PEPEonBOARD - Development board for embedded Systems


  • Pedro Diogo, Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal

Source: M.Sc. Thesis, Instituto Superior Técnico / Technical University of Lisbon, April 2013


Keywords: PEPE, Embedded Systems, Processing Unit, Emulation, Computer Simulator, Hardware Design


PEPE is a 16 bit processor, created with the purpose of teaching the basics of Computer Architectures. This processor was initially simulated on a computer simulator - SIMAC.
The main disadvantage of a simulated processor is not being able to interact with real peripherals, which limits its applications. Because of this, the users were unable to run their programs outside of the simulator environment.
Motivated by these limitations, a hardware development board was purposefully built to serve as a platform for an external emulator. This platform integrates many of SIMAC's existing peripherals such as an LCD, a keypad, seven segment displays, buttons and LEDs. To emulate the PEPE processor outside the computer, we used a microcontroller. The microcontroller is responsible for emulating PEPE programs, interfacing with the peripherals and communicating with the computer. This communication allows the emulator to be controlled by a computer. With the goal of maintaining a familiar user interface, the same simulator interface is used to control the emulator, while maintaining the option to run the same programs on the simulator.
This work opens new possibilities for anyone using the PEPE processor, as it can now control new external peripherals, as well as provide an alternative to other more complex development boards.

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