Keiser University Applied Engineering students are thankful to intensify their educational experience thanks to the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), a powerful industry-level integrated circuit chip designed to be programmed by a user after manufacturing for custom, high speed, prototypes, and production applications.
“The new technology makes learning significantly more fun and efficient for our students because the FPGA platform is used to supplement and enhance knowledge of a broad range of digital logic topics including binary math, error detection and correction, forward error correction codes, schematic capture, and much more,” said University Department Chair Stephan Athan. “As they learn to master the program, they are also programming the FPGA in the background while gaining insights relating to the many kinds of systems with which FPGA’s are interfaced including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic and the interface protocols of digital and analog signals,” he said.
With the major focus of the Applied Engineering program being that Keiser University students learn to program FPGAs while learning diagnostics and repair of complex systems, another advantage is that they have the option and gain the experience to pursue careers as FPGA programmers. FPGAs and other programming software can be found in hundreds of industries and applications including aerospace and defense, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) prototyping, audio, automotive, consumer electronics, data centers, high-frequency trading, video and image processing, and more.
The FPGA technology lessons are considered a key component of Keiser University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Engineering program, and the curriculum culminates in a senior-level course titled Rapid Prototyping with FPGAs in which students demonstrate their expertise in a capstone project. The program prepares students to enter the workforce as skilled and highly trained technicians and problem solvers with an understanding of advanced engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in developing, installing, calibrating, modifying, and maintaining electrical, mechanical, aerospace, agricultural, transportation, and biomedical systems. This includes instruction in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA); computer systems; electronics and instrumentation; programmable logic controllers (PLCs); electric, hydraulic and pneumatic control systems; actuator and sensor systems; process control; robotics; applications to specific industrial tasks; and report preparation.