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A Vlsi Design Laboratory Implemented In A Simulated Corporate Environment

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Conference

1996 Annual Conference

Location

Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

1.50.1 - 1.50.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/6398

Download Count

51

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Paper Authors

author page

Jennifer T. Ross

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1232

A VLSI Design Laboratory Implemented in a Simulated Corporate Environment

Jennifer T. Ross University of the Pacific, Stockton CA 95211

Abstract This paper presents an innovative teaching method applied to a Junior/Senior level integrated circuit design course. The premise of this methodology is to help students prepare for the environment they will encounter in the workplace as well as teach the course material. Frequently the traditional laboratory for undergraduates consists of simply performing measurements and recording data from prepared experiments, and gaining little knowledge of how to design an experiment, interpret measured results, or report findings in a clear manner. The “simulated corporate environment” is designed to prepare engineers for situations in the workplace where they will evaluate problems, define potential solutions, form their own plan of action, and communicate their ideas with both peers and superiors in written, oral and electronic form (e-mail). In this course, students act as employees in a company and work as members of a variety of teams, all working to solve a common problem. The problems are designed to be open ended yet illustrate specific concepts in VLSI design. This "corporate environment" structure could be adapted to many other laboratory courses, however is especially suited to integrated circuit design since the successful production of any IC chip requires the close working relationship of many corporate divisions. This paper reports on this course format including the advantages and disadvantages for both student and instructor. This work is supported in part by a National Science Foundation Instrument and Laboratory Improvement Grant (DUE #9551598).

I. Introduction Ideally, an engineering laboratory should serve several purposes: 1) aid in the understanding of classroom material through hands-on experiments, 2) teach measurement techniques, 3) provide opportunity to analyze and interpret real measured data, and 4) give practice in reporting technical information in a clear and informative manner. These four goals focus on preparing the student to be a successful engineer in the workplace. However, many times the laboratory experience for undergraduates falls far short of these goals. Students simply perform measurements and record data from prepared circuits, and gain little knowledge of how to design an experiment, interpret measured results, or report findings in a clear manner. To be successful engineers, students need be able to evaluate problems, define potential solutions, and form their own plan of action. They also need to communicate their ideas effectively with both peers and superiors in written, oral and electronic form (e-mail). Since most undergraduate engineers enter the workforce directly from college (~20% attend graduate school), an engineering curriculum should better prepare students for the type of skills they will need in industry. 1,2,3,4 This “simulated corporate” environment presented in this paper is design to emulate the learning process students will encounter in industry. This course is designed as part of the electrical and computer engineering curricula that exposes students to all aspects of integrated circuit design and fabrication. Specifically this course 1) gives students hands-on experience with computer aided design tools for designing integrated circuits; 2) allows students to fabricate their designs through NSF sponsored facilities (MOSIS); 3) has students conduct

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Ross, J. T. (1996, June), A Vlsi Design Laboratory Implemented In A Simulated Corporate Environment Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6398

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