EE141: Digital Integrated Circuits

Fall 2012

TuTh 11am-12:30pm, 247 Cory

Professor Elad Alon

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Course Information

This course is an introduction to digital integrated circuits.  The material will cover CMOS devices and manufacturing technology along with CMOS inverters and gates.   Other topics include propagation delay, noise margins, power dissipation, and regenerative logic circuits.  We will look at various design styles and architectures as well as the issues that designers must face, such as technology scaling and the impact of interconnect.  Examples presented in class include arithmetic circuits, semiconductor memories, and other novel circuits. 

The course will start with a detailed description and analysis of the core digital design block, the inverter. Implementations in CMOS will be discussed.  Next, the design of more complex combinational gates such as NAND, NOR and EXORs will be discussed, looking at optimizing the speed, area, or power. The learned techniques will be applied on more evolved designs such as adders and multipliers.  The influence of interconnect parasitics on circuit performance and approaches to cope with them are treated in detail.  Substantial attention will then be devoted to sequential circuits, clocking approaches and memories.  The course will be concluded with an examination of design methodologies. CAD Tools for layout, extraction, and simulation will be used for assignments, labs and projects.


Will be posted on the web on Tuesday and are generally due the next Thursday at 5:00pm in a drop box in 240 Cory.

Homework Information


Discussion sections are optional, but you are encouraged to attend if you have questions about homework, projects, or any concepts you find hard to understand.  The section times and locations are listed below.  The TAs will provide mini-lectures on topics that many students may not understand at first.  These discussions serve as a good supplement to the main lectures.

Discussion Information




M 5-6pm

400 Cory

Alberto Puggelli

F 2-3pm

521 Cory

Bonjern Yang

Laboratory sessions:

There will be 2 labs this semester.  Some are hardware and some are software based.  It is required that you attend the section you are enrolled in!  Lab spaces are limited and often times, students may find that certain computers are not as cooperative as others, so be there on time to get one that works!

Laboratory Information




M 3-6pm

125 Cory

Bonjern Yang

Tu 3-6pm

125 Cory

Alberto Puggelli


Text: "Digital Integrated Circuits: A Design Perspective", by Jan Rabaey, Anantha Chandrakasan and Borivoje Nikolic.

Laboratory Manuals: Available on the web-page; handouts provided when necessary.

Class notes Information

Grading Policy:

Homeworks: 12%
Laboratory assignments: 8%
Project: 20%
Midterms (1, 2): 15%+15%
Final Exam: 30%


Midterm #1:  6th Week (material of lectures 1-9):  
Midterm #2:  10th Week (material of lectures 1-18, some emphasis on later lectures):
Final exam:  (material of all lectures, with some emphasis on later lectures):

Exam Information and sample exams:

Midterm1 practice: F01, F02, F03, F99, S03, F05, F07, F08, F09

With solutions: F02, F05, F07, F08, F09, F10, F12

Midterm 2 practice: F07, F08, F09

With solutions: S04, S03, S02, F02, F07, F08, F09, F10

Final practice F01, F02, S03, F05, F07, F08, F09

With solutions: F07, F08, F09, F10

Class FAQ