The general objective of the 18-415 class is to introduce and analyze all major design-dependent trade-off's which decide about the IC product commercial success. This objective will be achieved via playing in the class an "imaginary fabless IC design house startup game" -- a main class activity. In this game students will be asked to construct "business plans" for a startup fabless IC design house. Each team in the class will have to envision, as an IC design objective, a new product with a functionality, which is already provided by another existing IC product (i.e. by microprocessor). The envisioned product should provide a subset of functionality of the existing product but it should be "better" in some other respect (e.g. it could be less expensive to fabricate, faster etc.).
To handle the above assignment, students in the class will be using skills learned in 18-322 as well as all legal sources of "industrial intelligence" typically available for the IC industry. They can also use the class teacher as a source of free consulting, as well as, they can ask for any sequence of lectures or literature sources which they will need to meet the class objectives.
4 hrs. lec.