good skills in both electrical engineering and computer science. However, the general trend in undergraduate education has been a divergence of these two historically close fields of study. To have an influence in the opposite direction, a digital laboratory course was reformed at the Helsinki University of Technology. The modernized laboratory course includes exercises on Altera's Nios development platform, which has been enhanced with a custom-designed expansion board. The exercises include both software and hardware concepts and contribute to a better understanding between future electrical engineers and computer scientists. Based on student feedback, the initial objective of bridging the gap between software and hardware engineers has been achieved.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education, 2003. FIE 2003 33rd Annual  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Nov. 2003