ECE Undergraduate Laboratories
ECE 495 - Computer Engineering Design Laboratory

Lab 3: T-Bird Turn Signal


The objective of this experiment is to familiarize the student with the ALTERA DE2 board and VDHL.


Review Chapter 2 of Computer Systems Organization & Architecture by John Carpinelli.

Equipment Needed



In this experiment, we will implement the turn signal control of a Thunderbird (T-bird) car using VHDL and the Altera DE2 Board. The left and right turn signals of the T-bird each contain 3 lights. There are three binary inputs to the control, LEFT, RIGHT, and HAZARD. When LEFT = 1 or RIGHT = 1, the lights flash according to the patterns shown in Figure 3.1. Note that LEFT and RIGHT cannot be 1 at the same time and if the switch from LEFT =1 to RIGHT = 1 or RIGHT = 1 to LEFT = 1 occurs in middle of a flashing sequence, the control should starts the new sequence from the beginning. In addition, the HAZARD takes precedence over LEFT and RIGHT. When HAZARD = 1, all six lights will flash on and off.

T-bird signal patters
Figure 3.1: T-bird turn signal patterns.

This T-bird turn signal control can be implemented with a Moore machine using eight states. Use the LEDs on the DE2 Board as the turn signal display. You can drive the circuit with the system 11 clock on the DE2 Board which runs at about 50 MHz (You need to delay the transitions between states to achieve the proper display).

Prelab Assignment

  1. Prepare the state diagram and state transition table for the T-bird turn signal control.
  2. Prepare a preliminary VHDL program for your design.
  3. Simulate your circuit using the Quartus II Web Edition software.

Lab Assignment

Program, test, simulate and debug your design until it works.