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Title: Introduction to VLSI Design


Credits: 3


Catalog Description: Electronic characteristics of logic gates. Fabrication processes for MOS technology. Layout design rules and examples. Electronic characteristics based on geometry. Design verification, Schematic capture, analog/digital simulation. CMOS digital circuits: pads, super buffers, CMOS switch logic. Student term project.


Coordinator: Günhan Dündar, Professor of Electrical Engineering

Goals: To introduce the students to the basic concepts of VLSI Design. To teach the students the physical operation and modeling of MOSFETs. To help the students acquire the skills of drawing digital IC layouts. To teach the behavior of various CMOS logic structures so that the student can design CMOS digital IC’s.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to:

Analyze and design CMOS digital gates at the transistor level.
Design medium complexity digital CMOS circuits
Understand various concepts like interconnect or power in digital CMOS circuits.
Describe IC fabrication process.

Textbook: Jan Rabaey , Digital Integrated Circuits – A Design Perspective, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall

Reference Texts:

D. A. Pucknell & K. Eshraghian, Basic VLSI Design – Systems and Circuits, Prentice Hall
J. P. Uyemura, Circuit Design for CMOS VLSI, Kluwer Academic Publishers

Prerequisites by Topic:

Linear Circuit Theory
Basic Electronic Circuits


1. Introduction     (one week)
2. Devices (MOSFET, Diode, BJT)   (two weeks)
3. Fabrication      (one week)
4. The wire     (one week)
5. The inverter      (two weeks)
6. Static CMOS design   (two weeks)
7. High performance structures  (two weeks)
8. Sequential logic    (two weeks)

Course Structure: The class meets for three lectures a week, each consisting of 50 minute sessions. 6 assignments are given out per semester. Two of these assignments are design/analysis problems where some theoretical analysis is verified by SPICE. The remainder involve designing CMOS digital circuits at the layout level and simulating them to reach desired goals. One midterm exam is given to check the status of the students. The final exam is replaced by a project, where the students work in teams to design a medium complexity circuit.

Computer Resources: Homeworks and projects are carried out on Sun workstations and/or Linux PC’s on which Magic and SPICE are running.

Laboratory Resources: None


One midterm (20%)
Homeworks (50% total)
Final project(30%)

Outcome Coverage: This course addresses six of the basic ABET outcomes. These are as follows:

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. The design of integrated circuits by its very nature involves basic mathematics, science, and engineering components. The students should be able to apply simple physics and chemistry knowledge for the understanding of device behavior as well as applying mathematics in their analyses. The design process in integrated circuits naturally involves engineering skills where the students must evaluate various trade-offs.

(b) An ability to design and conduct experiments as well as analyze and interpret data. The design process involves an analysis step where the student must analyze various alternative solutions and must develop experiments to validate and choose from his/her designs. In the computer-based homeworks and design project, this issue is further stressed.

(e) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. The course is basically about integrated circuit design. Thus, helping the students to gain the ability to design circuits is an integral part of the course. This issue is stressed in classroom lectures as well homeworks, where the students are expected to design an integrated circuit component for a set of specifications and validate their design with simulation. A major percentage of the midterm as well as the final project itself is also design oriented.

(e) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. This issue is stressed in classroom lectures where examples from real-life problems are presented and solved. The homeworks and final project are real circuit design problems. In all homeworks and the final project, models of a real 0.25 micron technology are given to the students so that they get a feel for the actual operation of the circuits.

(k) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning. In classroom lectures, some open ended voluntary problems are stated and the students are encouraged to research on these problems. Furthermore, engaging in membership in various professional societies (such as IEEE) is encouraged. Also, many subjects are taught from a historical perspective to stress the developing nature of the field.

(k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. Students use Magic and SPICE comprehensively in their assignments and final project.

Design Experience Considerations:


Engineering standards and realistic constraints: Students are given realistic specifications as well as simulation models of real components to make actual engineering designs.


Economic: In many design examples in the homeworks and final project, chip area (which directly translates to cost) is given as a design goal.

Prepared By: Günhan Dündar


Boğaziçi Üniversitesi - Elektrik ve Elektronik Mühendisliği Bölümü

34342 - Bebek / İSTANBUL

Tel: +90 212 359 64 14
Fax: +90 212 287 24 65







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