Laboratory in Design Automation

  • Type: Praktikum (P)
  • Chair: KIT-Fakultäten - KIT-Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik - Institut für Technik der Informationsverarbeitung
    KIT-Fakultäten - KIT-Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik
  • Semester: SS 2024
  • Time: weekly on Monday 14:00 - 18:00
    from 2024-04-15
    until 2024-07-22
    in 30.10 ITIV Raum 216
    30.10 Nachrichtentechnik, Institutsgebäude
  • Lecturer:

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Becker

  • SWS: 4
  • Lv-no.: 2311637
  • Information: On-Site
Language of instructionGerman
Organisational issues

Mo 14:00-18:00 ITIV Geb. 30.10, Raum 216

Practical course in Digital Systems Design (PES)/ Digital Hardware Design Laboratory (DHL)


The registration for the laboratory is done online on the KIT ILIAS portal in the respective ILIAS course ( The online registration starts on 6th April 2024. 

The preliminary discussion takes place on Tuesday, April 16th 2024 at 2 pm in room 216 (Engesserstr. 5, Building 30.10) of the Institut fuer Technik der Informationsverarbeitung (ITIV) and will also be accessible online via MS Teams (link will be announced in ILIAS course). The laboratory itself will be held on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 pm. In case of a high number of participants, a second time slot will be available on Mondays from 2 pm to 6 pm.

The number of workplaces in the laboratory is limited. Online registration does not guarantee a place in the course. The final decision on participation will be made in the preliminary discussion. Students, for whom this laboratory is a compulsory course, will be prioritized. 


Fundamentals of Electronic Systems Design (e.g. HSO, course code 2311619 and HMS, course code 2311608).


Modern technologies like artificial intelligence or image processing for autonomous driving require more and more computing power. There is a clear trend towards tailored computer chips and architectures. For this reason, the ability to design and create them is a very important skill for engineers nowadays. In the Digital Hardware Design Laboratory (DHL) you have the chance to learn and apply these skills.

In this laboratory, students practically apply development and simulation techniques known from the lectures. In DHL, students use the development and synthesis tools from Xilinx as well as the simulation tool ModelSim from Mentor Graphics, which are both widely-used in the industry. The sources developed in the laboratory are tested on an industrial grade hardware platform.

The target platform of the laboratory is the Digilent ZEDBOARD, which is equipped with a Xilinx Zynq System-on-Chip (SoC). The Zynq combines FPGA logic modules with a dual core ARM processor on a single chip.

In the first part of the laboratory (four sessions), you learn the fundamentals of the synthesis and simulation tools as well as the hardware description language VHDL. First, you learn about the basic components of a FPGA and how you can program it. Subsequently, basic knowledge on the creation of testbenches is imparted. At the end of the introduction phase, you are able to implement common patters such as Finite State Machines (FSM) as well as complex circuits like dividers or interfaces.

Afterwards the actual project-part of the laboratory starts. Here you develop a hardware accelerator for camera image processing using the Zynq FPGA module. Based on the raw camera data the accelerator is able to identify prominent areas (regions) and transmits the results back to the processor. The processor can now visualize the detected regions on a monitor connected to the HDMI interface of the ZEDBOARD.