520.492: Mixed-Signal VLSI Systems

Spring Semester 2005

Silicon models of information and signal processing functions, with implementation in mixed analog and digital CMOS integrated circuits.  Aspects of structured design, scalability, parallelism, low-power consumption, and robustness to process variations.  Topics include digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion, delta-sigma modulation, bioinstrumentation, and adaptive neural computation.

An advanced design project is part of the course.  Students (in groups of two or three) design a complete VLSI system-on-a-chip using the Cadence CAD tools, including layout and verification.  Chips will be fabricated through MOSIS and laboratory facilities will be available for testing after the course.  Students choose projects according to their ideas and field of interest. Example projects done by students in the past include D/A data converters, delta-sigma modulators, delta modulators, focal-plane active imagers, and cochlear filterbanks.

Prerequisite: 520.216 and 520.345, or equivalent. 520.491 recommended.

Grading: 50% homework and midterm; 50% design project.

Classes: ThF, 10:30am-noon, Hodson 313.

Office hours: F, noon-1:30pm, or by appointment.


Prof. Gert Cauwenberghs
E-mail: gert@jhu.edu
Office: 209 Barton; x65180
Lab: 400B Barton; x67701

Course Outline:

A. Classes:

1. 2/3 - 2/4: VLSI technology and device characterization
2. 2/10 - 2/11: Analog and digital CMOS circuit design
3. 2/17 - 2/18: Memory and logic
4. 2/24 - 2/25: Data conversion
5. 3/3 - 3/4: Sigma-delta modulation
6. 3/10 - 3/11: Midterm and project orientation
7. 3/24 - 3/25: Linear filters
8. 3/31 - 4/1: Vector quantization
9. 4/7 - 4/8: Structured modular design
10. 4/14 - 4/15: Low-power techniques
11. 4/21 - 4/22: Dynamic techniques
12. 4/28 - 4/29: Scaling and robustness
13. 5/5 - 5/6: Final project presentations

B. Homework and midterm:

Homework: 3 total, week 1 - 4
Midterm: week 6 (3/11)

C. Design project (groups of 2-3 students each):

Definition and group formation: by 3/3
System Outline: by 3/10
Circuit cells and simulations: by 3/24
Complete schematic: by 3/31
Cell layout: by 4/14
Complete layout within pad frame: by 4/21
Verification: by 4/28
Final report: by 5/5

Evaluation: Project breakpoints; final design and layout
Final report (2 pages) and presentation (10 min.)

D. Ethics statement: Please read carefully.

Recommended books and references:

1. VLSI Design Techniques for Analog and Digital Circuits
R.L. Geiger, P.E. Allen and N.R. Strader
McGraw-Hill, 1990 (ISBN 0-07-023253-9)

Fundamentals of analog and digital VLSI design.

2. Design of Analog-Digital VLSI Circuits for Telecommunications and Signal Processing, 2nd Edition
J.E. Franca and Y. Tsividis, Eds.
Prentice-Hall, 1994 (ISBN 0-13-203639-8)

Collection of chapters by experts on aspects of analog and digital VLSI design with emphasis on communications. Brief reviews of circuit techniques and system examples.

3. Analog Integrated Circuit Design
D.J. Johns and K. Martin
Wiley, 1997 (ISBN 0-471-14448-7)

In-depth coverage of analog VLSI design, with emphasis on switched-capacitor circuits for high-performance and industrial applications.

Compare prices.

Further Suggested Reading: (or browsing, for project ideas)

1. IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits: special issues on micro-electronic systems, conference issues of ISSCC, VLSI Symposium, ESSCC, GaAs Symposium, etc.

2. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, I and II.

3. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks: special issues on neural hardware.

All available on-line (over the campus network) through IEEEXplore!

Last updated 2/2/2005 by Gert Cauwenberghs