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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Postgrad (School of Engineering)

Postgraduate Course: Digital Systems Laboratory A (MSc) (PGEE10017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe aim of this lab course is to produce students who are capable of developing synchronous digital circuits from high level functional specifications and prototyping them on to FPGA hardware using a standard hardware description language.
Course description Lab 1 - Week 2: "HelloWorld" and "HelloLotsofWorlds" modules

Lab 2 - Week 3: "HelloSynchronousWorld", "ShiftingTheWorld" and "ShiftingManyWorlds" modules

Lab 3 - Week 4: "CountingTheWorld" and "TimingTheWorld" modules

Lab 4 - Week 5: "DecodingTheWorld" module

Lab 5 - Week 6: "TimingTheWorldInDecimalNow" module

Lab 6 - Week 7: "ColouringTheWorld" module

Lab 7 - Week 8: "TheWorldofStateMachines" and "TheWorldofLinkedStateMachine" modules

Serial Communications Systems:
Lab 8 - Week 9: Video Game module 1

Lab 9 - Week 10: Video Game module 2

Lab 10 - Week 11: Final Assessment
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Courses passed equivalent to Digital Systems Design 3 (ELEE09024). Knowledge and understanding of the basics of combinational and synchronous digital circuits.
Additional Costs Purchase of a Lab Book
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
1. Knowledge and understanding of:

I. Combinatorial and sequential circuits and number of ways of designing them;
II. Basic and linked state machines and a number of ways of designing them;
III. The importance of modular design, and design for reuse;
IV. The importance of a structured circuit development flow including functional specification, design, simulation, synthesis, implementation and testing;
V. A standard hardware description language and how it can be used to capture digital circuit designs at different levels of abstraction.

2. Intellectual

I. Ability to use and choose between different techniques for digital circuit design and capture;
II. Ability to evaluate synthesis results and correlate them with the corresponding high level design and capture.

3. Practical

I. Ability to use a commercial digital circuit development tool suite to develop synchronous digital circuits and prototype them on to FPGA hardware.
Reading List
Digital Design, An Embedded Systems Approach Using Verilog
By Peter J Ashenden, Morgan Kaufmann, 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0123695277
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Institution of Engineering and Technology Benchmarks:

Outcome E1, Theme F:

- Ability to use combinatorial and sequential logic circuits (Extensive)
There are dedicated lab sessions for combinatorial circuit design e.g. decoders, and sequential logic design e.g. registers and memories. These are demonstrated on real FPGA hardware in the labs through the generation of light patterns on LEDs, seven-segment LED displays etc.

- Ability to use VLSI systems and techniques (Moderate)
The lab is entirely FPGA based whereby students apply VLSI design techniques such as task scheduling and mapping onto FPGA fabric.

- Apply number systems as appropriateness in hardware systems (Extensive)
Fixed point arithmetic is used in the labs┐ FPGA designs with the minimum necessary word lengths calculated by students in order to meet data range requirements and minimise the resulting implementation logic area. - Analyse VLSI circuits to determine speed, area, power consumption, etc. (Moderate)
In the labs, the resulting FPGA implementations e.g. of a 7-segment display decoder, are analysed in terms of speed and area, and basic correlations between Verilog design capture and corresponding implementations are made.

Outcome E1, Theme G

- Demonstrate an understanding of Architecture and organisation (Moderate)
Introductory short lectures cover the basics of FPGA architectures. All labs target an FPGA platform.

- Demonstrate an understanding of fundamentals of programming and programming languages (Extensive)
Verilog is used in the labs for FPGA programming. The fundamentals of the Verilog language (lexicon, syntax and semantics) are covered in the labs.

Outcome E3, Theme F

- Use hierarchy, hardware description, and finite state design tools to represent a complex digital design (Extensive)
The labs culminate in the development of a ┐Snake┐ game on FPGA hardware. The latter consists of a hierarchy of reusable modules e.g. counters and decoders, controlled by linked state machine. Xilinx ISE tool is used for design capture in Verilog.

- Simulate at the functional and timing level to verify the correct working of a digital design (Extensive)
Xilinx ISE tool suite is used for functional simulation, mapping and routing, before FPGA bitstreams are downloaded on to FPGA boards for testing.

Outcome E4, Theme F

- Demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply top-down digital design methods in the synthesis of a digital system (Extensive)
In the labs, students are presented with a problem e.g. design of a 7-segment decoder, and asked to use Xilinx ISE tool to design an FPGA architecture for it, capture it in Verilog, simulate it functionally, synthesise it, and test it on real FPGA hardware.
NB. Students are given design and coding hints throughout.
Special Arrangements n/a
KeywordsDigital Circuits,Sequential circuits,combinatorial circuits,synchronous circuits,Verilog,HDL
Course organiserDr Alister Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 5597
Course secretaryMrs Megan Inch-Kellingray
Tel: (0131 6)51 7079
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