- Monday, January 1, 2007
- A Systematic Approach for Building Processors in a Computer Design Lab Course at Universities in Developing Countries
- Published at:Information Technology Journal 6 (4): 497-508, 2007
This paper presents a systematic technique for building processors by using off-the-shelf components. The main objective of this methodology is to introduce computer engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science students, in developing countries, to all phases of CPU design using very primitive ICs and home made tool kits. Using this technique, students enrolled in processor design lab can design and build processors for a defined instruction with readily available components set at minimal cost. The proposed methodology has been implemented in the computer engineering department at An-Najah National University and has proven to be efficient in teaching computer architecture and processor design, as well as boosting computer-engineering students’ self-confidence without requiring them to use very advanced laboratory equipment. Nevertheless, the sole purpose of this technique and the objective of building this microprocessor is pure educational and is not to introduce a new methodology for building microprocessors for commercial purposes. In this paper, we will present our methodology by giving an instruction set example, then describing the design and implementation steps followed. In addition, we also discuss the primitive components used to build the datapath, the controller, and the software tools used in both the implementation and testing phases. We will show that the proposed methodology is very effective in providing students with the experience of microprocessor design without the need for advanced and expensive kits and devices.