Digital Design Course Gets Microprocessor Boards Thanks to Alumnus Gift

Office of CommunicationsCollege of Professional Schools, News

The boards enable students to learn and experiment with digital logic and computer organization.
David Crawford School of Engineering

October 22, 2014

A generous donation from Don Shaw ‘51 supported the purchase of 10 new Altera development boards to support Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Fundamentals of Digital Design course.

Students in that sophomore-level class use Altera’s Quartus software to design digital circuits in the lab using various techniques to produce VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language) code. Student designs are compiled in the software and downloaded to the target field programmable gate arrays on the new development boards.

The boards facilitate a wide range of laboratory exercises for teaching digital logic and computer organization. The boards feature numerous toggle and pushbutton switches to provide inputs LEDs, an LCD to provide outputs and a variety of industry-standard input/output interfaces, including audio, video, USB and Ethernet. As Prof. Ronald Lessard notes: “These new boards enable us to stay current with industry-standard features used in modern digital systems design.”