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A Hardware Based Novel Educational Methodology for Teaching Microprocessor Architectures Using Object Oriented Approach

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There is no doubt that computer architecture represents a core course in computer science curriculum. A computer architecture course involves mainly the microprocessor structure and operation which constitutes the heart of the whole system. Due to microprocessor complexity, a number of simulation software solutions have been developed for supporting the corresponding courses. On the other hand, simulators offer only a visual environment where the students cannot change operational or structural characteristics for studying the corresponding microprocessor behavior. Moreover, and much more important is the fact that students cannot demystify the physical level where bit manipulation takes place. A novel and low cost approach for studying in depth microprocessor structure and operation at programming and hardware level is presented and finally proposed for the very first time in this paper. The student uses programmable hardware modules for developing the internal structure of a microprocessor. Finally, the developed microprocessor can be studied from programmer’s or developer’s view.
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Computers Architecture Education; Computers Organization; Object Oriented; Educational Microprocessor Development; Modular Hardware; Open Source Hardware

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