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Teaching and Design Workbench (T&D-Bench) is a framework aimed at education and research in the areas of computer architecture and embedded systems. It includes a set of features not found in other educational environments. This set of features is the result of an original combination of design requirements for T&D-Bench: that the framework should provide modeling capabilities similar to that of Architecture Description Languages (popular in embedded systems design), and that it should have the simulation capabilities found only in educational simulators. This paper highlights the main features and the latest achievements of the framework and of its didactic and research simulators. The results of a new didactic strategy, supported by the simulators, are presented and discussed. The design of a new architectural feature for embedded processors, using a research simulator, is introduced, and it is shown how to employ such a research work as an educational module to teach the complexities involved in embedded systems design.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2011