30.110 Digital Systems Lab

No. of Credits: 12 Subject Credits

Pre-requisites: 30.002 Circuits & Electronics


The goal of the subject is for students to get familiar with digital circuit design.

Learning Objectives

  • Design a complicated digital system as a member of a small team, and give effective presentations describing design decisions.
  • Explain the elements of digital system abstractions such as digital logic, Boolean algebra, flip-flops, finite-state machines (FSMs), and microprogrammed systems.
  • Design simple digital systems based on these digital abstractions, and the “digital paradigm” including discrete, sampled information.
  • Use basic digital tools and devices such as digital oscilloscopes, PALs, and VHDL.
  • Work in a design team that can propose, design, successfully implement, and report on a digital circuit design project.
  • Communicate the purpose and results of a design project in written and oral presentations.

Measurable Outcomes

  • Use Boolean Algebra and resulting logic for control and data paths.
  • Carry out simple design with basic digital building blocks such as multiplexors, selectors, and shift registers.
  • Characterize binary signals in terms of: input levels, output levels, and “noise margins”, specifically using the TTL specification.
  • Design and implement a simple FSM.
  • Design, implement and program a simple microprogrammed sequencer.
  • Use component parts, including complex parts, through their specifications.
  • Use programmable logic parts for implementation of logical component and system realizations.
  • Use industry standard CAD software that implements VHDL and can be used to program devices
  • Evaluate a design concept for appropriateness and achievability.
  • Organize a design concept into specific parts.
  • Debug and test an implementation of a digital design.
  • Give oral and written reports on all aspects of a design project.


  • Cohort based learning, homework, exam, lab, and project.

Text & References

  • Morris Mano and Michael D. Ciletti, Digital Design, 5th edition, Pearson (ISBN-13: 9780132774208), 2013.
  • H. Katz, G. Borriello, Contemporary Logic Design, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall (ISBN 0201308576), December 2004.
  • E. Thomas, P. R. Moorby, The Verilog Hardware Description Language, 5th ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers (ISBN 1402070896), June 2002.
  • S. Palnitkar, Verilog HDL, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall (ISBN 0130449113), 2003.


  • In-class participation 10%
  • Homework 10%
  • Exam 20%
  • Lab 30%
  • Project 30%


Attending exam is compulsory.

Course Notes

This set of course notes was graciously shared by Wei Min Cher , updated as of 23 October 2020.

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