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A case study in the development of multi-media educational material: the VHDL interactive tutorial

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While industry and academia have been aware of the need for an intensive study of embedded digital system design, resource constraints, fuzzy objectives, and short-time horizon have handicapped progress. The $150M Rapid Prototyping of Application Specific Signal Processors (RASSP) program is a major DARPA/Tri-Service effort designed to overcome these limitations. This effort has developed a number of new technologies that will lead to dramatically shorter prototyping times and reduced life cycle costs. In a effort to ensure the successful transfer of these new technologies, the RASSP Education and Facilitation (RASSP E&F) program is working to transfer this technology into graduate and undergraduate curricula by developing and transferring educational material. Only by successfully inserting these rapid-prototyping technologies into the curricula and research activities of the university community will the long term benefits of these technologies be realized. To achieve this technology transfer objective, the RASSP E&F program has developed educational material on the key elements of rapid-prototyping of embedded digital systems technology. The result of this effort is a set of educational “modules” covering selected topics. In conjunction with IEEE, several of the modules developed by the RASSP E&F program designed to teach students the VHDL language were converted to HTML and linked with the VHDL language reference manual to form a self-paced VHDL interactive tutorial. A demonstration version of this learning tool, currently published by IEEE, is presented

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 4 )