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The University program within Arm was established with the aim of fostering an environment where industries can contribute to the education of the next generation of engineers. Their flagship offering to universities worldwide are freely accessible Education Kits covering a range of core subjects relevant to electrical engineering, electronic engineering, computer engineering, and computer science.
Last year, the Arm University Program released VLSI Fundamentals: A Practical Approach Kit, which is targeted at faculty looking to teach this important subject area. The Education Kit covers 20 modules and consists of lecture slides, and lab exercises ready for use in a typical 10-12 week undergraduate course. At Cadence, we offered our support to optimize the kit with the latest Cadence digital implementation software: Genus Synthesis Solution and Innovus Implementation System. The VLSI Fundamentals: A Practical Approach Education Kit using Cadence tools is available for download from the Cadence Academic Network webpage after completing registration.
The syllabus of the kit is very comprehensive. After completing the course, students should have a solid introductory knowledge of VLSI concepts, as well as application of these concepts in simulation, verification, and physical implementation of a simplified microprocessor using standard industry tools. The learning outcomes include knowledge and understanding of:
In the practical part, the students learn how to:
More information on the kit is available here.
This is what the pilot users are saying:
"The Arm education kit, available through the Cadence University Program, is a unique offering that caters to the needs of advanced undergraduate students in the field of VLSI design. Its uniqueness stems from the delicate balance that it maintains between theoretical coverage and hands-on experience, and between topic broadness and information thoroughness. This uniqueness, combined with its straightforward and state-of-the-art approach, will make this kit a sure success in academia", Jad G. Atallah, Ph.D., Notre Dame University – Louaize, Lebanon
"The VLSI Fundamental course has a unique perspective on teaching integrated design. It covers a wide range of topics, from transistor theory to microprocessor architecture. However, it also covers practical subjects, including layout design, fabrication technologies, and testing, often overlooked in chip design courses. These practical aspects provide the context essential in the learning process of students who are beginning their careers in the semiconductor industry. Furthermore, the course covers modern challenges in integrated circuit development, including transistor scaling in advance CMOS nodes and their effect on circuit design. The course is also accompanied by several detailed lab notes for a hands-on approach to enhance the students' learning experience. Overall, this course provides a modern and practical approach to teaching and learning all aspects of chip design.", Dr. Danial Chitnis, University of Edinburgh
This is a first outcome of our Cadence Academic Kits initiative, with more to come! This current version of the VLSI Kit is definitely not the last one, with further updates to be announced in the near future. If you’re a professor, an educator, or a student and you have ideas on how to further improve the VLSI Kit, or other topics you would like to see as an education kit, please don’t hesitate to contact us: email@example.com.
Have fun using Arm’s VLSI Fundamentals: A Practical Approach Kit!