Integrated Circuits and Systems group, IIT Madras

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EE6361: Advanced Topics in VLSI (Jan 2019)





T-slot - Friday (2:00 - 4:50 PM)


  • Assignments: 10%
  • Mid Term: 30%
  • Project : 20%
  • End Semester Exam: 40%

Course Objective

(Why we teach this course?)

  • Introduce students to some relevant advanced topics of current interest in academia and industry
  • Give the students a feel for research topics
  • Make students aware of work happening in India

This course will cover three broad subjects:

  1. SRAM design (Rahul Rao)
  2. Embedded DRAM design (Janakiraman)
  3. Emerging memories (PCM/ STT RAM) (Rahul + Janakiraman + Guest lecture)

Learning Objectives

(What the students should be able to do after the course)

Part 1- SRAM Design

  • Articulate memory hierarchy and the value proposition of SRAMs in the memory chain + utilization in current processors
  • Explain SRAM building blocks and peripheral operations and memory architecture (with physical arrangement)
  • Articulate commonly used SRAM cells (6T vs 8T), their advantages and disadvantages
  • Explain the operation of a non-conventional SRAM cells, and their limitations
  • Explain commonly used assist methods
  • Explain how variations impact memory cells

Part 2- eDRAM Design and Yield Analysis

  • Explain the working of a (e)DRAM and what Embedded means?
  • Explain the working of a feedback sense amplifier and modify existing designs to improve performance
  • Calculate the voltage levels of operation of various components for an eDRAM
  • Introduce stacked protect devices to reduce voltage stress of the WL driver