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|Title:||From Boolean algebra to processor architecture and assembly programming in one semester|
|Authors:||José Silva Matos|
|Abstract:||The paper presents the approach followed at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, to introduce design automation tools and structured design techniques in the first course on digital system design of our Integrated Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Digital Systems Laboratory is an introductory course on digital design, with the classical task of teaching Boolean algebra and combinational and sequential circuit design, using gates, flip-flops and medium complexity components/function blocks like counters and shift-registers. The need to cope with new curriculum requirements and modern digital design demands, motivated an extensive reformulation of the course contents and organization, leading to the introduction of the use of hardware description languages and synthesis tools, in order to implement small systems, of increasingly complex nature, on an FPGA platform. At the same time its coverage was extended to include low-level processor architecture issues, and to teach assembly programming for the MIPS processor. The paper describes how this reformulation was carried out. It presents the course contents and timeline, and discusses the main choices that were made. The paper also describes the laboratory experiments that were developed and discusses some of the challenges and results obtained so far. © 2014 IEEE.|
|Appears in Collections:||CRAS - Articles in International Conferences|
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