From gates to multi-processors learning systems hands-on with FPGA4U in a computer science programme

  • Favi C
  • Beuchat R
  • Jimenez X
 et al. 
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Abstract

We present in this paper our strategy to teach computer engineering and embedded systems in our Computer Science and Communication Systems programmes. We heavily rely on the FPGA4U board [1], specifically developed for this purpose. The board is introduced early in the first year of the Bachelor for the Digital Systems course. The students' knowledge is augmented over the years with computer architecture classes up to the Master level. Master classes on embedded systems use the platform for practical hands-on exercises in short projects with emphasis on either hardware, software, or hardware/software co-design. There are three critical elements in the value of our approach: firstly, the FPGA4U board is tailored to the students' needs (extreme portability, ease of use, cost); secondly, the practical advantage of using a single hardware resource across many courses makes more challenging projects possible in less time; finally, all the knowledge acquired is shared on a collaborative web platform. The project also fosters ideas by students who can thus develop practical skills in complex embedded systems beyond curricular requirements. Several other hardware projects (such as LCD, camera, and flash memory extensions) have been pursued to expand the platform. © ACM 2009.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Com
  • Communication systems
  • Comput
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer hardware
  • Critical elements
  • Digital s
  • Digital system
  • Ease of use
  • Education computing
  • Embedded software
  • Embedded systems
  • Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA)
  • First year
  • Flash memory
  • Hands-on exercise
  • Hardware resources
  • Hardware/software co-design
  • Logic design
  • Multi-processors
  • Nanotechnology
  • Practical skill
  • Processor design
  • Students
  • Teaching
  • Technical presentations

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Authors

  • Claudio Favi

  • Rene Beuchat

  • Xavier Jimenez

  • Paolo Ienne

  • Beuchat R Jimenez X Ienne P Favi C.

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