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For a basic foundation in computer engineering, universities traditionally teach synchronous sequential circuit design, using discrete gates or field programmable gate arrays, and a microcomputers course that includes basic I/O processing. These courses, though critical, expose students to only a small subset of tools. At co-op schools like Kettering University, Flint, MI, students could strongly benefit from a more diverse set of topics and tool experience in their curriculum. This paper presents an undergraduate course that includes introductions to sequential circuit design using asynchronous logic, ladder logic and its general implementation on programmable logic controllers, and fuzzy logic targeted at both PC and embedded processor applications. The paper discusses the structure of the course, the objectives and material, the laboratory platforms, and the evaluations of the first course offerings that show the course's success.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2012