VLSI design courses enhanced by industrial participation

Two upper-level VLSI courses were taught with the same philosophy: all aspects of the design and fabrication process must be considered, and success evaluated with finished prototypes. The ultimate path to a silicon chip is important, even if not readily achievable in a single semester VLSI course project. Both course instructors had significant industrial research experience, which generated a “seeing is believing” attitude towards course projects. A mixture of industrial and academic concerns were addressed in VLSI design. Electronic design automation tools are essential for integrated circuit (IC) prototypes, and are compared at each university. Individual student projects from the fall term, 1992, were presented at General Motors Research, in a minisymposium which also included a tour and discussion about the operation of the clean room available at GM Research

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