targeting the design of application specific integrated circuits, has allowed for the development of hardware architectures which benefit from the parallelism of the algorithms to implement, in real time, highly complex operations which need large computation volumes. The subject studies the design of CMOS digital systems to be implemented on VLSI integrated circuits, as well as the necessary techniques for its verification.
Type Subject
Previous Knowledge

Basic Digital Electronics.


Students who do this subject achieve and develop the following knowledge and abilities:

1. Have a basic general knowledge of the studied area.
2. Acquire a capacity for analysis and synthesis in the study and design of complex digital circuits, feasible in programmable logic devices.
3. Acquire the capacity for organization and planning in complex systems design.
4. Use software techniques and new tools in complex digital systems design
5. Identify and have the capacity to apply knowledge to practice in real-world problems involving complex digital systems, in a laboratory setting and working in a team.
6. Have the ability to manage information received from different sources, to apply it to the problems posed and the practices designed.


1.- Introduction to VLSI design
2.- Design styles for integrated circuits
3.- Hardware description languages
4.- Finite State Machines
5.- Synchronization strategies
6.- Binary arithmetic
7.- Integrated circuit verification

- Practices with programmable logic devices:

The system level practices allow the student to work on two basic objectives. First, the student learns to follow on a Top-Down VLSI methodology, based on automatic synthesis from high level hardware description languages (VHDL). Second, the student is confronted to the design of algorithms in programmable logic devices, which have limited capacity. So, architectural compromises between parallelism and performance should be taken.


The methodology used in this subject is based on theoretical lessons and practical work.

Theory lessons basically consist of theoretical explanations of the subject´s contents and resolving of problems related to these contents. In each theory block, problems are posed for the students to resolve at home, and hand in to the teacher in order to do a more continuous evaluation. Also, some problems are also posed in class for students to resolve them in situ and actively participate in the class. This allows a more individualized evaluation of the learning process of each student.

Practical works have the intention of giving real examples of what is explained in the theory classes. The students are grouped in small working teams, which are supervised by the teacher. Practices are realized freely in the laboratories. Teacher follows the evolution of each working team according to students needs, but also a series of milestones is imposed. This allows continuous evaluation and permits early detection and correction of faults.

For the student´s better performance he/she has the possibility of personalized consultations on the subject, at a contents level, or on any other related matter (studying methods, planning, practical designs, problems correction…)


The subject is divided in two clearly different parts: one theoretical and the other practical. Each one of these parts is evaluated separately and must be passed independently in order to pass the subject.

The final mark is calculated as follows:
* Theory exam: 60% (exam mark equal of superior to 5, when including continuous evaluation).
* Practice: 40%.
* Continuous evaluation for class participation, problem resolution, forum participation and other collaborations: up to 10%, directly added to the mark of the exam.
* In the case of not attending one of the two parts (theory or practice) the subject´s mark is NP (Not Presented).

- Evaluation of the theory part:
A. Exams
D. Assignments done at home

The mark for the theory part is obtained from the exam, which combines theoretical questions and problems solving. The assignments done at home may help to compliment this mark.

The exam should be passed, after adding the continuous evaluation mark. That is, an exam evaluated to 4 may finally give a pass mark if the student has been very active and collaborative.

- Evaluation of the practical part:
D. Assignments done at home
F. Group reports/ assignments
G. Practical work with the computer

Practice must be handed in during the course on the established dates. The practice is evaluated taking in consideration the theoretical study, the milestone reports and the final implementation.

Evaluation Criteria

Objective 1
Student must prove to have the basic knowledge related to the subject [A]

Objective 2
Students must know how to resolve and design any digital system problem posed in the field of integrated electronics, and be able to implement it in programmable logic devices using hardware description languages [D, F,G]

Objective 3
Students must have the capacity to plan all the tasks related to the practices in order to hand them in on the dates [D, F]

Objective 4
Students must be used to working with the computer, and to analyze and design digital systems on the computer, as a step previous to the implementation of any complex design [G]

Objective 5
Students must have the capacity for organization in order to work and promote team work. In the same way, team work provides the possibility of developing the capacity of applying the knowledge acquired to the practical design and being able to solve any problem [F]

Objective 6
Students must have the capacity for synthesis in front of all the information received, in order to choose the best elements for the realization of the practices. [D, F]

Basic Bibliography

Apunts d'Electrònica Integrada, Departament Electrònica, Enginyeria La Salle, 2006
Problemes d´Electrònica Integrada, Departament Electrònica, Enginyeria La Salle, 2006

Additional Material

* M.J.S. Smith, Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, Addison-Wesley, 1997.
* J.M. Rabaey, Digital Integrated Circuits: a Design Perspective, Prentice-Hall, 1996.
* N. Weste and K. Esraghian, Principles of CMOS VLSI Design, Addison Wesley, 1993.
* Z. Salcic, A. Smailagic, Digital Systems Design and Prototyping using Field Programmable Logic, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.
* K. Cheng and V.D. Agrawal, Unified Methods for VLSI Simulation and Test Generation, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989.
* J.P. Uyemura, Fundamentals of MOS Digital Integrated Circuits, Addison Wesley, 1988.
* J.P. Deschamps y J.M. Angulo, Diseño de Sistemas Digitales, Paraninfo, 1989.