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Acquire FPGA skills needed in various industries:

Included among those industies are aerospace, medical, communications, industrial control, and defense. This course explores Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) architectures, HDL synthesis/ place and route, FPGA configuration, hardware validation and embedded MCU solutions. The course curriculum consists of modules that teach a broad range of FPGA design topics, while hands on laboratory experiments exercise lecture content.This course is designed to provide students material to gain a working understanding of FPGA architectures, design methodologies, FPGA development tools, prototyping hardware, FPGA synthesis, place and route and FPGA image generation.

Course Highlights:

  • Introduction to FPGAs
  • FPGA Architecture
  • FPGA Design Process
  • FPGA Logic Implementation and Features
  • FPGA Timing Analysis
  • FPGA Constraints
  • Clock Domain Crossing and Meta-stability

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Obtain an understanding of FPGA architectures and a design flow
  • Modify HDL code
  • Perform FPGA synthesis and place and route
  • Perform FPGA timing analysis (STA)
  • Download an FPGA image to hardware
  • Debug a FPGA design in hardware
  • Create a FPGA project with minimal assistance

Hardware:  Students are required to purchase a Nexys A-7: FPGA Trainer Board Recommended for ECE Cirriculum (Nexys A-7, 100T). Also required, a USB A to Micro-B Cable. Students should consider purchasing their Nexys A-7 FPGA Trainer Board Recommended for ECE Cirriculum (Nexys A-7, 100T)  and additional accessory from Digilent Inc, by applying for an academic discount to receive a substantial savings on these required parts. Simply go to: and paste the Nexys information into the search window, add the parts to your cart and apply for an individual academic discount. This account is good for 11 months. When filling out your application please indicate that you are taking this course at UC San Diego Extension and don't have a UCSD email account. You can review Digilent's academic discount process at this link.

Course Typically Offered: Online in Fall and Spring quarters.

Optional Reading: FPGAs Instant Access - 1st. ed. by Clive Maxfeild - Pub: Newnes
ISBN-13: 978-0750689748. May be purchased at technical book stores and on-line distributors, such as Amazon.

Prerequisite: The course is intended for students with educational or working knowledge of basic digital design techniques. Some understanding of VHDL or Verilog is beneficial, but not necessary.

Next Step: After completing this course, consider taking other courses in the Embedded Systems Engineering or UNIX & Linux Systems Administration certificate programs.

Contact: For more information about this course, please email

Course Number: ECE-40170
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Embedded Systems Engineering