System-on-chip (SOC) design methodology and IP (intellectual property) reuse, system modeling and analysis, hardware/software co-design, behavioral synthesis, embedded software, reconfigurable computing, design verification and test, and design space exploration. Class projects focusing on current SOC design and research. Platform FPGA boards and digital cameras are provided to prototype, test, and evaluate SOC designs. Course Information: Prerequisite: ECE 391 and ECE 425.
System-on-a-chip (SOC) is an idea of integrating all components of a computer system into a single chip. SOC designs usually consume less power and have a lower cost and higher reliability than the multi-chip systems that they replace. Gartner regards them as the most important type of semiconductor device since the development of the microprocessor. An important enabler for the design of SOCs is the availability of semiconductor intellectual property (IP), which allows a SOC designer to include predefined circuitries, cutting development cycle while increasing product functionality, performance and quality. The implementation of these systems of both hardware and software components and the interaction between hardware and software is an essential part of the design. This course will cover SOC topics on design process, modeling and analysis, design methodology and platform, hardware/software co-design, behavioral synthesis, embedded software, verification, and design space exploration. With a focus on learning of the current SOC design and research topics, students are given opportunities to carry out class projects based on their own interest. Class projects can include software/hardware partitioning, hardware implementation of video compression algorithms, and synthesis for application specific instruction set processors (ASIP). Platform FPGA boards and digital cameras are provided to students to prototype, test, and evaluate their SOC designs.