MIPSfpga: Hands-on learning on a commercial soft-core

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


In this paper, we introduce a course centered around MIPSfpga, an unobfuscated commercial MIPS soft-core processor made available by Imagination Technologies for academic purposes. The course focuses on hands-on learning that emphasizes System on Chip (SoC) design and hardware-software codesign. Students first study MIPS computer architecture and microarchitecture and then learn and experiment with the MIPSfpga system. A set of labs guides the students in setting up the MIPS soft-core processor on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and running and debugging programs on the core in simulation and in hardware. Students then modify the MIPSfpga system to interact with various peripheral devices and complete a self-directed final project. © 2016 IEEE.


computer architecture; FPGA; hardware-software codesign; memory-mapped I/O; MIPS; processor; SoC; soft-core; System-on-Chip

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