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Incorporating simulation and implementation into teaching computer organization and architecture

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3 Author(s)
B. Hatfield ; Salem State Coll., MA, USA ; M. Rieker ; Lan Jin

This paper describes the motivation, the realization, and the experience of incorporating simulation and hardware implementation into teaching computer organization and architecture to computer science students. It demonstrates that learning by doing has helped students to truly understand how a computer is constructed and how it really works in practice. Correlated with textbook material, a set of simulation and implementation projects were created on the basis of the work that students had done in previous homework and laboratory activities. Students can thus use these designs as building blocks for completing more complex projects at a later time. The projects cover a wide range of topics from simple adders up to ALU's and CPU's. These processors operate in a virtual manner on certain short assembly-language programs. Specifically, this paper shares the experience of using simulation tools (Alterareg Quartus II) and reconfigurable hardware prototyping platforms (Alterareg UP2 development boards)

Published in:

Proceedings Frontiers in Education 35th Annual Conference

Date of Conference:

19-22 Oct. 2005