Situated Learning on FPGA for Superscalar Microprocessor Design Education

Ryuichi TakahashiHajime Ohiwa

Microprocessor design education is acquiring critical importance, since highly sophisticated functions are supported by microprocessors in many products which cannot lose market windows. In our educational environment City-1, 7 out of 39 junior students had succeeded in implementing superscalar RISC processors on FPGAs, guided by an example hardware description language (HDL) description, within 15 weeks in 2001. With another example HDL description, 14 out of 47 junior students had succeeded in implementing superscalar CISC/RISC processors within the same weeks in 2002, featuring devices such as out-of-order completion, multiple-path execution, etc. We noticed that this could be regarded as an excellent illustration of situated learning on FPGAs which can be applied prior to on the job training (OJT) in companies. The most important thing is the choice of the tasks given as the way in for the beginners.

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