The rig consists of a Xilinx Spartan2E S2e300 board, allowing student to use VHDL tools to compose, upload and test their real-time implementations on a physical FPGA board.
Using contemporary development tools (available for free), students would typically implement a specific design on their own computers using VHDL. To test the design, they log into the FPGA remote laboratory, upload the compiled bitstream via a web interface and test their designs in real-time. Inputs are realised through soft-switches on the web browser, and a camera provides a view of the LED and 7-segment display outputs. Possible laboratory exercises include the development of state machine-based systems like timers, traffic light controller simulations and microprocessor components, such as simple Arithmetic and Logic Units (ALUs).