Multiple components in the design space currently available to students attending the Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESL) course are outdated and could use an upgrade. The Gumstix Overo Fire, for example, is no longer being produced and has seen some wear and tear by student use. The FPGAs (cyclone IV e and cyclone III) used are no longer supported by modern versions of the Quartus development tool and thus require an outdated setup with an old Quartus version on an old Linux OS to be used. These issues create an excellent opportunity to look into using more modern microcomputers and FPGAs for the ESL setup.
The goal of this MDDP is to find a future-proof setup for the ESL course that creates a wide design space for students attending the course to explore. For the microcomputer, the Raspberry Pi 4 is a compelling option as the ecosystem of Raspberry Pi is currently very active. For the FPGAs, the ICE40 is an interesting option as it is contained on the ICOBoard, which is an FPGA-based IO board directly compatible with the Raspberry Pi.