Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Morgan, F,Cawley, S,Newell, D
Acm Transactions On Reconfigurable Technology And Systems
Remote FPGA Lab for Enhancing Learning of Digital Systems
Optional Fields
Design Verification Remote FPGA laboratory digital systems education reconfigurable computing Web-based training
Learning in digital systems can be enhanced through applying a learn-by-doing approach on practical hardware systems and by using Web-based technology to visualize and animate hardware behavior. The authors have reported the Web-based Remote FPGA Lab (RFL) which provides a novel, real-time control and visualization interface to a remote, always-on FPGA hardware implementation. The RFL helps students to understand and reason about digital systems operation, using interactive animation of signal behavior in an executing digital logic system, at any level of the design hierarchy. The RFL supports the creation of real-time interactive digital systems teaching demos. The article presents student RFL usage data and survey data which highlight improved student engagement, learning and achievement. The article describes the RFL architecture, communication interface, Web page functionality, user access administration and database management. The article also describes the RFLGen program, developed to automate user design integration into the Xilinx ISE VHDL-based RFL project wrapper for creation of FPGA configuration bitstreams and RFL animations.
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