Checking date: 08/07/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Integrated circuit design
Study: Bachelor in Industrial Electronics and Automation Engineering (223)


Department assigned to the subject: Department of Electronic Technology

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Students are expected to have completed
Digital Electronics
Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results. Further information on this link
By the end of this content area, students will be able to have: 1. coherent knowledge of integrated circuit design including the use of advanced professional design tools; 2. the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding to identify, formulate and solve design problems using an appropriate methodology based on the use of hardware description languages, simulation and synthesis; 3. the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding to analyse engineering products, evaluating and optimizing the use of hardware resources and the performance of integrated circuits; 4. the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding to develop and realise designs that meet specified requirements; 5. an understanding of design alternatives (structural, behavioural, IP-based, etc.), and an ability to use them; 6. the ability to design and conduct appropriate simulations and tests, interpret the data and draw conclusions to debug a design; 7. workshop and laboratory skills. 8. the ability to select and use appropriate equipment, tools and methods; 9. the ability to combine theory and practice to solve integrated circuit design problems at RT level; 10. an understanding of applicable techniques and methods to integrated circuit design at RT level and of their limitations;
Description of contents: programme
1. Introduction to integrated circuits and microelectronics. Design methodology. - Implementation of digital circuits. Integrated circuits and FPGAs. Pros and cons. - The design process of an integrated circuit. Design tools. Design flow. - Hardware Description Languages (HDLs). Pros and cons. 2. Review and extension of VHDL language concepts - Structural design and component instantiation - Packages - Concurrent and sequential statements. Processes. - Objects. Considerations about the use of variables and signals. - Data types and operators. + Scalar types + Composite types: ARRAY and RECORD + Subtypes + Operators and conversion functions + Attributes + Synthesis of data types - VHDL design of combinational circuits + Conditional statements and combinational circuits + Rules for the design of synthesizable combinational circuits - VHDL design of sequential circuits + Synchronous and asynchronous sequential circuits + Rules for the design of synthesizable sequential circuits + Register and flip-flop inference 3. Design validation by simulation - General structure of a test bench - Stimuli generation + Waveform generation using concurrent statements + Waveform generation using sequential statements + Application examples - Output checking. ASSERT statement. - Use of files for input and output 4. Design organization. Generic design. - Design organization - Generic design + Generic parameters + IP blocks + Types of IP blocks. Configuration and use. + Application examples - Iterative statements + Sequential iterative statements. Loops + Concurrent iterative statements - Subroutines. Functions and procedures. 5. FPGAs - Introduction. Types of FPGAs - Internal structure of a FPGA - Basic resources + Logic cells. Operationg modes + Input/Output blocks + Routing resources - Advanced resources + Memory blocks + Arithmetic blocks (DSPs) + Clock management and PLLs + Other resources - Configuration - Examples of FPGA families and devices - Applications 6. Synthesis and design optimization - Digital systems and abstraction levels - Synthesis steps - Design objectives. Estimation of area and delay. - Design optimization techniques at different abstraction levels - Design optimization at the RT level. Serial, parallel and pipelined implementations. - Clock frequency adjustment. Clock generation. - Estimation of power consumption. Low power design. - Examples with tools
Learning activities and methodology
- Lectures: 1 session/week (2 h.) - Practice: 1 session/week (2 h.). Most sessions in Computer Room to develop practical exercises using design tools - Lab. Practice: 4 sessions, 3 h. each. Devoted to implement a practical circuit - Personal assistance, as scheduled by the professor
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 35
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 65
Basic Bibliography
  • B. Mealy, F. Tappero . "Free Range VHDL. The no-frills guide to writing powerful code for your digital implementations". open-source (
  • Ott, Douglas E., Wilderotter, Thomas J.. "A designer¿s guide to VHDL synthesis". Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1994
  • Peter J. Ashenden. The Designer's Guide to VHDL. Morgan Kaufmann. 2008
  • Peter J. Ashenden. Digital Design (VHDL): An Embedded Systems Approach. Elsevier. 2007
  • SMITH, D.J.. HDL chip design. Doone. 1997
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
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The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.