Digital Systems: From Logic Gates to Processors

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About this course: This course gives you a complete insight into the modern design of digital systems fundamentals from an eminently practical point of view. Unlike other more "classic" digital circuits courses, our interest focuses more on the system than on the electronics that support it. This approach will allow us to lay the foundation for the design of complex digital systems. You will learn a set of design methodologies and will use a set of (educational-oriented) computer-aided-design tools (CAD) that will allow you not only to design small and medium size circuits, but also to access to higher level courses covering so exciting topics as application specific integrated circuits…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course gives you a complete insight into the modern design of digital systems fundamentals from an eminently practical point of view. Unlike other more "classic" digital circuits courses, our interest focuses more on the system than on the electronics that support it. This approach will allow us to lay the foundation for the design of complex digital systems. You will learn a set of design methodologies and will use a set of (educational-oriented) computer-aided-design tools (CAD) that will allow you not only to design small and medium size circuits, but also to access to higher level courses covering so exciting topics as application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) design or computer architecture, to give just two examples. Course topics are complemented with the design of a simple processor, introduced as a transversal example of a complex digital system. This example will let you understand and feel comfortable with some fundamental computer architecture terms as the instruction set, microprograms and microinstructions. After completing this course you will be able to: * Design medium complexity digital systems. * Understand the description of digital systems using high-level languages such as VHDL. * Understand how computers operate at their most basic level (machine language).

Who is this class for: This course is recommended for students enrolled in the first years of engineering degrees, mainly ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) degrees, and for all those who wish to enter the world of digital systems. Moreover, this first course of Digital Systems is a must for those who subsequently wish to go deeper into topics such as computer hardware and/or the design of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICS) and all associated applications (robotics, bionic systems, industrial control, etc.).

Created by:  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Taught by:  Elena Valderrama, Professor

    Departamento de Microelectrónica y Sistemas Electrónicos. UAB.
  • Taught by:  Jean-Pierre Deschamps, Professor

  • Taught by:  Lluis Terés, Professor

    Centro Nacional de Microelectrónica del CSIC
  • Taught by:  Merce Rullan, ProfesoraTitular

    Departamento de Microelectrónica y Sistemas Electrónicos. UAB.
  • Taught by:  Joaquín Saiz Alcaine, Ingeniero Informático

    Departamento de Microelectrónica y Sistemas Electrónicos. UAB.
  • Taught by:  David Bañeres, Profesor Agregado

    Estudios de Informática, Multimedia y Telecomunicación. UOC.
  • Taught by:  Juan Antonio Martínez, Collaborator

    APSI - UAB
Level Intermediate Commitment 8 weeks. Estimated (average) load: 4 hours/week without the processor - 6 hours/week, full course Language English Hardware Req Access to a computer with the following minimum/recommended characteristics: PROCESSOR (Pentium 4, multicore recommended)-FREE RAM SPACE (1GB; 2GB recommended) -FREE DISK SPACE (2.5GB)-OS (Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista; Linux Debian, CentOS, Fedora, OpenSUSE; OS X) How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.4 stars Average User Rating 4.4See what learners said Coursework

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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a public university located in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. International in its outlook, it is fully consolidated within its local surroundings, and offers quality education in close association with research activity, the transfer of scientific, technological, cultural and educational knowledge, the promotion of its human potential and the responsible management of available resources. The UAB currently offers 81 degrees, 130 official Master Programmes and 183 UAB-specific Masters Degrees. In addition, it offers 174 lifelong learning programmes and 65 PhD Programmes, 27 of which have been distinguished through Quality Awards. The UAB has a total of over 3,500 teaching and research staff, over 2,000 administrative staff and over 40,000 students.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


All you need to know to start the course



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font></b> <br/><br/>We have collected here everything you need to know before starting the course. <br/><br/>This week is divided into three sections: <br/><ul><li>The first is the one you're reading about now and includes a number of general explanations about how the course will run and about the virtual machine you should install on your computer to answer the different quizzes . </li><li>The second (<i><b>Previous knowledge: A review</i></b>) presents a series of tests you can use to check your level of knowledge about numbering systems and the use of pseudocode to describe algorithms. </li><li>The third block contains the first real topic of the course: <i><b>What Digital Systems are?</b></i></li></ul>


1 video, 9 readings expand


  1. Reading: Course Organization
  2. Reading: Syllabus and bibliography
  3. Video: Course presentation
  4. Reading: Grading policy
  5. Reading: Certification
  6. Reading: FAQs
  7. Reading: About the forums
  8. Reading: README
  9. Reading: How to install the virtual machine (VM)
  10. Reading: FAQs about installing the VM


Previous knowledge: A review
<b>Check your knowledge about binary and hexadecimal numbering systems, and the description of algorithms using a pseudocode</b>


2 videos, 2 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Practice Quiz: Practical quiz 0.1: Numeration systems
  2. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 0.2 - Pseudocode
  3. Reading: Table of contents
  4. Reading: PDF file
  5. Video: L0.1. Binary numeration system
  6. Video: L0.2. Algorithm representation in pseudocode


What Digital Systems are?



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b> <br/><br/>This module is an introduction to Digital Systems. Here you will find:<ol><li>A set of videos_L covering issue 1 and the corresponding exercises, </li><li>Two videos_P introducing the processor that we will design along the course, and</li><li>Some video-based explanations; a wiki and some FAQs about how VerilUOC_Desktop tool functions.<br/> You will have to use VerilUOC_Desktop in the next module</li></ol> Read the "Lesson Index" in the "Index and PDF files" section and the "README" in the VerilUOC_Desktop section for more information.


5 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L1.1. Digital systems
  4. Video: L1.2 Digital system description
  5. Video: L1.3 Digital electronic systems
  6. Video: P1.1. Processor: Specification
  7. Video: P1.2. Examples of Programs
  8. Reading: Solved exercises
  9. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 1

Graded: Graded quiz 1

WEEK 2


Combinational Circuits (I)



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b> <br/><br/>This module introduces combinational circuits, logic gates and boolean algebra, all of them items necessary to design simple combinational circuits.<br/> Read the "Index of lessons" for more information. <br/><br/><b>To solve the exercises in this module you will need to use VerilUOC_Desktop. Look at the module "VerilUOC_Desktop tools" to learn how to use it.</b>


5 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L2.1. Combinational circuits
  4. Video: L2.2. Boolean Algebra
  5. Video: L2.3. NAND, NOR, XOR, NXOR, TRI-STATE
  6. Video: P2.1. Functional specification
  7. Video: P2.2. Structural specification
  8. Reading: Solved exercises
  9. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 2

Graded: Graded quiz 2

VerilUOC_Desktop tools



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b><br/><br/>From this week you will need to use VerilUOC_Desktop to do some of the exercises in the quizzes. VerilUOC_Desktop is a software package based on Logisim, enhanced with a number of modules to enable:<ul><li>Enter Boolean equations (BoolMin),</li><li>Enter digital circuits and check them according the problem statement (VerilCirc), and</li><li>Enter chronograms (time-charts) and check that they are correct (VerilChart).</li></ul>This section contains two videos explaining how these three tools work. By now you only need to use VerilCirc and BoolMin, so if you are pushed for time, you might postpone VerilChart for later. Obviously, it is impossible to cover in these two videos all eventualities you can find while working with VerilUOC_Desktop tools. In case of doubt, look at the VerilUOC_Desktop wiki, look at the FAQs or post your problems in the forums. There are specific forums for VerilCirc, BoolMin and VerilChart.


2 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Reading: Table of contents
  2. Video: Introduction to VerilUOC_Desktop (I). Logisim and VerilCirc
  3. Video: Introduction to VerilUOC_Desktop (II). BoolMin and VerilChart
  4. Reading: VerilUOC_desktop wiki
  5. Reading: VerilUOC_desktop FAQs


WEEK 3


Combinational circuits (II)



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b> <br/><br/>We continue the study of combinational circuits. While in the previous module we were working on the classical design techniques of combinational circuits, this one is focused on other issues such as a brief introduction to computer aided design tools (CAD tools), or the direct synthesis of combinational circuits from its algorithmic description.<br/> Read the "Lesson index" for more information. <br><br/><b>To solve the exercises in this module VerilUOC_Desktop is needed. </b>Remember that the "VerilUOC_Desktop" section in module 2 contains all the information you need about this tool.


5 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L3.1. Combinational circuit synthesis tools
  4. Video: L3.2. Propagation time
  5. Video: L3.3. Other logic blocks
  6. Video: L3.4. Programming language structures
  7. Video: P3.1. Structural specification (continuation)
  8. Reading: Solved exercises
  9. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 3

Graded: Graded quiz 3

WEEK 4


Arithmetic components + Introduction to VHDL



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b><br/><br/>Arithmetic circuits are an essential part of many digital circuits and thus deserve a particular treatment. <ul><li> The first part of this module presents some implementations of the basic arithmetic operations. Only operations with naturals (non-negative integers) are considered. </li><li>The second part of this module introduces the basics of VHDL with the goal of providing enough knowledge to understand its usage throughout this course and start developing basic hardware models.</li></ul>


10 videos, 9 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: IMPORTANT - README
  2. Reading: Lesson index
  3. Reading: PDF files
  4. Reading: Lesson index (OLD VERSION)
  5. Reading: PDF files (OLD VERSION)
  6. Video: L4.1 Arithmetic blocks
  7. Reading: IMPORTANT - README
  8. Video: Lecture 4.2 (1outof2): Introduction to VHDL - Lexicon, syntax and structure
  9. Video: Lecture 4.2 (2outof2): Introduction to VHDL - Lexicon, syntax and structure
  10. Video: Lecture 4.3 (1outof2): Introduction to VHDL - Sequential sentences
  11. Video: Lecture 4.3 (2outof2): Introduction to VHDL - Sequential sentences
  12. Video: Lecture 4.4 (1outof2): Introduction to VHDL - Concurrent sentences
  13. Video: Lecture 4.4 (2outof2): Introduction to VHDL - Concurrent sentences
  14. Video: L4.2 Short introduction to VHDL I (OLD VERSION)
  15. Video: L4.3 Short introduction to VHDL II (OLD VERSION)
  16. Video: L4.4 Short introduction VHDL III (OLD VERSION)
  17. Reading: No lecture about the processor in this module . Next video will be P5.1.
  18. Reading: About the exercises (README)
  19. Reading: Solved exercises - Arithmetic circuits
  20. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 4


WEEK 5


Sequential circuits (I)



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b><br/><br/>This is the first module dedicated to Sequential Circuits (Digital Systems with Memory).<br/> <b>To solve the quizzes you will need VerilUOC_Desktop</b>. Remember that the first week includes a complete description of VerilUOC_Desktop. In particular, VerilChart is presented in the second video.


7 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L5.1 Sequential circuits
  4. Video: L5.2 Explicit functional description
  5. Video: L5.3 Latches and flip-flops
  6. Video: L5.4 Synthesis from tables
  7. Video: L5.5 An example of synthesis
  8. Video: P5.1 Combinational blocks
  9. Video: P5.2 Sequential blocks
  10. Reading: Solved exercises
  11. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 5

Graded: Graded quiz 5

WEEK 6


Sequential circuits (II)



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b><br/><br/>This second module dedicated to Sequential Circuits deals with particular sequential circuits that are building blocks of larger circuits, namely registers, counters and memory blocks.


4 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L6.1. Registers
  4. Video: L6.2. Counters
  5. Video: L6.3. Memories
  6. Video: P6.1. Sequential blocks (continuation)
  7. Reading: Solved exercises
  8. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 6

Graded: Graded quiz 6

WEEK 7


Sequential circuits III and Finite State Machines



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b><br/><br/>This module deals with two topics: <ol><li>In previous lessons, the relation between algorithms (programming language structures) and combinational circuits has been commented. This relation also exists between algorithms and sequential circuits. We will explore this relation in the current module.</li><li>The second topic we will see is the definition and VHDL modelling of Finite State Machines.</li></ol>


5 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L7.1. Sequential implementation of algorithms
  4. Video: L7.2. Finite state machines
  5. Video: L7.3. Examples of finite state machines
  6. Video: P7.1. Sequential blocks (continuation)
  7. Video: P7.2. Instructions, control, complete circuit
  8. Reading: QUIZ 7 INSTRUCTIONS
  9. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 7

Graded: Graded quiz 7

WEEK 8


Implementation of digital systems



<b><font size=4 color=#B22222><b>Click on "v " to read the purpose of this module</b></font> </b><br/><br/>This last module presents some basic information about manufacturing technologies, as well as about implementation strategies, and synthesis and implementation tools.


4 videos, 2 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Reading: Lesson index
  2. Reading: PDF files
  3. Video: L8.1. Physical implementation
  4. Video: L8.2. Implementation strategies and synthesis tools
  5. Video: P8.1. Test
  6. Video: P8.2. Design methods
  7. Practice Quiz: Practice quiz 8

Graded: Graded quiz 8

COURSE SUMMARY AND FAREWELL
´´


3 readings expand


  1. Reading: Farewell
  2. Reading: What have we learned?
  3. Reading: How can I go deeper into the topic?
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