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Introduction of rapid systems prototyping into undergraduate computer engineering curricula

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3 Author(s)
J. Hamblen ; Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; H. Owen ; S. Yalamanchili

The rapid evolution of the computing industry challenges academic curricula to keep pace in providing students with a modern education. In many existing curricula, laboratories, and textbooks there is a notable lack of recent research advances in CAD, rapid prototyping, and integrated hardware/software design. Many electrical and computer engineering career paths in both industrial research and development as well as academic research require competence in these areas. The paper describes a two quarter undergraduate capstone design class in a computer engineering curriculum. Design groups comprised of students from several different areas of specialization (e.g., software systems, VLSI devices and circuits, and computer architecture) design, simulate, implement, and evaluate a complete computing system. The projects in the current sequence include a pipelined 32 bit RISC processor, a 4 cell systolic array processor and a video game. The goal is to produce simulation and hardware/software codesign as early as possible in the design process. Students execute software on simulation models prior to any hardware implementation. Throughout the sequence, students participate in design reviews, and must provide documentation of their designs. The final designs are implemented in arrays of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) contained in a device called a hardware emulator. This allows for ease of design modifications while still having actual hardware for experimentation

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1995. Proceedings., 1995  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

1-4 Nov 1995