Integrated Circuit Design & Simulation - ELE00127M

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Martin Trefzer
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Module summary

The Integrated Circuit Design and Simulation module combines hands-on experience with scientific theory to develop industry-relevant skills in microelectronic design and measurement techniques with a focus on nanoscale CMOS transistor-level design, simulation and test using schematic entry, basic layout and transistor devices/models and SPICE simulation within the framework of industry standard design tools (e.g. Cadence, Mentor).

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To teach concepts of microelectronic design techniques and systems focusing on CMOS transistor level design, simulation and test using schematic entry, transistor devices/models and SPICE simulation within the framework of industry standard design tools (e.g. Cadence, Mentor).
  • To introduce and discuss issues arising in modern semiconductor technologies when scaling devices down to the nano-scale (beyond 90nm), and discuss past and current challenges of CMOS circuit design and fabrication, e.g. refinements made over the years to simulation models such as BSIM, the need for statistical simulation impacting on design effort/predictability and enhanced fabrication technology using alternative gate materials (hi-k, Cu interconnect).
  • To introduce and compare instrumentation, measurement and characterisation techniques for electronic hardware including examples from ASICs, FPGAs and embedded systems.

Graduate skills aims:

  • To make students competitive in electronic design, systems design and integration, verification a test, design automation graduate jobs, through teaching them skills in industry-standard design flow, scripting, state-of-the-art and beyond CMOS technology.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

  • After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • explain how semiconductor devices operate and how they are manufactured.
  • highlight and discuss challenges of fabrication, implications of technology nodes/sizes and consequences on device performance and behaviour.
  • discuss microelectronic design techniques.
  • explain the difference between abstract device/circuit behaviour, device models and physical implementation in hardware.
  • give examples of measurement and characterisation techniques for electronic hardware.
  • explain a number of examples of measurement instruments for electronic hardware.
  • explain a number of analogue circuit examples and how to characterise them in simulation using testbenches
  • apply theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of microelectronics in order to specify, design, simulate and test significant elements and building blocks of transistor-level electronic circuits.
  • give examples of limitations of simulation and measurement.

Graduate skills learning outcomes
After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • gather information from reliable sources, analyse it critically and put it into context of the lectures and labs.
  • use qualitative and quantitative methods to explain microelectronics circuits and phenomena.
  • communicate effectively with peers, and form learning/working groups.
  • effectively solve problems and identify and prioritise tasks.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Lab Coursework
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Lab Coursework
N/A 50

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

The assessment task will be two lab reports of labs 1-4 and labs 5-8 consisting of questions testing knowledge and practical tasks. The focus will be on practical tasks taking students from transistor-level design, over layout to post-layout simulation and reporting their work in laboratory book style. In addition, there will be questions testing knowledge related to lectures and labs. The expectation will be that these are answered in short paragraphs rather than long reports.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Lab Coursework
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Lab Coursework
N/A 50

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme.  We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments.

A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.  This can be found at https://www.york.ac.uk/students/studying/assessment-and-examination/guide-to-assessment/

The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme.  In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work.  Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period.  The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline.  The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback.  The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum.  Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate.  Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date. 

Indicative reading

'CMOS Analog Circuit Design', Phillip E. Allen (Author), Douglas R. Holberg (Author)

'CMOS VLSI Design: A Circuits and Systems Perspective', by Neil Weste (Author), David Harris (Author)

'Digital Integrated Circuits', by Jan M. Rabaey (Author), Anantha Chandrakasan (Author), Borivoje Nikolic (Author)

Cadence, Mentor Documentation (electronic, included with tools)



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.