Design of Reconfigurable Digital Systems (FPGAs)


  • Course Code: 1714
  • Semester: 7th
  • Course Type: Scientific Area - Skills Development (SA-SD)
  • Course Category: Optional (OP)
  • Scientific Field: Embedded Computation Systems (ECS)
  • Lectures: 2 hours/week
  • Lab teaching: 2 hours/week
  • ECTS units: 6
  • Teching and exams language: Greek
  • The course is offered to Erasmus students
  • Recommended prerequisite courses: (1504) Electronic Devices, (1204) Digital System Design
  • Coordinator: Papakostas Dimitrios
  • Instructors: Papakostas Dimitrios

Educational goals

The purpose of the course is to understand the digital circuit design methodology in FPGA / VHDL / Schematic and Verilog languages ​​on reconfigurable platforms as well as the general principles of their architecture. The course will provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory experience in the design of embedded systems. The course emphasizes the design of hardware and software systems in FPGA (reconfigurable logic) devices. In the lab courses students will use FPGA systems and hardware and software design tools to design, implement and optimize Systems On Chip systems for an application. The lesson has a task in which students working in groups are invited to implement an integrated system of their own choosing. The project includes a demo of the system in the classroom, presentation and report. Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Uses digital circuit design methodology with VHDL / Schematic language and FPGA programming
  • Uses digital circuit design methodology with Verilog language and FPGA programming
  • Understands the structure and functionality of a complex System On Chip
  • Understands and uses reconfigurability
  • Gain new knowledge in hardware and software design for such a computer system.
  • Work and understand concepts such as hardware design, systems software, system on chips on a practical level.
General Skills
  • Search, analyze and synthesize data and information using the necessary technologies
  • Decision making
  • Independent work
  • Teamwork
  • Working in an international environment
  • Exercising criticism and self-criticism
  • Promoting free, creative and inductive thinking

Course Contents

The structure of the course is shown below:
FPGA Structure and Function
Introduction to the implementation of digital systems with FPGA
Modeling – Introduction to VHDL Material Schematic Language
Introduction to Verilog hardware description language
VHDL Language Entities and Architecture
Ways to describe with VHDL: behavior, data flow, structural
Data types, circuit data statement
Creation of subprograms, packages, libraries, layouts
Time Flow Handling – Sequential and Concurrent Suggestions
Description of laboratory development system
Using specialized software – Utilities
Embedded systems
FPGA system design methodology
Modern FPGA technology and architecture
Virtex and Spartan FPGAs as examples of modern redesigned architectures.
Synthesis, placement, routing in FPGAs
Embedded processors (Xilinx Microblaze processor example)
Microblaze Processor System on chip architecture
Matlab – Simulink – Xilinx System Generator – Xilinx ISE

Teaching Methods - Evaluation

Teaching Method
  • Face to face theoretical teaching.
  • Laboratory training.
Use of ICT means
  • Power point presentations software.
  • Electronic communication with students.
  • Use of asynchronous education technology.
Teaching Organization
Activity Semester workload
Writing and presenting compulsory work40
Individual study and analysis of literature60
Preparation for laboratory exercises and projects28
Total 180
Students evaluation

The grade of the course is derived from the final exam of the semester and from the work that the students are preparing and presenting. The course must be at least five (5).
The thesis deals with topics related to recent developments in the redesign of digital circuits and is presented by students in groups of two (usually) individuals. It is based on recent and reliable bibliography and includes a text description of approximately 2000 words and a presentation file with approximately 25 slides. The presentation of the work (20΄-30΄ duration) takes place during the teaching hours and attendance is compulsory for all students.
Assessment criteria are accessible to students from the course web site.

Recommended Bibliography

Recommended Bibliography through "Eudoxus"
  1. P.J. Ashenden, Morgan Kaufmann, "The Designer's Guide to VHDL, Vol. 3", Elsevier
Complementary greek bibliography
  1. Kang Sung - Mo (Steve), Leblebici Yusuf, Ανάλυση και σχεδίαση ψηφιακών ολοκληρωμένων κυκλωμάτων CMOS, Εκδ. Τζιόλα.
  2. P.R. Gray, P.J. Hurst, S.H. Lewis, R.G. Meyer, Ανάλυση και Σχεδίαση Αναλογικών Ολοκληρωμένων Κυκλωμάτων, Εκδ. Κλειδάριθμος.
Complementary international bibliography
  1. "Embedded Computing, A VLIW Approach to Architecture, Compilers and Tools"
  2. by Josh Fisher, Paolo Faraboschi, Cliff Young, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers
  3. Digital design: an embedded systems approach using VHDL
Scientific journals
  1. ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems (TRESTS)
  2. International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
  3. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems