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Course Policies

Course Objective

The objective of the course is to teach the fundamentals of digital designs using descriptive hardware languages (e.g., VHDL). The course provides an overview of basic concepts in digital logic such as multiplexers, decoders, encoders, and arithmetic circuits. It also introduces students the techniques to model and implement complex combinational and sequential (e.g., processors) digital circuits using basic digital blocks. The course also emphasizes the synthesis of circuits and their implementation on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Intensive lab sessions are designed to enable hands-on experience learning. In Digital Design course, students will also become familiar with verification, validation, and debugging of their designs to make sure that they have correctly implemented the specification from timing and functional aspects. To meet the objectives of the class, the students will need to invest a lot of their time and be ready to carry a lot of work.

Required Textbooks and Software

  • Fundamentals of Digital Logic with VHDL Design, Brown, S. D. and Vranesic, Z. G., Third Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-07-352953-0.
  • The textbook is not considered only as a reference for what is taught in class but also as a complement for the material presented in class. In particular, you will be asked to read tutorials, slides, and codes that supplement the material covered in class.
  • Lecture slides are available online.
  • Some of the materials are borrowed from Prof. Greg Stitt.
  • Software: Quartus (Lite/Prime/Pro) and Altera ModelSim

Recommended Materials

  • Katz, Randy, and Gaetano Borriello. Contemporary Logic Design. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 9780201308570.
  • Digital Design Principles and Practices, John Wakerly, 5th edition. Pearson, 2017. ISBN 9780134460093.


Midterm 1: 20% (September 27)
Midterm 2: 20% (October 25)
Midterm 3: 20% (December 4)
Labs/Final project: 40%

The following grading scale is subject to change

Percent Grade Grade Points
93- 100 A 4.00
89 – 92.9 A- 3.67
84 – 88.9 B+ 3.33
81 – 83.9 B 3.00
78 – 80.9 B- 2.67
74 – 77.9 C+ 2.33
71 – 73.9 C 2.00
65.0 – 70.9 C- 1.67
63 – 65.9 D+ 1.33
60 – 62.9 D 1.00
58 – 59.9 D- 0.67
0 – 57.9 E 0.00