Very Large Scale Integration

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VLSI stands for "Very Large Scale Integration". This is the field which involves packing more and more logic devices into smaller and smaller areas. Thanks to VLSI, circuits that would have taken board full of space can now be put into a small space few millimetres across! This has opened up a big opportunity to do things that were not possible before. VLSI circuits are everywhere ... your computer, your car, your brand new state-of-the-art digital camera, the cell-phones, and what have you. All this involves a lot of expertise on many fronts within the same field, which we will look at in later sections. 

VLSI has been around for a long time, there is nothing new about it ... but as a side effect of advances in the world of computers, there has been a dramatic proliferation of tools that can be used to design VLSI circuits. Alongside, obeying Moore's law, the capability of an IC has increased exponentially over the years, in terms of computation power, utilisation of available area, yield. The combined effect of these two advances is that people can now put diverse functionality into the IC's, opening up new frontiers. Examples are embedded systems, where intelligent devices are put inside everyday objects, and ubiquitous computing where small computing devices proliferate to such an extent that even the shoes you wear may actually do something useful like monitoring your heartbeats! These two fields are kind of related, and getting into their description can easily lead to another article.

Scope of VLSI
There is a rising demand for chip driven products in consumer electronics, medical electronics, communication, aero-space, computers etc. as no one has space or patience to carry and manage bulky machines.
More and more chip designing companies have set up their units in India eying on the Indian talents; besides many of the Indian Major IT companies have forayed in Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) design in a big way.
With the design & manufacturing market (both domestic & international) expanding rapidly, there is an enhanced demand of trained professionals who will boost the technical work force in the VLSI domain.

Applications of VLSI
VLSI can find application in the design and implementation of VLSI/ULSI(Ultra LSI) and microelectronic systems. VLSI applications find prominence in the following areas of research and development.

  • Systems Specifications
  • Design and Partitioning
  • High performance computing and communication systems
  • Neutral Networks
  • Wafer-scale Integration
  • Multi-module Systems

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