As part of their global effort to create curricula for Embedded Systems, I received a grant from Intel to develop a cycle of learning activities with the DE2i-150 FPGA Development Kit. Two teaching assistants and I will develop courseware to teach undergraduates the key topics of memory organization.
Here is the abstract of the project :
Memory organization is one of the most challenging topics in the Computer Architecture and in the Embedded Systems Design curricula. Not only memory architectures have become more and more complex, but also the students find the conceptual vocabulary in this topic arcane, distant and invisible. Making students “care” about the memory bottleneck is an uphill struggle — they are able to glimpse the importance of the topic, but the details remain unfathomed and, ultimately, disdained. My proposition is to employ the DE2i-150 to motivate and illustrate the theoretical concepts involved in memory organization, and to make tangible the main issues of the topic through performance experiments.
The material will be developed and tested as part of the Computer Architecture course I’ll be teaching to the undergrads in the first semester of 2014. The courseware (in Portuguese) will be publicly available for use and remix by the community.
I thank Intel for the grant, and I thank Rubem Saldanha (Intel) and Sérgio Onaga (Artimar) for guiding me through the process and making this project possible.