Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module ENGI42515: Integrated Circuit Design

Department: Engineering

ENGI42515: Integrated Circuit Design

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1K709


  • Communicational Fundamentals (ENGI30215) or equivalent.


  • Radio and Digital Communications (ENGI41915); Communications Networks (ENGI42015); Engineering Design (ENGI41030); Research and Development Project (ENGI41060)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • A combination of lectures and practical work will illustrate the processes required for the design of a full-custom integrated circuit.


  • IC Design Techniques: System specification; architectural design; system timing; logic and circuit design. Circuit to layout transformation, sticks diagrams; leaf cell layout rules. Design to fabrication routes. CMOS circuits design styles. Dynamic circuits, programmable structure.
  • Integrated Circuit Design Styles: Full-custom; semi-custom; general cell systems; silicon compilation. Full-custom; the design sequence; constraints on the designer; the need for hierarchy in design; design for test.
  • CAD Tools: Schematic capture packages; design documentation; specification languages; simulation packages. Logic and timing simulation; circuit simulation using SPICE; testability analysis. Layout tools, automatic placement and routing. Design verification; electrical rule checking; post layout verification; back-annotation processes.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the problems arising from the design of complex systems on silicon and an insight to the solutions of these problems.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to design and analyse a range of CMOS IC elements.
  • Experience of the use of advanced CAD tools for IC design.
Key Skills:

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching by lectures and tutorials which are supported by summative and formative coursework programme.
  • Written examinations are appropriate because of the wide range of in-depth, analytical material that is covered.
  • Theoretical and laboratory based coursework contribute a formative element to the module and aid the acquisition of subject-specific and key skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Tutorials 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Preparation and Reading 110
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hour written examination in may/june 2 hours 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Coursework 100%

Formative Assessment:

One piece of coursework, which will be assessed but not included in the final average.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University