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Top-Down Digital VLSI Design by Hubert Kaeslin

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Chapter 1

Introduction to Microelectronics

Abstract

Microelectronic circuits, colloquially referred to as microchips, combine billions of transistors on a small piece of semiconductor material. Their amazing integration densities have made today’s information and communication society a reality. We begin by clarifying important terms of the trade by looking at Integrated Circuits (ICs) from five different perspectives, namely (1) circuit complexity, (2) functionality and markets, (3) fabrication depth, (4) design process, and (5) business model. We then give an overview on the design flow including system-level design, algorithms, architecture design, circuit simulation and synthesis, cell libraries, timing verification, testability improvement, ...

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