Comprehensive curriculum for reconfigurable heterogeneous computer architecture education

Comprehensive curriculum for reconfigurable heterogeneous computer architecture education

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As heterogeneity in desktop processor chips was recently promised by the major manufactures, the importance of these new architecture paradigms strongly grows. Especially if programmable CPUs are combined with reconfigurable logic like it has been done in the embedded domain, the complexity to design an energy efficient and powerful system increases. Therefore, heterogeneous system platforms have to be focused even stronger in research and education. Because the design and programming of these architectures is much more complex than using standard processor solutions, it is essential to provide thorough education programs for students. Only then will the engineers of tomorrow be able to deal with the future challenges. As a consequence, the authors restructured their curriculum to especially deal with the upcoming needs. Three courses were oriented towards the common goal of developing a real-world smart camera solution utilising heterogeneous architectures. The new combination provides various synergistic benefits and evaluation results confirm, that the overall orientation of the courses is a step in the right direction. As the basic components are already available at many other universities, their example can encourage to launch similar programmes elsewhere.

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