This term we teach digital system design and besides the essential (gates, flip-flops, 2-complements, alu, data path, etc) we decided to include some practical parts. In the first part we introduced Verilog. We did the exercises with Icarus Verilog (free, text-based verilog) and there are more powerful tools available, e.g. ISE WebPACK.
In the second part we have practical exercises in assembly language using the Ez430-F2013 development kit. We borrowed one kit to each student (just in case someone is bored over Christmas) and the current task is to complete and assembly program (incomplete sample) that the LED shows repeatedly “Hello” in Morse code. This is just the start – perhaps we do some more interesting stuff in January. The development kit is really interesting – especially given the fact that it is only 20€ (including hardware, compiler, and IDE). The MCU is small – but still good enought to generate a video signal (eagle CAD files, some assembly code).