Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Cadence University Program Member
Northeastern University is a proud member of the Cadence University Program.
Tools from Cadence Design Systems are used by faculty, students and researchers
in various courses, research projects and student projects.
- Introduction to VLSI Design
Description: Covers a structured digital CMOS design focusing on designing,
verifying, and fabricating CMOS VLSI-integrated circuits and modules.
Emphasizes several topics essential to the practice of VLSI design as
a system design discipline including systematic design methodology, good
understanding of CMOS transistor, physical implementation of combinational
and sequential logic network, and physical routing and placement issues.
Begins design exercises and tutorials with basic inverters and proceeds
to the design, verification, and performance of large, complex digital
logic networks. Also covers IC design methodologies and performance, scaling
of MOS circuits, design and layout of subsystems such as PLA and memory,
and system timing. Requires lab session that includes computer exercises
using CAD tools to design VLSI layouts and switch-level plus circuit-level
simulations to design and analyze the project.
- Advanced VLSI Design
Augments the physical-level VLSI design knowledge built in introductory
coursework by studying how to take advantage of VLSI technologies. Provides
students with the opportunity to go through the design process of VLSI
architectures with two architectural-level design projects. Prior project
examples include the design and evaluation of FPGAs, application specific
processors, and microprocessors. Emphasizes performance and cost tradeoffs
and decision making in these projects. Lectures provide theories and discussions
to support these design projects that include a brief review of VLSI design
methodology, pipelining and parallel processing in VLSI processors, interconnection
between VLSI processing units, VLSI-oriented algorithms and applications,
VLSI architecture synthesis, such special VLSI architectures as synchronous
and asynchronous processor arrays and massively parallel fine-grained
processor arrays, and reconfigurable VLSI architectures.
- Digital Systems Design with Hardware Description Languages
Focuses on modeling of digital systems in a hardware description language.
Topics include textual vs. graphical modeling of digital systems, syntax
and semantics of the VHDL language, modeling for simulation, and modeling
for synthesis. Students use CAD tools to simulate and synthesize digital
- Digital Systems Design and Interfacing with Verilog (undergraduate
Covers automated design and synthesis of digital systems with the standard
Verilog hardware description language, with an emphasis on CPU structures
and interfacing. Demonstrates how Verilog can be used for simulation,
synthesis, and test of digital systems. Discusses hardware description
using predefined parts, using the bussing structure of a system, or using
a mapping of inputs to outputs. After a complete presentation of the Verilog
language, presents synthesizability concepts and templates for logic unit,
memory unit, and state machine synthesis. Continues by using Verilog in
a complete design and description of a CPU, its peripheral devices, and
generation of a complete CPU board.
- Microprocessor-based Design
Focuses on the hardware and software design for devices that interface
with embedded processors. Topics include assembly language; addressing
modes; embedded processor organization; bus design; electrical characteristics
and buffering; address decoding; asynchronous and synchronous bus protocols;
troubleshooting embedded systems; I/O port design and interfacing; parallel
and serial ports; communication protocols and synchronization to external
devices; hardware and software handshake for serial communication protocols;
timers; exception processing and interrupt handlers such as interrupt
generation, interfacing, and auto vectoring.
- Analog Circuit Design
Focuses on the principles upon which the basic building blocks used in
the design of analog circuits and systems are based. Topics include modeling
CMOS, bipolar, and BICMOS devices; gain, impedance, and frequency response
of basic amplifier structures; feedback amplifier topologies and compensation
techniques; operational amplifier architectures including low-voltage,
OTAs, and three-stage designs; tuned RF amplifiers; and noise sources
and models. Tools from Cadence Design Systems are used in the practical
elements of the course.
- High-speed D/A integrated circuit design and system integration
- High-speed A/D integrated circuit design and system integration
- Energy-scavenging devices for signal processing
- Clocking Schemes for high-performance VLSI systems
- 3-dimensional wafer design
- High-speed IC signal-integrity
- Physical CAD tool design
- Merged DRAM logic technology
- Successive approximation register design
- High-speed control switching circuits
- High-speed power switching circuits
- Student Projects
- Tools from Cadence Design Systems are used for various purposes, including
planning, routing, layout, IC design and analysis, in selected Capstone
projects by undergraduates in their senior year.
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Last updated: July 20, 2013 by Fred DellaPorta