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: (1) If each of the exams is not received by the date indicated below, you will automatically receive a final grade of F for the course; (2) in order to receive credit for a project it must be received before the date indicated below; and (3) in order to receive credit for a homework assignment it must be received prior to the next exam. 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. Homework solutiosn 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. Turn in a hardcopy of your transistor schematic of your inverter for Project 1.
  6. Ex. 9.6, 8-10, 12 Turn in a hardcopy of the transient simulation of your inverter for Project 2.
  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.
  1. Mar 6. Project 1 (20 points)
  2. Apr 20. Project 2 (50 points)
  3. May7. Project 3 (80 points)

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 by the date shown, otherwise the student will receive automatically receive a final grade of F for the course.

  1. Feb 13.  Topics list. (Homeworks 1-4)
  2. Mar 13. Topics list. (Homeworks 5-7)
  3. April 24. Topics list. (Homeworks 8-9)
  4. May 14. Topics list. (Homeworks 10-11)

Supplemental Material