Digital Electronics

The FPGA capabilities on the Digilent Digital Systems Development Board (DSDB) add-on for NI ELVIS is used to physically demonstrate concepts taught in the lab.
This course is an intermediate level course that covers both combinational and sequential digital electronics topics. Course topics range from simulating logic gates in NI Multisim to building and deploying PLD circuits to an FPGA target. Theoretical concepts are reinforced through hands-on experiences using the NI Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS). This is an online, interactive course powered by Thinkscape. Each included lab contains instructions, multimedia, and assessments in an online environment where students can learn at their own pace.  As an instructor, you can create and edit instances of this course, assign them to students, and view their progress.  This in conjunction with the Digital Systems Development Board (DSDB) ELVIS add-on, facilitate the comprehension of the variety of digital electronic concepts presented in this course. The course set also offers project based applications that combine and reinforce skills students learn throughout the course.
by Enable Education

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 
  • Students evaluate the benefits of using simulated hardware and reconfigurable hardware
  • Students understand that boolean operations are the foundation of digital logic 
  • Students apply logic theory to develop practial, digital electronic applications such as counters, multiplexers, and finite state machines
 
Level Second or Third Year University
Topic Digital Electronics
Style Traditional Lab, Project-Based Learning 
Prerequisite Skills Introductory physics and circuits 

INCLUDED COURSE MODULES

Students will learn to use the simulation software, Multisim, to simulate the behavior of digital circuits. Students will explore the functionality of various digital circuits without the need of physical components. Finally, students will deploy digital circuits to hardware using NI Digital Systems Development Board to reinforce concepts discussed throughout the lab. This lab is hosted by the online platform Thinkscape.
Logic circuits are the building blocks of digital hardware. Students will learn the functions and applications of three simple logic gates: the AND gate, the OR gate, and the NOT gate. Students will also use truth tables to to visually represent the inputs and outputs for a given logic operation. Multisim is used to observe the behavior of the most common logic gates. The lab is hosted by the online, interactive Thinkscape platform.
Building on basic logic gates learned in the previous section, students will explore NAND, NOR, XOR, and XNOR. Boolean algebra and methods for deriving combinational logic circuits are introduced. Students will build a variety of basic circuits to explore the function of different logic gates. This lab is hosted online by Thinkscape.
In this lab, students learn about binary conversion and different methods of using logic gates to implement binary addition. In the activity, students use Mulitisim to simulate different methods of binary addition, and complete an analysis. Then, the students validate the simulation on the FPGA chip of the DSDB board.
Students are introduced to Karnaugh Maps. They will learn how to create Karnaugh Maps and will learn their practical applications to minimize Boolean functions. In this lab, students will use Karnaugh maps to simplify a Boolean expression and derive the output, simplified combinational logic circuit, and K-map for a circuit. The interactive, online learning platform, Thinkscape, hosts this lab.
This lab introduces students to the fundamentals of encoders and decoders. Students complete activities in which they use Multisim to build and simulate circuits, including a binary-coded decimal to seven segment display decoder and a priority encoder. Students complete analysis to derive truth tables and complete assessments. The lab is hosted by the online platform Thinkscape.
In this lab, students will learn how multiplexers and demultiplexers work, as well as the basics of clock multiplexing. While using Multisim and NI ELVIS to simulate circuits and deploy them to the FPGA on the DSDB board, students will reflect on the similarities and differences between encoders and multiplexers, examine the function of a basic 2-to-1 Multiplexer using logic gates, and observe the behavior of clock multiplexing using an oscilloscope. The lab is hosted on the interactive, online learning platform, Thinkscape.
In this lab, students will learn the function, design, and application of comparator circuits. They will use Multisim to build and simulate comparator circuits, and then deploy them onto the FPGA of the DSDB board. This lab is hosted on the interactive, online learning platform, Thinkscape.
This lab introduces students to latches and sequential logic circuits, including basic concepts, variations, and applications. In the activity, students will use Multisim to build and simulate circuits to observe differences between synchronous and asynchronous sequential circuits, test and compare circuits for D latches, confirm the characteristic table of a gated SR latch, and observe the differences between D and SR latches. The lab is hosted on the online platform, Thinkscape.
Students will learn the basic behavior of D, JK, and T flip-flops, as well as their unique functions. Students will use Multisim to build, simulate, and observe various flip-flop circuits, and then answer assessment questions. The lab is hosted on the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.
Students will explore various types of counters and their practical applications. This includes reviewing theory, and then using Multisim to build, simulate, and observe circuits, and then completing an analysis. Then students will become familiar with the differences between synchronous and asynchronous counters, and observe theoretically and practically that flip flops are the building blocks of counters. The lab is hosted by the online, interactive Thinkscape platform.
This project -based lab will give students an understanding of finite state machines their various applications. Students will produce subcircuits using Multisim and the NI Digital Systems Development Board to simulate single and two way traffic signals. Comprehension of clock signals and counters are reinforced in this lab. The project is guided by Thinkscape, an online, interactive platform.
Students will learn the basic function of shift registers as well as explore the various types of shift registers. In the activities, students will use Multisim to observe the basic function of a four-bit shift register using D flip flops, examine the effects of changing the clock frequency on a shift register input, and eexplore the relationship be between waveforms in shift registers and clock signals across flip flops. This will include building, simulating, and observing circuits, and then deploying them to the FPGA of the DSDB. This lab is hosted on the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.
Students are introduced to the concept of semiconductor memory, including different types of memory. Students complete activities in Multisim to configure a word generator, observe the reading and writing of a 2-bit code on a 2K8 RAM chip, and design, construct and simulate the writing and reading of a 4-bit code on 2K8 RAM chip. This lab is hosted by the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.
A variety of concepts and skills developed in the digital electronics lab series will be combined to design and build digital dice in a project-based lab. Students will reinforce content that has been taught prior to this lab such as counters and encoders. Students will design the entirety of the circuit using Multisim. However, the option is given to implement the Multisim code to the NI Digital Systems Development Board (DSDB) and create a physical representation of digital dice. The project is guided by the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.
A variety of concepts and skills developed in the digital electronics lab series will be combined to design and build a digital clock in a project-based application lab. Students will have the option to build a 12-hour or 24-hour clock which will involve using counters, encoders, flip flops and a other concepts previously learned. Students will also use the NI ELVIS Function Generator to simulate a clock pulse. The lab is based on Multisim but students will implement code to hardware on the NI DSDB. The project is guided by the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.
A variety of concepts and skills developed in the digital electronics lab series will be combined to design and build an electronic safe with a 4-digit password in a project-based lab. This lab will reinforce the practical application of combinational logic circuits. It also will revisit how flip flops are used to create shift registers. The lab requires Multisim software and NI DSDB hardware. However, students are presented optional lab add-ons requiring additional hardware. The project is guided by the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.
A variety of concepts and skills developed in the digital electronics lab series will be combined to design and build a digital communication device in a project-based lab. Students will compare the benefits of serial and parallel communication methods. Students will also learn the fundamentals of encryption as they build a device that generates, sends, receives and displays serial 8-bit messages. The project is guided by the online, interactive platform Thinkscape.

Related Resources

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Required Software

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  • NI ELVISmx Software Suite 14.0 or later (Includes Multisim 14.0 or later and required driver) - Download
  • Vivado Webpack HL - Download 
Note: After installing the Vivado Webpack HL, an additional Digilent driver will need to be installed for NI DSDB. This will be located at C:\NIFPGA\programs\Vivado2014_4\data\xicom\cable_drivers\nt64\digilent.

Required Hardware

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