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Introduces FPGAs and the means of programming them.

Circuit design in elec 220

For the first lab and first project of ELEC 220 we will be focusing on the creation of circuit diagrams using Altera’s Quartus II Web Edition . In addition to simulating these circuits on a computer, we will also be configuring Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) from these diagrams. Our target platform will be Terasic’s DE0 Development and Education Board which uses Altera’s Cyclone III FPGA chip.


An FPGA is an integrated circuit, composed of many logic elements, which can be reconfigured by the user to reproduce a variety of circuits. Each logic element contains several different logic gates and memory elements which can be used to recreate a wide variety of circuit components. The DE0 board we will be using has over 15,000 logic elements although we will only be using less than 1% of these, even for the calculator project. Hopefully, after completing this project you will have a better understanding of the power and versatility of FPGAs.

Fpga configuration

In order for an FPGA to emulate a desired circuit, it must first be set to the proper configuration specified in a data file uploaded to the board. This data file is created, and often uploaded to the board, using FPGA design software such as Altera’s Quartus II. By providing Quartus with information regarding the specific FPGA to be configured, a Quartus project can be easily replicated on an FPGA, shortening delays between concept and protype stages in designing circuits.

Hdl vs. schematic diagrams

There are two ways to specify the intended function of a Quartus project. The more straightforward method is to simply create a schematic diagram of the desired circuit as though you were drawing it out on paper or building it on a breadboard. This has the advantage of being very easy to grasp, however, it requires you to work out the logic for the entire circuit and lay out all the components. The other more abstracted method is to use a Hardware Description Language (HDL) such as Verilog. Writing using this specification language allows you to specifiy the intended function of the circuit from which Quartus creates an optimized circuit layout. Although this method does not give you as much individual control over the design, it allows you to more easily go from concept to end product by tasking your computer with the bulk of the design work. However, for simplicities sake, we will be using schematic diagrams for the majority of this course, with HDL files provided to you for use in later designs.

Course overview

The first few labs are designed to give you practice in using Quartus to create schematic diagrams by tasking you with creating schematics for circuits you are already familiar with. They also provide a brief review of the inner workings of components which will be used extensively in later designs. We will then move onto more complex circuits when we introduce the idea of a clock signal as an input to a circuit and design finite state machines. Finally, this section of the lab will culminate in the design of a simple calculator, though it’s not quite like most simple calculators you may be used to. This will draw on previous lessons on circuit design, finite state machines, and clock signals while also providing an introduction to simple computers that will carry on into the next protion of the lab section.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Intro to computational engineering: elec 220 labs. OpenStax CNX. Mar 11, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11405/1.2
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