cmos circuit design using microwind design tool
MICROWIND is truly integrated EDA software encompassing IC designs from concept to completion, enabling chip designers to design beyond their imagination. MICROWIND integrates traditionally separated front-end and back-end chip design into an integrated flow, accelerating the design cycle and reduced design complexities.
It tightly integrates mixed-signal implementation with digital implementation, circuit simulation, transistor-level extraction and verification – providing an innovative education initiative to help individuals to develop the skills needed for design positions in virtually every domain of IC industry.
The trend of CMOS technology improvement continues to be driven by the need to integrate more functions within a given silicon area, reduce the fabrication cost, increase operating speed and dissipate less power. Past few years have seen the introduction of nanoscale technologies for industrial production of high performance integrated circuits (IC).
Shifting to a new technology node impacts upon the design methodology, and requires improved technology models and tools to accurately predict the performances of the circuits. Engineering students need to be abreast themselves with the rapid changes in technology and design practices. Courses in IC Design must also aim to equip students with the skills of independent learning and lifelong learning. Due to time constraints in a semester long course it is often not feasible to introduce students to complex commercial design tools and at the same time expect them to develop practical circuit design skills and independent learning skills.
We present project-based approaches to teaching adopted in two institutions in Australia and France, both aimed at actively engaging students in stimulating learning experiences for the development professional design skills using the latest semiconductor technologies. We also illustrate the educational tool Microwind, developed to support the design of CMOS basic cells and well suited to project-based learning approach. In this paper, we focus on educational developments, teaching challenges, proposed design flow and associated tools in the light of these issues. We also present evaluation of the courses by UniSA and INSA students based on the same evaluation questionnaire.