About this Project

Project Author: Andrew Lagattuta
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Amir Roth

Abstract: The consumer electronics industry has exploded in recent years, notably with the increasing popularity of portable media devices. The market for mobile entertainment has been steadily growing, leading to an influx of new devices from many different companies. As these devices grow more complex, they become increasingly interesting to study in terms of their architecture and design.

This project aims to gain a deep understanding of these devices through a sample implementation of a digital media player, using a field programmable gate array (FPGA). FPGAs are wonderful tools for designing and prototyping digital systems, since they prevent the need for fabricating real chips. They also present their own interesting challenges--specifically speed and size limitations. The ultimate goal of this project is to construct a digital media player with a simple user interface, capable of presenting pictures, text, games, and audio. Finally, as a beneficial side-effect, the implementation of this device will result in several controller components that can potentially be used for Penn's undergraduate processor design course.

This system was developed over the course of two semesters as a senior design project for the University of Pennsylvania's Computer Science and Engineering curriculum. The project resulted in a successful prototype media player with opportunity for future customization and expansion. To learn more about the hardware and software designs of the system, and to see examples of the player's capabilities, you can explore the rest of this web site (which is modeled after the player's user interface).