A Practical Approach Education Kit
Teach the fundamentals of Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI), including how the theories and concepts can be applied in the design of simple logic circuits and in the physical implementation of a simplified microprocessor.
- Summary: A full set of 20 modules with lecture slides and lab exercises (in selected modules) ready for use in a typical 10-12-week undergraduate course (full syllabus below).
- Modular and Flexible Use: Teaching staff have the freedom to choose which modules to teach – use all the modules in the Education Kit or only those that are most appropriate to your teaching outcomes.
- Level: Advanced. Students are required to have an understanding of digital electronics and the basics of hardware description language (Verilog).
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To produce students with solid introductory knowledge on VLSI concepts and application of these concepts in simulation, verification, and physical implementation of a simplified microprocessor using standard industry tools.
- Knowledge and understanding of
- The characteristics of the nonideal transistor due to high field effects, channel length modulation, threshold voltage effects and leakage
- How to estimate the characteristics of CMOS circuits including noise margins, DC response and RC delay models.
- How to estimate the resistance and capacitance of on-chip wires and describe methods to optimize wire delay, power consumption and crosstalk in on-chip wires.
- The operation of CMOS latches and flip-flops and plan cell layouts using stick diagrams.
- The limits imposed by timing constraints such as setup and hold time, propagation and contamination delays in sequential circuits.
- The importance of testing in chip design and the concepts of stuck-at fault, Automatic Test Pattern Generation, Built in Self Test.
- The different SRAM architecture.
- The sources of power dissipation in a circuit and methods to control power losses.
- The implications of clock distribution networks on skew and clock power consumption.
- The sources and effects of on-chip variation.
- How to simulate a circuit using Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE) to determine its DC transfer characteristics, Transient response and Power consumption.
- Outline the key characteristics/features of nMOS and pMOS transistors and draw the cross section of a CMOS inverter.
- Use plots and cross section diagrams to describe the current and voltage (I-V) characteristics of the MOS device when operating in cut off, linear and saturation regions.
- Describe the effects of technology scaling on the number and cost of transistors power dissipation in devices.
- Explain logical effort and show how it can be applied in minimizing the delay of a combinational circuit path.
- Explain and demonstrate techniques used to optimize combinational logic circuits for best critical paths and best delay/power trade-offs for logic gates.
- Describe and explain the features of different adder architectures including: Carry-Ripple Adder, Carry-Skip Adder, Carry-Lookahead Adder, Carry-Select Adder, Carry-Increment Adder and Tree Adder.
- Design and describe the operation of data path circuits such as comparators, shifters, multi-input adders and multipliers.
- Describe the operation of Electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection circuits using their circuit diagram.
- Describe the implementation of a simplified processor at abstraction levels including: Architecture, Microarchitecture, Logic Design, Circuit Design, Physical Design, Verification & Test.
- Design, implement, simulate, and verify simple logic gates from transistor level schematic to layout.
- Use NC-Verilog to simulate and verify the operation of logic blocks.
- Use design compiler to synthesize logic gates from hardware description language and use SOC Encounter to place and route logic design.
- Assemble a chip from schematic, layout, add pad frame and then tape out in GDSII format.
|1||Introduction to VLSI|
|2||Circuits and Layout|
|4||CMOS Transistor Theory|
|5||Nonideal Transistor Theory|
|6||DC & Transient Response|
|11||Combinational Circuit Design|
|12||Sequential Circuit Design|
|15||Datapath Functional Units|
|18||Variation & Reliability|
|20||Packaging, I/O & Power Distribution|