Worldwide Design Group
Dear Ricardo and AMD Technical Education Committee:
We very much welcome the opportunity to submit this proposal for AMD sponsorship of our instructional labs.† By putting into practice the theory learned in lecture, instructional labs are an integral part of our studentsí education.† They enable our students to make a much quicker and smoother transition into the workforce.† Given our shrinking resources and increasing technological demands, keeping our labs current and anticipating the industry needs and trends has been a growing challenge.† Support from our friends in industry has been a key component in our survival, and has a direct impact on the quality of education our students receive.
We request your review of two of our instructional labs as hopefully ideal candidates worthy of your support. The first is EECS143, Fabrication Technology.† It is a unique laboratory at the undergraduate level that takes the students through the manual process of semiconductor fabrication and characterization.† The second lab is EECS141, Digital Integrated Circuits.† The detailed individual costs are covered in the accompanying PowerPoint slides.† It is our hope you will share our enthusiasm and vision for these labs.†
EE143 teaches the fundamentals of integrated-circuit (IC) fabrication and surface-micromachining technology, giving the student a basic understanding of IC and micromachining processes and the effect of processing choices on device performance. †Students learn to use process simulation tools and also fabricate and characterize devices in the laboratory. †The lecture part covers the processing techniques and design methodologies of microfabrication. †We discuss the process modules: †lithography, thermal oxidation, diffusion, ion implantation, etching, thin-film deposition, epitaxy, and metallization. The course also covers process simulation, layout design rules, MOS, IC, and MEMS† process integration. The laboratory part of the course provides students with a hands-on experience to fabricate and characterize an NMOS chip with simple MEMS components.
The lab currently had some legacy equipment that has outlived its useful life in industry, then in our Microfabrication Research laboratory, and is in its third reincarnation in the instructional laboratory.† Here is our prioritized list of specific needs and estimated costs for the EECS143 lab.
1.† Modify the air conditioning system so that it covers the metrics portion of lab, and also enhance safety of the forming gas setup and safety shower
2. Small single-target RF sputtering system for Aluminum
3. Dry etcher suitable for 3-4" substrates, single wafer loading
4. Small SEM for metrology
5. Upgrade to 4" wafers
6.† Cover lab operations cost and allow for refund of student lab fees
7.† Upgrade 10 Intel PCs used for control, simulation, and metrics
The other instructional lab we hope you will take an interest in is EECS141, an introduction to digital integrated circuits. The material covers CMOS devices and manufacturing technology along with CMOS inverters and gates. Other topics include propagation delay, noise margins, power dissipation, and regenerative logic circuits. It looks 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 starts with a detailed description and analysis of the core digital design block, the inverter. Implementations in CMOS are also discussed. Next, the design of more complex combinational gates such as NAND, NOR and EXORs is covered, looking at optimizing the speed, area, or power. †The learned techniques are 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 is devoted to sequential circuits, clocking approaches and memories. The course concludes with an examination of design methodologies. CAD Tools for layout, extraction, and simulation will be used for assignments, labs and projects.
The lab also shares space and equipment with EECS105, Microelectronic Devices and Circuits, and that lab course could also be considered, if you wish.
What is being proposed to improve EECS141 are more powerful computers to both allow students to run the Synopsys and Cadence CAD tools remotely on a Linux server cluster, and to also run them locally at the lab station desktops, eliminating the usual bottlenecks associated with the servers and networks.† Specifically, we are requesting:
A workable deployment scenario would be to address the first two items up front, the 3rd item (Windows desktops) the following year, and to spread out the 4th item over a 3-5 year period.
The above labs are just a few that need additional resources, and we hope that AMD will offer to sponsor such for a 3-5 year period.† I look forward to working with you in putting these tools in the hands of our students.† Feel free to contact me for any additional information.
380 Cory Hall, M/S 1770
Department of EECS
Professor Ronald S. Fearing
Vice Chair for Undergraduate Matters and Instruction