Remote experimentation may be defined as the ability to run a distant located physical experiment (or lab apparatus) through any PC connected to the Internet. From an educational point of view, this ability is an important aspect towards the support of both distant and local learning environments. In the case of traditional or local learning environments, students are usually first exposed to practical scenarios in a local lab, where they can experiment the concepts or methodologies explained during theoretical classes, which normally precede lab classes. However, due to several reasons, students are faced with limited time for hands-on, usually deemed as the most appealing part of a course syllabus. The proliferation of engineering colleges in the country has fuelled the need for setting up of such a facility.
The reasons are two fold:
- In many cases, the institutions do not have adequate infrastructure both in terms of devices and logistics.
- Even in cases where this is not a problem, there is serious lack of trained faculty to conduct laboratory courses in the area of digital hardware design. Even if the first level course is done properly in many of the Institutions, the second level is courses even in the undergraduate level is ever done with the laboratory component.
In this proposal, we propose to build a lab course around the facility which will help students perform experiments relevant to three courses:
- Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems (processor portion)
The course is targeted essentially for third year/ fourth year undergraduate students. The facility will expose students to working with very high FPGA devices integrated with waveform generators and high bandwidth oscilloscopes. Some hours in a day will also be provided to students to implement their own designs --- typically for doing projects.
The main activities foreseen within this are:
- Provide access to a remote experimentation facility to students enrolled in courses from Universities located in India.
- Transfer of know-how, namely on the design, installation, and maintenance of remote experiments accessible through the web.
- Evaluate the feasibility / sustainability of extending REFDHD to satellite institutions like NITs (network conditions, user needs, user profiles, versioning of interfaces and lab scripts, etc.).
- Integrate Indian academics into the pool of tutors, thus further enabling the availability of this on-line resource, to students carrying out an remote experiment.
Prof M Balakrishnan
Dr Kolin Paul
- Xilinx ISE tool -- for simulation and synthesis tool
- ModelSim – simulation tool (Optional)
Recommended Hardware :
- Recommended to use Xilinx ISE versions (9.2) are should support Virtex II FPGA. The Xilinx support for the Virtex II board is stopped for latest version of Xilinx ISE like 12.1
- Only one register user can use the lab ( FPGA board )