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ENEE408D Capstone Design Project: Mixed Signal VLSI Design

Course Description: This course covers the design of very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits including analysis and simulation of digital and analog circuits, layout, and component selection. The material involves extensive use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools for circuit simulation and layout and draws upon knowledge from 300-level EE courses. Following current industry paradigms, students work in teams to design, thoroughly simulate, and specify physical layout of mixed signal VLSI circuits prior to their fabrication in a foundry.

Prerequisite(s):ENEE 303, ENEE 307, ENEE 313

Corequisite(s) None

Course Objectives:

  • Consolidate and apply key concepts in semiconductor devices, analog circuits and digital circuits introduced earlier in the electrical and computer engineering curricula
  • Select appropriate design problems, partition and distribute design tasks within each team
  • Analyze, design, and optimize complex CMOS integrated circuits including: DC, transient and small signal responses; phase margin, gain, and frequency response trade-offs of op-amps; optimal fan-out and minimum propagation delay of digital circuits
  • Use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools such as circuit simulators to confirm analysis and predict performance, layout tools to implement circuit designs on a silicon chip, and verification tools to ensure that the design satisfies design rules and implements the desired circuit;and
  • Understand how semiconductor physics influences chip design rules and sets limits on integrated circuit performance.

Topics Covered:

  • CMOS IC design and fabrication
  • CAD tools including schematic capture, circuit simulator, layout editor, DRC, LVS
  • Designing and laying out the integrated circuit well
  • Metal layers, pads, and interconnects
  • Design and layout of active and polysilicon layers
  • MOSFET design, fabrication, and operation
  • Parasitic elements due to layout and device structure, and the resulting RC delay and inductive cross talk
  • Digital CMOS circuits: the operation and layout of the inverter, nand, and, nor gates
  • Advanced circuit simulation
  • Analog CMOS circuits: the operation and layout of current sources, differential amplifiers, active loads, cascode loads, operational amplifiers, frequency compensation, operational transconductance amplifiers
  • Mixed-signal circuits for specific applications (e.g., communications)
  • Design optimization: minimum propagation delay, optimal fan-out
  • Economic motivation for IC circuit fabrication
  • Environmental issues in chip fabrication; use and disposal of dangerous chemicals