- Monday, 21 October 2019
- Written by James Hewin
At Fayetteville Technical Community College, you can have lots of fun while majoring in electronics engineering technology. One of the courses offered, ELN-133 “Digital Electronics,” provides the opportunity to have fun programming gate arrays. Field Programmable Gate Arrays are electronic components used to perform a specific task or tasks. One really cool aspect of using these devices is that you get some great hands-on experience with both coding, or software, and implementation on a development board, or hardware.
Want to create a really neat calculator? Use the toggle switches to represent 1s and 0s for your input numbers and LEDs for your output result. As an added bonus, you get to learn binary numbers. Want to implement a stopwatch to time how long it takes you to do 10 push-ups or 10 sit-ups? Use a push-button switch to perform the start or stop operation and the seven segment displays to show how many minutes and seconds have elapsed during your workout. Want to write a fun message for your friends? The seven-segment displays will allow you to accomplish this.
In addition to using the development board, you can also run simulations on your design on the computer. This process allows you to make sure your stuff is working right. Simply provide the inputs you desire and validate the outputs. For example, if I perform 2 + 2 on my calculator, do I get 4? Does my stopwatch start when I press the push-button and display the elapsed time? Is my message what I expected or did I make a typo?
How about using the seven-segment display to count in hexadecimal? Show your friends how cool you are because you know both binary and hexadecimal.
FPGAs are a great application of electronics engineering technology. They provide a fun way to learn about different aspects of the field of study. Let’s use the calculator as an example. You learn about the theory of how computers do arithmetic using 2s complement. You learn how to program in a language called VHDL as well as doing schematic capture. You gain valuable hands-on experience doing both simulation on the computer and verification on the development board. Learn more about all of these things at FTCC.
In addition to this single course, the Electronics Engineering Technology program at FTCC offers many more classes, which prepare you for a career as a technician or for further study in the field leading to a bachelor’s degree. Classes in computer programming, programmable logic controllers, microprocessor applications, robotics as well as others provide fun ways of learning about electronics.
Visit our website at www.faytechcc.edu and enter “electronics engineering technology” in the search tool for more details about the Electronics Engineering Technology program of study: