Real-time computing experiments and research in digital electronics, microcontrollers, and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are performed in the Digital Systems Laboratory.
The lab is used by students enrolled in digital logic, microprocessor, FPGA, and real-time classes in the Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Software Engineering undergraduate programs. It also supports classes and research in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Software Engineering graduate programs. Students in software safety and real-time systems courses, as well as those in the software engineering capstone practicum, use the lab when designing, implementing, and verifying systems assigned in their class projects.
The laboratory includes eighteen computer workstations and eight ARCOM Intel-based real-time targets running VxWorks, and industry-strength real-time operating system used for instruction in real-time software development, which are accompanied by working displays.
Several 68HC, iMX6, ARM, and Spartan microprocessor and microcontroller boards are used for the class instruction and the lab experiments. The installed software includes real-time development environments (WRS Tornado and Workbench BricxCC), software supporting safety and reliability analyses (ReliaSoft, ITEM ToolKit, Isograph’s Reality Workbench), simulation (EasyVeep, Ptolemy, HPSim, Hugin, Netica), verification (NuSMV), and security assessment (Wireshark).
The lab also includes several high-grade Lego-like components and models from Fischertechnik. These components can be used to build models, including automated warehouses, robots, and assembly lines. The Department of Electrical, Computer, Software, and Systems Engineering uses this space to support several student projects, as well as K-12 outreach programs during the summer.