Up & Coming Weekly

October 22, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 21 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM OCTOBER 23-29, 2019 UCW 21 EDUCATION FTCC's Electronics Engineering Technology blends technology and fun by JAMES HEWIN At Fayetteville Technical Community College, you can have lots of fun while majoring in electronics engineering technology. One of the courses offered, ELN-133 "Digital Electronics," provides the opportunity to have fun program- ming gate arrays. Field Programmable Gate Arrays are electronic components used to perform a specific task or tasks. One really cool aspect of using these devices is that you get some great hands-on experience with both coding, or software, and implementation on a development board, or hardware. Want to create a really neat calcula- tor? Use the toggle switches to represent 1s and 0s for your input numbers and LEDs for your output result. As an added bonus, you get to learn binary numbers. Want to implement a stop- watch to time how long it takes you to do 10 push- ups or 10 sit-ups? Use a push-button switch to perform the start or stop operation and the seven segment displays to show how many minutes and seconds have elapsed during your workout. Want to write a fun message for your friends? The seven-segment displays will allow you to accom- plish this. In addition to using the development board, you can also run simulations on your design on the computer. This process allows you to make sure your stuff is working right. Simply provide the inputs you desire and validate the outputs. For example, if I perform 2 + 2 on my calculator, do I get 4? Does my stopwatch start when I press the push-button and display the elapsed time? Is my message what I expected or did I make a typo? How about using the seven-segment display to count in hexadecimal? Show your friends how cool you are because you know both binary and hexadecimal. FPGAs are a great application of electronics engineering technology. They provide a fun way to learn about different aspects of the field of study. Let's use the calculator as an example. You learn about the theory of how computers do arith- metic using 2s complement. You learn how to program in a language called VHDL as well as doing schematic capture. You gain valu- able hands-on experience doing both simula- tion on the computer and verification on the development board. Learn more about all of these things at FTCC. In addition to this single course, the Electronics Engineering Technology program at FTCC offers many more classes, which prepare you for a career as a technician or for further study in the field leading to a bachelor's degree. Classes in computer pro- gramming, programmable logic controllers, microprocessor applications, robotics as well as others provide fun ways of learning about electronics. Visit our website at www.faytechcc.edu and enter "electronics engineering technology" in the search tool for more details about the Electronics Engineering Technology program of study: www.faytechcc.edu/academics/engineering- applied-technology-programs/electronics-engi- neering-technology/ JAMES HEWIN, Electronics Engineering Technology Instructor at FTCC. COMMENTS? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Learn more about electronics engineering technology at FTCC.

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