150+ students have decided to upskill in VLSI

And that’s where VSD must play an especially important role to bring in latest and greatest VLSI skills to you, atleast in the field of open-source hardware. VSD owes a lot to VLSI community and hence has planned 3 exclusive cloud lab-based VLSI workshops on 3 important topics, with top 3 expert instructors from around globe,  having more than 2 decades of experience – Tim Edwards, Steve Hoover, and Prof. Mohamed Shalan

Open-source EDA tool development with lab exercises using Sky130 pdk’s by Google/Skywater
RISC-V micro-architecture using transaction level – Verilog with lab exercises on Makerchip Platform
SoC and Physical Design using Automated RTL2GDS OpenLANE tool with lab exercises using demo design and Sky130 pdk’s.

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7th mile-stone in open-source analog IP design – 10-bit DAC

Ashutosh had joined our VSD Research IP design internship group 8-weeks back, along with 30 other interns. His journey on was from “I can’t, its too difficult” to “I did it”. Personally, only I know how hard it was for him when he saw an industry grade 10-bit DAC specifications on VSD IP website. We managed to achieve post-layout DNL of 3.5LSB and INL of 3.7LSB, which as per experience, is really tough for a fresher to achieve in a span of 8-weeks, but not impossible.

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6th mile-stone in field of open-source – FREE VLSI tool installation course

A full-fledged video lectures on step-by-step process to install OpenLANE EDA tool chain and Sky130 PDK open-process on your own laptop, from scratch. There is a dependency on vsdflow, though for fresh users and with Windows or fresh Unix machines. To do something like this, it needs a clear focus on end vision, with very good VLSI fundamentals, which demands hours of efforts every day

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2nd mile-stone in field open-source (open-lane EDA + Google/Sky130)

@Nickson joined our research project group under VSD Research internship program which runs for 8-weeks. He was supposed to develop flow for standard cell design and characterization using all open-source tools – magic/ngspice, then plug those standard cells into open-source PNR flow by open-lane, and benchmark RTL2GDS flow results. This needed a knowledge, not only of PNR, but device physics, custom layout, DRC/LVS and then (finally) Physical design/STA.

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The horrible std cell ever designed by me….

Power rail discontinuity – We would like to have continuous power rail.N- and P-diffusion discontinuity – We would like to have continuous diffusion. For my Physical design friends, remember, we add “FILLER” cells at the end of routing, and you always wondered why we are doing so.Small substrate contacts – Except for inverter, all substrate contacts are single width, which will create high resistance path for current, thus increasing “Clk-to-Q” delay.Hanging metal1 – If you see for the NAND gate outputs, there is lot of hanging metal1.

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