Microcontroller Based Real-Time Emulator for Logic Gate and Structured Logic Devices

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Author(s) Uzedhe O. Godwin | H. C. Inyiama | Udeze Chidiebele C. | Mbonu Ekene S.
Pages 639-647
Volume 2
Issue 9
Date September, 2013
Keywords Emulator, Microcontrollers, Logic Devices, Experiment, Designs

Often a desired digital system cannot be implemented because the digital device required cannot be obtained in the local market. If such a device must be sourced from abroad, there is a lead time before the component ordered may be obtained. Such a lead time is not always tolerable because of the urgency placed on certain projects. The microcontroller based real-time emulator presented in this paper finds a way to make the microcontroller become a convenient substitute for any digital device that is readily unavailable. The microcontroller is programmed to have the capacity to emulate (or behave like) several different logic devices, and opens up a new range of possibilities. Students can perform laboratory experiment and submit lab reports on any of the emulated devices. Furthermore, when the microcontroller is adequately configured, it can be wired into any digital circuit to stand in for any logic device it is to emulate. In order to support the user, the emulator includes in its output (apart from its input/output pins) both text and graphic displays for operational information and graphical view of devices being emulated. It is therefore possible to provide a very powerful digital system laboratory by replicating the microcontroller based emulator and this will be a more virile solution to digital lab equipment provision than when actual logic devices are used. The lack of fund has always been the major reason for the under-development, and lack of educational facilities in most poor nations of the world. This novel approach to digital system lab equipment provision could be one of the best options to passing digital design knowledge to the under-developed nations through the provision of low cost laboratory equipments for effective knowledge transfer in their educational systems.

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