VLSI Design UESTC4007

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course provides an introduction to both digital and analogue VLSI design, from the physical level through to systems level.


This course will be timetabled in blocks, typically one week in four with tutorials and on-line support available between each block.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements


Recommended Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses






Examination 75%

Report 15%

Assignment 10%



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.


Due to the nature of the coursework and sequencing of courses, it is not possible to reassess the coursework laboratory.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The course aims to introduce both digital and analogue VLSI design, from the physical level through to the systems level and provide experience in the use of design automation and modelling tools.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ design and analyse a standard cell library, sizing transistors appropriately;

■ analyse the timing of elementary digital circuits; including CMOS gates;

■ design a process flow for transistors;

■ illustrate the benefits of pipelining in digital circuits;

■ demonstrate the advantages of CMOS;

■ use basic CAD tools for VLSI Design;

■ describe, analyse and design basic digital microarchitectural components;

■ demonstrate the operation of switched-capacitor circuits and why they are popular for CMOS analogue design; and

■ outline the fabrication process of transistors in CMOS technology and mask layout.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment. In addition students must submit work for assessment for the course laboratory or a grade of credit withheld will be given.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates. Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.