Advanced Digital Projects Laboratory

ECE 395, ECE 396, ECE 397, ECE 597, ECE 599


General Course Information

The course has an open laboratory format. Groups of 1 to 4 students propose a project of their choosing (with the approval of the instructor). The project must be a digital system or a digitally-controlled system. The students design, build, test and document their hardware, and write, debug and document the corresponding software. Most projects include schematic capture, printed circuit board design and manufacture, use of scopes and logic analyzers, software development tools, in-circuit debugging, and so forth. Students must identify the appropriate technology for their project (FPGA, DSP, and/or CPU) and identify the appropriate hardware chips (with appropriate current ratings, speed, environmental ratings, and cost). The ECE Electronics Shop, ECE Storeroom, and ECE Machine Shop are available to the students.


The ADSL has a strong community atmosphere; students provide help and encouragement to each other, in addition to the support provided by the TAs and instructor.


Students will demonstrate their projects at the ADSL Open House at the end of the semester. This event is open to the public, and constitutes the majority of the grade in the course. Students are also encouraged to show their work at Engineering Open House. A final report is due during finals week. The final report must include all information necessary to allow future students to further develop the project.


Students may wish to undertake projects that take more than one semester, with consent of instructor. Additional semester(s) of projects in ADSL will be approved based on the performance in the previous semester. In exceptional cases work in ADSL may develop into graduate thesis projects or graduate independent study projects. With consent of instructor, students may work in ADSL when registered in ECE 395, ECE 396, ECE 397, ECE 597, or ECE 599.


Our meeting for this semester is: Tuesday at 4:00 PM in 2076 Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ADSL Lab)



Lippold Haken

Office: 3054 ECEB

Email: L-Haken@illinois.eduu

Zuofu Cheng

Office: 3052 ECEB

Email: zcheng1@illinois.eduu


Teaching Assistants:

Chuanzheng 'Chad' Li and Aaron Smith

Office: 2076 ECEB (in lab)

Email: and


Course Schedule and Course Projects (WIKI)

Course Projects from a Long Time Ago in a Building Far, Far Away (OLD SYSTEM)


Other Links:

1. General Intro to Making Printed Circuit Boards

2. How to have ECE make Printed Circuit Boards from Eagle

3. Safety Guidelines
4. ECE Electronic Services Shop

5. ECE Machine Shop

6. ECE Store

7. Engineering Workstations Webpage