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Module

EEE8127 : Microelectronics Design Tools

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alex Bystrov
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

• Experience of the use of industry standard commercial software packages for design and simulation of semiconductor devices, libraries and circuits, including design capture, simulation, physical design and verification. The student will also develop important transferable skills like planning and organising, working practices, general techniques for simulation and report preparation.

• Needs of the modern electronics industry following the major design trends outlined in
the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (current edition).

• Consistency in preparation of the students to the Individual Project

This coursework module is aimed at development of knowledge and skills for highly efficient with
respect to power, energy, performance and reliability implementations of design components, libraries and circuits. The module includes lectures, hands-on tutorials and a closely supervised
design mini-project.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Needs of the modern electronics industry following the major design trends outlined in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (current edition).

•       CMOS technology basics, design of logic gates, transistor sizing.

•       Methods of delay estimation for digital circuits.

•       Design of logic cell layouts in a modern deep-submicron technology (90nm and below).

•       Design rules for a commercial fabrication process.

•       Verification (DRC, LVS, parasitics extraction), simulation, timing characterisation of a custom library.

•       Cadence Virtuoso, Mentor Graphics Calibre tools, UMC technology library, all the updated versions. Mini-project on design, verification and timing characterisation of a custom library of logic cells.

•       A comprehensive technical report, analysis and documentation for the designed library.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Report
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading18:008:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical104:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work104:0040:00Practical follow-up in the lab
Guided Independent StudyProject work132:0032:00Design and execution of experiments.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity121:0012:00Weekly group progress meetings
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

• Lectures provide adequate overview, background, literature sources and introduce the methodology
of study. Outcomes 1-3.

• Hands-on tutorials speed-up the phase of familiarisation with complex software tools. Outcomes
5-7.

• Supervised practicals – this is where the student make the key design decisions in their project
under facilitation and guidance of experienced staff. Outcomes 2-7.

• Unsupervised time in the laboratory (included into the Private Study activity) – routine
implementation work. Outcomes 5-6.

• Report writing (included into the Private Study activity) – written communication skill,
summarises and organises all learning outcomes. It is also used for assessment.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Individual report containing the evidence & analysis of practical results & the technical documentation for the design - 4000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written report must fulfil the SOLO criteria for the extended abstract type work. As such, it
must contain the following parts: Aims and Objectives, Introduction, Results, Discussion,
Conclusions and References. All the learning outcomes defined above must be reflected in the
report. The adequate guidance on report writing will be provided by the academic staff.
Up to 50% of the report can be replaced with equivalent content in the form of tables, diagrams,
equations and screen shots. Any illustrative material must be adequately integrated and discussed
in the main text. The report must include the summary of the results of 3 hours reading of the
current edition of ITRS document; the reading time is included into the private study article.

Reading Lists

Timetable