Synthesis of digital integrated circuits

lelec2570  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Synthesis of digital integrated circuits
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h + 30.0 h
Bol David;
  • The basic formation in digital electronic circuits is compulsory: LELEC2531 at UCL.
  • A course in embedded system design is an advantage: LINGI2315 at UCL.

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
The exponential increase in computing performances of digital integrated circuits (ICs) fundamentally modified our everyday's life in numerous domains (consumer, business, medical, industrial). Nowadays these circuits feature several millions of transistors, which results a high design complexity. 

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 With respect to the AA referring system defined for the Master in Electrical Engineering, the course contributes to the development, mastery and assessment of the following skills :
  • AA1.1AA1.2
  • AA2.1, AA2.2, AA2.3, AA2.4, AA2.5
  • AA3.1
  • AA5.5
b. After this course, the electrical engineers in circuit and systems should be able to:
  • produce the layout of a digital IC in a modern CMOS technology starting from a behavorial description and using industrial-level EDA tools,
  • discuss the trade-offs linked to the synthesis of digital ICs between silicon area, computing performance, power consumption, flexibility and robustness,
  • setup a strategy for verifying the obtained results using HDL simulations,
  • rapidly evaluate the efficiency of high-level architectural solutions and HW/SW optimizations,
  • communicate clearly and efficiently technical results in a circuit design report.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
  • Microcontroller-based embedded systems
  • High-level design and verification of digital SoCs
  • Robust HDL coding in Verilog
  • Logic synthesis of digital circuits
  • Clocking and timing closure
  • Digital standard cell libraries and hard macros
  • Place and route of digital circuits
  • CMOS technology scaling
  • DSP architecture, arithmetic circuits and hardware accelerators
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows.
  • Lectures introducing the various digital IC concepts, illustrated by recent digital IC examples from both the industrial and research worlds.
  • Seminars given by experts from the industrial world regarding the design of digital ICs.
  • A central individual project on the full design of an industry-relevant digital SoC with weekly milestones linked to the steps of the design flow. This self-learning project is based on industrial CAD tools.
  • The interaction between the students, the teachers and assistants will be encouraged by the use of a discussion forum on Moodle platform and interactive project debriefing sessions during the lectures.
Evaluation methods
The evaluation is based on
  • short weekly assignments during the semester to do individually or in group,
  • a written exam.
Other information
A course in embedded system design is an advantage: LINGI2315.
Chapitres de certains livres de référence.
Teaching materials
  • Transparents des cours, chapitres de certains livres de référence disponibles en ligne.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Electrical Engineering

Master [120] in Electro-mechanical Engineering