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Several courses on embedded systems have been planned and taught to students in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Master's programs. The tutorials play an important role in these courses, not only to motivate the students, but also to expose them to the difficulties and challenges of designing real embedded systems. This paper presents a complete lab project used over the last 15 years in a semester-long course on embedded systems that, for historical reasons, was titled Computer Electronics. This project involves all the topics studied in this course, namely programmable, configurable and dedicated processors, memory technology and organization, peripherals, and the design and implementation of complete embedded systems. Targeting image processing as a case study, in this lab project students use field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to design real-time embedded systems based on soft-cores, hardware accelerators, and specific input and output peripherals. Analyzing the results over the last years, it can be concluded that the inclusion of this transversal lab project boosts the interest in this Master's course and encourages the students to learn the topics required to design real embedded systems.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2013