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Next: ECE532S Labs and Projects Up: ECE532S Digital Systems Design 2011 Previous: ECE532S Expected Background


The course will NOT have a final exam or any midterm tests. There will be a lab test. Instead, expectations are that you will spend an above-average amount of time during the term working on the project and should, therefore, not be subjected to also doing a final exam. Do not take this course expecting an easier time because there is no exam!


There are no longer any term tests except for a lab test. You can look at previous term tests from past years:

2004 test1.pdf test2.pdf
2005 test1.pdf test2.pdf
2007 test1.pdf test2.pdf
2008 test1.pdf test2.pdf
2009 test1.pdf test2.pdf
2010 test1.pdf test2.pdf

Lab Test

In the lab, you will be required to demonstrate competence with the tools after a few weeks into the term. After having completed a number of tutorial exercises on your own, you will be required to demonstrate in the lab a small design as well as competence with the simulator. Each individual will be asked questions about the tools and the lab test assignment. Individual grades will be assigned.

Milestone Demos

Each week the group will be required to demonstrate some progress in their project. This may range from paper designs, computer simulations, software development to demonstration of some working hardware. The milestone for each week will be negotiated with the TA. Each member of the group will be responsible for some of the milestones. You will be graded according to how well you meet the milestone that was set for that week. There will be at least six intermediate milestones before the final demo.

Project Demo

Near the end of the term, all projects will be presented and demonstrated in the lab. Each team member will be responsible for some part of the design.


There are two reports. The group report will be a description of the overall project. Details are left to individual reports where each member will describe their own contributions, learning and reflections about the project.

Community Contribution

These are essentially bonus marks because the total of all the other grades adds to 100.

The goal is to encourage the class to work together to the benefit of all. The tools that you are using are highly complex and it can take a lot of archaeology to figure out how to do particular tasks, if they are even possible. However, once something is figured out, it is good to let everyone know or help someone that runs into the same problem.

All questions should be channelled through the course discussion board and appropriately titled on each thread to help with later searching. If you are seen to be someone that is helpful, you will get some community credit.

Companies used to be highly paranoid about talking about the bugs in their tools until they eventually learned that it was actually more to their benefit to help their users by actually telling them that that there are bugs! For some intersting history about one of the most famous EDA newsgroups check out the history of DeepChip.

Another good example of a community contribution is if you build some legacy, like a new tutorial, or a useful example, that can be posted.

Grade Breakdown

Here is the grade breakdown. A breakdown by dates is available on the lab timetable.

10 Lab Test (individual)
10 Proposal (team)
25 Progress Reports and Milestone demos (team/individual)
20 Project Demo (team/individual)
17.5 Report (team)
17.5 Report (individual)
5 Community Contribution

next up previous
Next: ECE532S Labs and Projects Up: ECE532S Digital Systems Design 2011 Previous: ECE532S Expected Background
Paul Chow 2011-01-10