The Labs have been designed to be undertaken in conjunction with the ECAD and Computer Design courses for Part IB students. They require knowledge gained from these courses - mostly in Verilog and ARM Assembler. It is strongly recommended that you look over the Labs before attending them, since you will only have a fixed amount of time with a demonstrator present to complete the practical.
The Excalibur board is based around an Altera EPXA1 IC, which contains a reasonably sized FPGA, and an ARM922T processor with various peripherals to go with it. To help transfer data between the ARM and the FPGA, there is an AHB data bus, and 16kB of dual ported RAM - all on the same IC. So the ARM can run with a minimum of external components, there is a further 32kB of SRAM on-chip, in two banks. The demo board itself contains Ethernet, two serial ports (one of which must be implemented in the FPGA), SDRAM and FLASH memory.
The board also has two expansion headers, which our I/O boards connect to, providing a safe way to connect other devices to the IC.