The book is divided into four major parts. Part I covers HDLconstructs and synthesis of basic digital circuits. Part IIprovides an overview of embedded software development with theemphasis on low-level I/O access and drivers. Part III demonstratesthe design and development of hardware and software for severalcomplex I/O peripherals, including PS2 keyboard and mouse, agraphic video controller, an audio codec, and an SD (securedigital) card. Part IV provides three case studies of theintegration of hardware accelerators, including a custom GCD(greatest common divisor) circuit, a Mandelbrot set fractalcircuit, and an audio synthesizer based on DDFS (direct digitalfrequency synthesis) methodology.
The book utilizes FPGA devices, Nios II soft-core processor, anddevelopment platform from Altera Co., which is one of the two mainFPGA manufactures. Altera has a generous university program thatprovides free software and discounted prototyping boards foreducational institutions (details at http://www.altera.com/university).The two main educational prototyping boards are known as DE1 ($99)and DE2 ($269). All experiments can be implemented and tested withthese boards. A board combined with this book becomes a"turn-key" solution for the SoPC design experiments andprojects. Most HDL and C codes in the book are device independentand can be adapted by other prototyping boards as long as a boardhas similar I/O configuration.