Teaching SoC Using Video Games to Improve Student Engagement
This paper introduces a project-based course for the emerging field of system-on-chip (SoC). SoC is allowing for a new perspective on embedded system education. Previous undergraduate embedded system courses have always based around the use of low-end 8-bit/16-bit microcontrollers (e.g. PIC, Freescale, AVR). The low-end microcontrollers are good at teaching input/output interface but do not fully explore the connection of designing the hardware and software interface. SoC allows for a student to design an embedded system that bridges the two areas of computer science and engineering. This paper will describe how a new course in SoC uses an engaging assignment of creating a video game system. A student will appreciate the hardware and software side of todays embedded computer systems after completing this course since the course will require the design of hardware and the design of a software system. The paper will show the layout of the current SoC course and offer suggestions on how the course can be modified to meet the academic rigor for different programs in computer engineering.
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