Module Catalogue 2018/19

EEE8076 : Reconfigurable Hardware Design

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alex Bystrov
  • Lecturer: Dr Graeme Chester
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



• Knowledge, skills and design experience on reconfigurable hardware platforms (FPGA chips) in the context of their Degree Programmes.
• Needs of the modern electronics and comms industry following the major design trends outlined in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (current edition).
• Consistency in preparation of the students to the Individual Project

This coursework module is aimed at development of knowledge and skills for highly efficient with respect to power, performance and time to market implementation of signal processing, interfacing and control blocks. The module includes lectures, hands-on tutorials and a closely supervised design mini-project, where students work in the laboratory implementing their designs on an FPGA development board using industry standard tools. The designs are interfaced to a PC. The design example covers the applications in signal processing and advanced interfacing.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Overview of reconfigurable platforms and FPGA architectures
• Design capture (Verilog/VHDL languages, schematic capture)
• Behavioural simulation, test fixture
• Implementation (constraints, synthesis, HW debugging)
• Familiarisation examples (tutorial, exercise)
• Design mini-project
• Coursework report

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. Reconfigurable platforms and FPGA architectures
2. Knowledge of design methodology and design flow
3. Relationship between design and the digital circuit theory

Intended Skill Outcomes

4. Development of design skills and understanding of good design practices.
5. Ability to implement the subject-specific functionality in a reconfigurable device
6. Mastering the skill of debugging (finding design faults)
7. Learning to define the timing constraints and to configure design tools.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical103:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work144:0044:00Design and performance of experiments
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity121:0012:00Weekly group progress meetings
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

• Lectures provide adequate overview, background, literature sources and introduce the methodology of study. Outcomes 1-3.
• Hands-on tutorials speed-up the phase of familiarisation with complex software tools. Outcomes 5-7.
• Supervised practicals – this is where the student make the key design decisions in their project under facilitation and guidance of experienced staff. Outcomes 2-7.
• Unsupervised time in the laboratory (included into the Private Study activity) – routine implementation work. Outcomes 5-6.
• Report writing (included into the Private Study activity) – written communication skill, summarises and organises all learning outcomes. It is also used for assessment.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Individual report containing the evidence and analysis of practical results, 4,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written report must fulfil the SOLO criteria for the extended abstract type work. As such, it must contain the following parts: Aims and Objectives, Introduction, Results, Discussion, Conclusions and References. All the learning outcomes defined above must be reflected in the report. The adequate guidance on report writing will be provided by the academic staff.

Up to 50% of the report can be replaced with equivalent content in the form of tables, diagrams, equations and screen shots. Any illustrative material must be adequately integrated and discussed in the main text. The report must include the summary of the results of 3 hours reading of the current edition of ITRS document; the reading time is included into the private study article.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:
The lecture notes are provided. A student is expected to write a short review of available publications in the introduction.

J.O. Hamblen, M.D. Furman. Rapid Prototyping of Digital Systems – A Tutorial Approach. Second Edition. 2001, Kluwer
(availability: one book per a workstation)

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.