ECE 445 - Intro to VLSI Design (recorded Fall 2014)


This is not a "self-paced" course. Instead, you must make continued progress throughout the semester. Please refer to the information below and on the Engineering Outreach course schedule. If you have any questions regarding due dates, contact the instructor immediately. Any assignment or exam not received on time will receive a grade of zero. No extensions without prior arrangements.


CMOS VLSI Design, 4th ed., Weste and Harris, Addison-Wesley, 2011. ISBN10: 0-321-54774-8. Textbook web page


Homework (20%)

Homework problems will typically be graded on a 3 point scale: 1-2 points if partially (or poorly) completed; 3 points if the problem is completed and appears correct.  Please submit each assignment via e-mail as a single PDF attachment. Homework solutions will be sent via e-mail once assignments have been received.

  1. Ex. 1.6, 9(b), 13-15.
  2. Ex. 2.1, 3-5, 7-8.
  3. Ex. 3.1, 4, 6, 7.
  4. Ex. 4.2, 6, 8, 10. (submit before Exam 1)
  5. Ex. 4.11, 14, 26. Submit a PDF copy of your transistor schematic of your inverter for Project 1.
  6. Ex. 9.6 (assume an OAI21 gate), 8-10, 12 Submit a PDF copy of the transient simulation of your inverter for Project 1.
  7. Ex. 5.1, 4, 6 (submit before Exam 2)
  8. Ex. 6.1-4
  9. Ex. 10.2, 4, 6 (excluding pulsed latches!) (submit before Exam 3)
  10. Ex. 10.10, 23. (1) Consider the fast synchronizer FF of fig. 10.45 in the text. Do you notice any important differences compared to a conventional DFF that might affect its use? (2) After reviewing the new Figure 10.36, provide a circuit example that would result in ta1 << ta0. (Note: your printing may have the updated figure. Otherwise, you can also refer to the errata.)
  11. Ex. 12.1-4 (submit before Exam 4)

Projects (20%)

There will be three semester projects of increasing difficulty and weight. Projects must be received by the date below to receive credit. Please submit via e-mail as a single PDF attachment.
  1. Project 1 (20 points) (submit before Exam 2)
  2. Project 2 (50 points) (submit before Exam 3)
  3. Project 3 (80 points) (submit before Exam 4)

Exams (60%)

Please bring your own paper, a calculator, and pencil to each exam.

There are three semester exams and a final, equally weighted and closed book/closed notes. (Formulas will be provided.) Exams must be received before the due date, otherwise the student will receive automatically receive a final grade of F for the coursePlease refer to the course schedule on the Engineering Outreach web site for specific dates and contact the instructor if you have any questions.

  1. Topics list. (Homeworks 1-4) 
  2. Topics list. (Homeworks 5-7) 
  3. Topics list. (Homeworks 8-9) 
  4. Topics list. (Homeworks 10-11) 

Supplemental Material