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Title:A MIPS datapath simulator for enhancing visual learning of computer architecture
Author(s):Hazlett, Christiaan D.
Advisor(s):Herman, Geoffrey L
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
datapath simulator
hardware architecture
Abstract:In this thesis, I introduce the Datapath Simulator—a tool for visually teaching the fundamentals of hardware architecture. Built over the 2019-2020 academic year, the Simulator allows course staff and students to virtually build and explore hardware architecture circuits. The Datapath Simulator is built around the MIPS architecture and supports running MIPS32 instructions on the simulated circuits. Users can view and change values on busses, components, and memory across clock cycles to support building a visual mental model of an operational datapath. I also present the results of a survey of University of Illinois hardware architecture students on their reception of adding the Datapath Simulator to our course, CS233. I find that the majority of students would support using this visual tool to augment the current course materials, which include static datapath diagrams and non-visual simulation of the MIPS datapath through Verilog.
Issue Date:2020-05-14
Rights Information:© 2020 Christiaan D. Hazlett
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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