ECE 241/298 - Digital Systems Project

        Fall 2006       S. Brown, J. Rose, K. Truong, B. Wang/P. Anderson

The Task

Up until three years ago year, ECE 241 had a 3 week project after the 7 scheduled labs;  in order to keep your fall term workload reasonable,  that project has been made part of the ECE 298 Design & Communication I course.  In addition, a portion of the marks assigned from this project will form part of your overall grade in ECE 241. Part of the project will be guided with the help of ECE 241 instructors and the ECE 241 Teaching Assistants.

The purpose of the project is to:

  1. Gain experience dealing with the design of a larger digital system, and to deal with the issues in going from a soft simple specification (“make a digital toaster controller”) to an actual complete design.  There is no substitute for experience!
  2. Express your creativity by applying what you have learned in this course to a project of your own choosing.


You will design and implement a project of your own choosing that uses digital logic in some creative way. You may use any of the parts available in the lab, but are restricted to using just one of the Altera DE2 boards. An important part of this lab is the creativity required to think up an interesting project, and then negotiate with a TA or instructor as to the final form of the project.

Originality/Uniqueness Approval

The first step in your project is to come up with an original idea. You must submit your idea, in a 1-3 line description, via email to your ECE 241 instructor for "originality"or “uniqueness” approval. The instructor will quickly respond to tell you if the idea has already been proposed more than once or twice. If it has, you'll have to come up with something different. Please note that this approval is only the first step and only deals with the basic idea, and not the scope/effort required for the project; that comes next:

Before the First Project lab

You will submit a short project proposal of what your project is about. See the ECE 298 course web page for the course to find project proposal form. This should be a short description that gives:

The basic idea of the project, and the basic function of your circuit.

Describe the inputs and outputs, and give a simple block diagrams describing how the various parts of your circuit interact.

Your plan of action for each of the three lab periods - "milestones"

Present this to you TA to get their opinion on whether the project is viable. Once approved, you should get their signature. This is just a check to make sure that you do not try something overly ambitious.

Reporting: Your ECE 298 instructor will describe the reporting and grading for the project.