EEC 116 - VLSI Design

Fall 2014

Course Information

Course Policies


All work must be done individually.

If the assignment is reviewed in class or solutions are made available, no credit is possible for late work. If the assignment was not reviewed in class, work may be submitted with a 1/3 reduction of remaining credit (i.e., 100% -> 67% -> 44% -> 30% ...) per day. Unreviewed late work may be submitted with a verifiable written excuse.

Each homework sub-problem will be graded on a three-step scale: 0 (not a full effort), 1 (close but fundamental problem), and 2 (correct or with a very minor problem). For more challenging problems or those with many points, points may be multiplied, e.g., [0,2,4 pts] or [0,3,6 pts]; or graded on a similar five-step scale: 0% (not a full effort), 25% (between 0%-50%), 50% (close but fundamental problem), 75% (between 50%-100%), 100% (correct or with a very minor problem).

Midterm and Final Exam

Grading Errors

Notify the instructor of clear and significant grading errors within a week of being returned. Due to the inherent subjectiveness of grading and to be fair to all students, only truly significant mis-grades will result in a grade change. Submit to the instructor: 1) a short description of the suspected grading error, 2) the following statement on your regrade request with your signature immediately below it: "I certify that I have not altered this work in any way after it was returned to me. I understand that such altering would constitute a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct." To be fair to other students, detailed regrading requests will result in a re-examination of the entire work and may result in a decrease in the total score. Note that to discourage falsified regrading, some number of all graded assignments/labs/exams will be photocopied before being returned to students.

Individual Work and Dishonesty

Unclear wording on assignments

Course Schedule and Assignments

All future items are tentative.

Date Reading Lecture Slides Assignments
Th, October 2   - Course and VLSI introduction Lecture01
Grade Assignments
Read "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits," Gordon Moore, Electronics, April 19, 1965.
No lab this week
Tue, October 7 Ch. 1
VLSI techs, abstraction of complexity, design styles, VlsiInTheNews, Foundries 2007
Th, October 9 Ch. 2
Cost, yield
Ch 2: CMOS Fab I
Lecture03 VlsiInTheNews, high K gate dielectric
fab basics
Hwk 1, problems 1 and 4.
For problem 4, use the IEEE website to find the 2014 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) proceedings. Accessing the web site requires a subscription but is free from campus. The ISSCC is widely considered the top chip conference in the world for advanced chips.
Use chips from only Sessions: 5 (Processors), 19 (Nonvolatile Memory Solutions), 20 (Wireless Systems), and 22 (High-Speed Data Converters), by searching for "Solid-State Conference 2014 session x" which will then give you the paper titles from that session. It is then very easy to get copies of the papers (which are 1-page plus figures) by searching on the title.
Due at the beginning of class (2:40pm)

(These notes are probably not needed for this problem: "International Solid-State Circuits Conference Table of Contents". Browse > Conference Publications > select 2014 > select IEEE > scroll down to find "Solid-State Circuits (ISSCC), IEEE International Conference")

Tue, October 14 - CMOS Fab II,
Full-custom layout, Stick diagrams
VlsiInTheNews, photomasks
fab examples
stick diagrams
Th, October 16 Ch 3: pp. 116-117 (latchup).
Latchup, nwell and pwell,
Layout guidelines I
Tue, October 21 Ch 5.1-5.3.2, 5.4
Layout guidelines II,
Ch 5: CMOS inverter characteristics I: reliability
  Hwk 2
Due 12:00 noon in the homework box
Th, October 23 Ch 3: pp. 104-113.
Sec 4.3.2: pp. 144-146 (resis­tance)
Fanout, fanin
Ch 3: MOS resistance, capacitances
VlsiInTheNews, Lightning chip
Tue, October 28 Ch 3: Sec. 3.5
Sheet resistance,
Ch 3: Scaling
Ch 7: Sequential circuits, clocking, ring oscs, latches and flip-flops
Th, October 30 Ch 7: pp. 326-334, 344-346, 358-360, 368-372,
Ch 7: Sequential circuits II VlsiInTheNews, Terahertz Amplifier
Flip-flop schematics
Hwk 3
Due anytime during lab
Tue, November 4 Midterm (notes)
Covers all material discussed or assigned through Oct 28 and Hwk 3
Th, November 6 - Sequential circuits III, CMOS inverters: sizing for performance
Tue, November 11 Veterans Day 
Th, November 13 Ch 6: pp. 236-251, 269-271
Ch 6: pp. 277-280
Chain of inverters design,
Ch 6: Combinational CMOS logic gates
Tue, November 18   Ch 6: ratioed logic, dynamic logic,
VlsiInTheNews, IBM chip unit sold to Global Foundries  
Th, November 20 Ch 4 (all)
pass transistor logic
Ch 4: Wires I
Lecture13 notes Hwk 4
Due during lab
Tue, November 25 - Wires II Lecture14 notes
Th, November 27 Happy Thanksgiving 
Tue, December 2 Ch 12: pp. 623-638, 657-669, 672-674 (memories).
Wires III,
Ch 12: Memories I,
Lecture15 notes
Th, December 4 Ch 9: pp. 445-462 (pads, grids,...).
Memories II,
Chip-level structures and issues I,
Lecture16 notes
Hwk 5
Due at the beginning of lecture.
Tue, December 9 Sec. 9.3.2: pp. 462-464 (electro­migration).
Chip-level structures and issues II,
Lecture17 notes
Th, December 11 Ch 8: pp. 377-388, 396-406, 423 (imple­men­ta­tions).
Ch H: pp. 721-737 (test).
Power dissipation and thermal limits,
Std cell P&R chip design example
Testing, reliability
Lecture18 notes
Datasheet 132-pin PGA,
Std cell design
VLSI design is like artwork
Hwk 6
Due during lab. Use command file script.
Mon, December 15
Electronic upload by beginning of checkoff
Checkoff: sign up on doodle poll
Final project
Electronic files uploaded to smartsite, paper submission and functional demonstration to TA in lab.
Tue, December 16, 6:00-8:00pm Final exam

Some interesting videos

Previous VLSI In The News items:

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