This paper describes a teaching platform that comprises a commercial FPGA-based board called the DE0 and a custom complementary circuit board of our design called Teaching Auxiliary Board (TAB). The combination contains an ARM Cortex-M1 soft-core processor, numerous analogue and digital peripherals, different types of memory and a Cortex-M3 highly-integrated microcontroller. The deliberate intention was to support laboratory experiments related to embedded systems design in a manner that was of greater educational benefit than using commercial products alone. The content of three core courses in the BEng degree programme for Computer Engineering is outlined to show the context in which the DE0/TAB platform is used. Thereafter, the purpose and expectations of five 2-hour laboratory sessions are presented in detail to illustrate the range of topics to which the platform can be applied.
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