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ELE405/406: Digital Computer Design
(and Laboratory)

ELE405 Digital Computer Design (3)
Hardware implementation of digital computers. Arithmetic circuits, memory types and uses, control logic, basic computer organization, microprogramming, input/output circuits, microcomputers. (Lec. 3) Pre: (301, 305, and (credit or concurrent enrollment in 406)) or permission of instructor.

ELE 406 Digital Computer Design Lab (1)
Laboratory exercises related to topics in 405. (Lab. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 405.

Course materials are available on SAKAI.


Course Description: After completing this course, you should understand how a computer system is built and how it operates from the viewpoints of the computer architect, the assembly language programmer, and the logic designer. You will learn how to design the internal components of a processor, including the datapath and control unit, the arithmetic logic unit, and the memory system. You also will develop an understanding of the performance and implementation trade-offs inherent in any computer design.

The main tool for this class is the Altera’s Quartus II. Visit Altera's website for a free Quartus II web edition which runs on any typical PC (Windows and Linux versions are both available). Quartus II is a comprehensive package includes schematic editor, state diagram editor, VHDL entry and synthesis tool, DSP design tools and utilities, and FPGA implementation and configuration. There will be scheduled laboratories to practice some advanced topics in CPU and computer system designs.

There is a semester project for ELE405/406. Students will put together what they have learned in this class in the design and implementation of a custom computer system. The specific topic is different each year. However, The goal is always to achieve the highest computational performance yet with the lowest possible hardware cost.


The main hardware facility is the DE1 board from Terasic. It carries a Altera's Cyclone II EP2C20 FPGA in a 484-pin package. This FPGA has 18,752 programmable logic elements, 239,616 on-chip RAM bits, 52 embedded 9-bit multipliers, and four phase locked loops (PLLs). The FPGA configuration file is downloaded from the host computer via Altera's USB Blaster.




Time & Location: 

TTh 11:00-12:15 pm, Kelley 102.
section 1: M 2:00 - 4:45 pm, Kelley 220.
section 2: W 2:00 - 4:45 pm, Kelley 220.

Dr. Jien-Chung Lo
- Office: Kelley Annex 221
- Phone: x4-2996
- Email:
- Office Hours: M 12 - 2PM and W 12 - 2PM

ELE406 Teaching Assistant:
Mr. Ibrahim Burak Karsli

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