Teaching Informatics Students the Secrets of Hardware Design

Thilo Pionteck


This paper presents a hardware design course for graduate informatics students without any or only a marginal previous knowledge of hardware design. The course starts with the basics of hardware description languages and FPGA programming, discusses the differences between FPGA and standard cell designs, introduces concepts like SoCs and NoCs, and ends up with an introduction to reconfigurable computing. Covering such a broad range of topics, the main challenges for this course are to give the students a rough understanding of the context and problems in the field of hardware design, and to focus on the basic concepts instead of providing detailed knowledge of one software tool or FPGA type. The course is very strongly related to the reconfigurable computing research activities at our institute so that students will be motivated to do their Master thesis in this field. Experiences in teaching such an all-in-one course are given and the pros and cons in choosing the course topics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2007 IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Systems Education (MSE'07)
Number of pages2
Publication date25.09.2007
Pages 31-32
Article number4231435
ISBN (Print)0-7695-2849-X
Publication statusPublished - 25.09.2007
Event2007 IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Systems Education: Educating Systems Designers for the Global Economy and a Secure World - San Diego, United States
Duration: 03.06.200704.06.2007
Conference number: 70249


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