The design of integrated circuits is nowadays unthinkable without the aid of design automation tools. EDA, Electronic Design Automation, is the rapidly growing, almost four billion dollar industry.
Everything made by the nearly $1 trillion electronics industry, from cellular phones, pacemakers, devices for automobiles and satellites, communication devices, computer chips, to the servers, routers and switches that run the Internet, results from designers using EDA tools and services. The gap between what current technology offers and how much of that can be used by designers is growing mostly due to tools not being able to deal with exponentially growing complexity of designs.
In the design cycle designers try to model the behavior of their designs and analyze the complex interactions of millions of constituent parts in their designs to ensure completeness, correctness, optimized performance, reduced power and manufacturability of the final product. Why? Because it is impossibly difficult, expensive and time consuming to "build it first and fix it later." Design automation tools allow designers to achieve these goals.
Designers of full custom chips, ASICs and FPGAs or EDA tool developers are usually expected to have a graduate degree. A good understanding of manufacturing technologies, design processes and basic operations of DA tools is required from the designers so they can use efficiently tools from various EDA companies. Tool developers additionally need to have excellent programming skills and deep knowledge of optimization algorithms.
A solid understanding of digital circuit design, and interest in problem formulation, and development and implementation of algorithms for circuit optimization is expected.
- ECE 528 VLSI-Computer-Aided Design
- ECE 529 CAD for ULSI and Emerging Technologies
- ECE 516 IC Technologies
- ECE 583 Low Power IC Design
Depth and Breadth Course List
- ECE 572 Advanced Logic Synthesis
- ECE 573 Control Unit Design
- ECE 574 High-Level Synthesis and Design Automation
- ECE 581 ASIC Modeling and Synthesis
- ECE 582 Formal Verification of Hardware/Software Systems
- ECE 576 Computational Methods In Electrical Engineering
- ECE 525 Digital Integrated Circuit Design I
- ECE 526 Digital Integrated Circuit Design II
- ECE 527 High Performance Digital Systems
- ECE 575 Introduction to Integrated Circuit Test
- ECE 590 Digital Design Using Hardware Description Languages
- ECE 514 Electronics Packaging
- ECE 515 Fundamentals of Semiconductor Devices
VLSI design automation, micro- and nano-electronics, IC technology
Logic synthesis, intelligent robotics, embedded systems
Design automation and formal methods
Digital circuit design, test and validation