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Multi-core system education through a hands-on project on FPGAs

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1 Author(s)
Xiaofang Wang ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Villanova Univ., Villanova, PA, USA

Multi-core system education for Computer Engineering students is quite challenging since it involves a wide range of complex topics, especially when hardware design is the focus. In contrast to simulation-based approaches, FPGA-based configurable processors offer exciting opportunities for students to develop and implement both hardware and software of multi-core processor systems on real hardware. This paper presents a hands-on and comprehensive multi-core processor project that utilizes configurable processors and is designed for an introductory embedded systems design course. In addition to designing and implementing a quad-core processor system on the Altera DE2 FPGA development board, students are also required to propose a parallel technique to map and manage matrix multiplication on their own multi-core processor system running on the DE2 board. Students are exposed to many aspects of multiprocessing during the process and build hardware/software codesign skills for embedded systems.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2011

Date of Conference:

12-15 Oct. 2011