Archive for October, 2014|Monthly archive page

Learning Through Examples

In Education, Embedded Systems on October 24, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I am a big supporter of the “learning through examples” paradigm. Not only it makes the concept clearer, it also leaves an impression in a learner’s mind about the method and the tools used. Over the past couple of months, I have been preparing course slides for an undergraduate course in reconfigurable computing. I have also been preparing laboratory exercises for the students enrolled in the course. I have found it a lot easier to explain important concepts and tool flows using examples. Students have found it to be better than slides which have very few examples or are very abstract (leaving the instructor to fill in a lot of details orally during the lecture).

A good friend of mine, Adam Taylor, has been writing a series of blog for Xilinx’s Xcell publication. The blogs have focused on using the Zynq platform from Xilinx. Zynq programmable SoC combined the strengths of an ARM processor with programmable logic. In fact it has two ARM processors coupled with programmable FPGA fabric. His blog has covered in detail how to use the MicroZed board which features a Zynq SoC. Complete with screen-shots and step by step instruction, those articles will be useful to anyone interested in trying out this new kind of FPGA. Those articles are now also available in a single PDF document for easy reference. The document can be downloaded here.

Embedded system design using both a FPGA and a processor is a complex exercise and any tutorial that makes the concepts and the tool flow easier to understand is always helpful for engineers.