The pdf http://www.marvell.com/led-lighting/assets/Marvell_88EM8189_IC-01_product_brief.pdf describes a chip that can be used for low power wireless control, and can be powered directly from 120V line voltage. Build a small wireless device (motor control, light dimmer….) Note: this uses zigbee so you’d need to work on both ends of the network.
Use the MSP430 and the E15 I/O board to make a thermometer (using MSP430 internal temperature sensor) and/or thermostat (using potentiometer for “set” temperature).
Designing a High-Efficiency Solar Power Battery Charger
Perhaps useful for E90, E72 or E15 project.
Use the MSP430 to build a BCD clock. led-binclock.jpg (400×612).
You could also use standard seven segment displays to get a clock that others can read.
As part of the project, we could build a printed circuit board so you have a completed clock.
Perhaps a useful tool for a wireless low power device. Low-Energy Bluetooth Smart Module Enriches App Flexibility | Communications content from Electronic Design.
If you are interested in a wireless project consider using an “electric imp” as the hardware interface. http://electricimp.com/
Develop a display that can be controlled wirelessly (or wired) through an app or web interface.
Convert a text message to Morse code with Verilog. Can you read a Morse code message into text (it shouldn’t be too difficult).
Altera supplies support for an embedded processor (called NIOS II) for its FPGA’s. Use the processor to demonstrate a simple calculation/task.
Implement a multiplication ALU in Verilog (without using the built-in multiplication operator). Perhaps try using either a Wallace Tree or a Dadda Tree (two faster algorithms than “traditional” shift-and-add multiplication)
Build a simple PWM controller in Verilog to control the brightness of an LED.
Implement a serial port in Verilog and connect to a computer or to one of the peripherals on the DE2 board.
Implement a simple correlator in Verilog, an application is DNA sequence comparison.
Implement a very simple (4 bit) processor in Verilog
Implement a digital (FIR) filter using FPGA hardware. You can either do this from scratch, or figure out how to use the IP supplied by Altera (called DSPBuilder). This is a increasingly common application for FPGA’s and would impress many potential summer (or even post-graduation) employers. Talk to me (or do a quick search) to learn more.
Implement a reaction timer. The DE2 board lights an LED at a “random” time, and counts how long it takes the user to react by pushing a button.
Some MSP430′s have a very low power mode that lets you implement a finite state machine to do some simple processing without waking the processor up. See “SCAN IF” in MSP430FG4618 family data sheet (http://www.ti.com/lit/ug/slau056l/slau056l.pdf). We have some of these processors, so you could try it out.