The primary stress of the class will be on the IC design process as a whole. Such a process, seen as a sequence of design decisions, must lead to a design which optimizes a given objective function under a number of constraints. The optimum design must be achieved using a number of variables involving all levels of design abstraction and ranging between architecture choice and detail of the IC layout.
Typical design objectives adopted in class designs will be IC performance (throughput, power, signal-to-noise ratio, clock frequency, gain-bandwidth, etc.) and typical constraints will be die size and minimum feature size.
The second most important objective of the class is to mimic a large design team environment in which individual designers must: (a) communicate precisely and efficiently his/her ideas and (b) utilize any feedback provided by the "design environment." This objective will be achieved through class presentations given by each student and by stressing the importance of design documentation.
4 hrs. lec.