Course Information


Advanced concepts in CMOS-based digital system design are studied. The topics include implementation of special purpose structures for complex digital systems, automation and verification of the design process, and design for testability (5545); and design techniques for low-power design, power dissipation estimation, and application of low-power techniques in the different levels of the design hierarchy (5546).

Why take this course?

Successful completion of this course sequence provides students with the ability to design, implement, and test state-of-the-art integrated circuits. As technology has evolved, it has become necessary to base this course sequence on the newest technology, CMOS, and to incorporate new tools, techniques and design principles into the sequence. The sequence introduces students to what is soon to become a fundamental design technique. The ability to design integrated circuits or to at least be able to analyze otherís designs has become a necessary attribute for many electrical and computer engineering practitioners. Additionally, to be broadly marketable in the industrial world, graduates of our program must have a reasonable depth of exposure to the CAD tools used to develop and analyze integrated circuits. This course sequence allows students to see how to physically implement some of the designs or design techniques they have learned in other classes and thus brings a level of closure to their curriculum.



This course sequence assumes basic knowledge of VLSI design including analysis and design of simple CMOS circuits, gained from ECE 4540.

Major Measurable Learning Objectives

  • Organize, design and layout a complex chip containing entities such as a register arrays, shifters, multipliers, an arithmetic logic unit (ALU), and other large scale devices.
  • Integrate VLSI chip designs into larger complex system designs.
  • Use automated layout tools to produce geometric descriptions of complex integrated circuit designs.
  • Apply techniques used to test and debug IC designs. This includes the use of CAD tools to develop tests, and the use of design for testability techniques during the VLSI system design and implementation process.
  • Design structured system building blocks for use in testable designs such as BIST LSSD and boundary scan devices.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

1. Practical problems in CMOS design (lab exercises) 15%
2. Structured CMOS design (Gate Arrays, PLDs,...) 5%
3. CAD design tools for VLSI 15%
4. Design Verification 5%
5. Adv. circuit design (multipliers, dividers, RAM, etc.) 20%
6. CMOS Fault modeling and definition 5%
7. VLSI functional testing and verification 10%
8. Design for Testability in VLSI structures 10%
9. Advanced timing considerations 15%