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VLSI Research and Education

the Present Scenario

Seminar organized


Ganapati Sengupta VLSI Laboratory

Bengal Engineering and Science
University, Shibpur

May 13, 2005


In this millennium VLSI happens to be one of the fastest growing cutting edge
technology. We at BESUS have realized this trend.

We have taken up building of the Ganapati Sengupta VLSI laboratory in right earnest and
our team is working on this project with all sincerity and dedication. Our dream is to
transform this laboratory into a formal VLSI School of the University.

We are inaugurating the Ganapati Sengupta VLSI Laboratory on 13th May 2005 with a
Seminar titled "VLSI Research and Education in the present scenario. All the speakers
who have consented to present talk at the seminar are eminent VLSI experts in our

I hope this endeavour is a start of a long journey which BESUS will take to realize its
long cherished dream.

Dr. N. R. Banerjea

Elizabeth Sengupta

On April 29, 1998, in early afternoon, my husband,
Ganapati Sengupta, died instantaneously in a tragic
vehicular accident on an interstate highway in Northwest
Indiana in the United States while going from one site visit
to another for his job as a consulting engineer. It is
perhaps fitting that he died while on the job, because he had
a passion for his work, more so at some times than
others, but no doubt, a definite passion. His career as
an engineer spanned almost four decades, with fourteen
years as an engineer in the steel mills in Durgapur, West
Bengal, India, and about 22 years in Inland Steel, East
Chicago, Indiana, in the United States. I never saw him
feel more satisfied and fulfilled, truly joyous, than when a project he had worked on was
commissioned. His last year or two were spent with a consulting engineering firm which
he had joined hoping to help open an office for the firm in India. He had the idea that by
doing so he could give back something to India though his particular engineering
expertise that had been enabled by the solid education he had received in India, especially
at the Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur, West Bengal.
My husbands strong belief that education was one of the most important keys to
his success in life led him to search for opportunities to donate money to help young
people have the funds to continue their education. Before he died, he ofttimes expressed a
wish that he could fund scholarships for engineering students at Bengal Engineering
College and was actively searching for a legitimate, monitored venue to channel such
scholarship money to the College. After he died, I was grateful to find the website for the
Bengal Engineering College Alumni Association of North America which offered
opportunities to fund such scholarships. I had set aside a certain amount of money for the
Bengal Engineering College to be given in my husbands memory and thought that it
should all go into the scholarship fund. However, I had several long talks with Sripati
Bhattacharya from the Alumni Association who with several other BE College alumni
both in North America and in India had been working on a project to develop a VLSI
laboratory at the Bengal Engineering College which is now renamed the Bengal
Engineering and Science University. After much discussion with Mr. Bhattacharya and
some investigation by my husbands engineer friends and relatives concerning the
feasibility and viability of the project, I decided to give the money that I had earmarked
for the BE College in my husbands name as seed money for the VLSI Laboratory. Just
yesterday, April 28, 2005, I received an e-mail message from Dr. N. R. Banerjea, Vice-
Chancellor of Bengal Engineering and Science University, thanking me for the donation
and informing me of the coming seminar on May 13, 2005, entitled VLSI Research and
Education in the Present Scenario to inaugurate the Ganapati Sengupta VLSI
Laboratory. I am most appreciative that the project is proceeding thanks to the dedicated
efforts of many, including Dr. Banerjea. I know that the dream of Ganapati Sengupta to
give back something to India and to his alma mater has been fulfilled.

The VLSI design is considered as one of the major fields of tremendous interest in
industry & academics. It has interdisciplinary relevance. At present VLSI is the emerging
area of interest among the researchers and engineers from Information Technology,
Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics Engineering. It is reported that around 5000
Engineers per year would be appointed by the VLSI industry in India in the coming
years. In order to cope up with this demand, we require at least 10 times as many
engineers and researchers as India is producing now. The proposed activities of VLSI
education at Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur (BESUS) targets to
cater to the needs of potential researchers and engineers in this field.
Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur is going to present a VLSI
education programme with modern technology, enhanced knowledge, a set of brilliant
students and hi-tech research. The aim of this move is to produce researchers/engineers
having world class expertise and put them to work with the best VLSI technology,
innovated and indigenous, across a wide range. VLSI design industry is a fast growing
industry, our aim is to take part actively in the process to make it even faster. There are
two functional profiles of the proposed move of VLSI education and research at BESUS-

(i) to develop a research team in the field of VLSI design for achieving excellence in
this field,
(ii) to train potential VLSI design engineers for Indian VLSI industry as well as to satisfy
the global need.

Formal VLSI design methodology took off in USA/Europe in the late 1970's.
Department of Electronics (DOE), Govt. of India, recognized its potentiality in mid 80's
and formed a VLSI task force with nodal centers at IITs, IISc, CEERI, etc. However, the
boost in this direction was received in mid 90's and the focus was directed towards VLSI
design activities in industries and academia. During late 90's, the then Bengal
Engineering College (DU) was acknowledged as one of the promising centers for VLSI
education and research.
Although the progress in VLSI education at BESUS is having a plethora of constraints
since inception, but the determination to build up a centre of excellence in VLSI had
never lacking on the part of expertise in this area. During the last five years more than 70
research papers in VLSI design & test, authored by our faculty members, have been
published in different international journals/conferences. Faculty members of this
Institute are also running a number of research projects in VLSI related fields funded by
different multinational agencies and MHRD, Govt. of India. A number of tools have
been developed to carry on the VLSI research. About 6 PhD theses have been completed
during the last five years in the field of VLSI design and test.
To achieve the goal of VLSI research and education at BESUS, we need to develop
laboratories with the latest VLSI CAD tools, test equipments, and fabrication libraries.
The establishment of Ganapati Sengupta VLSI Laboratory, primarily funded by the
Alumni Association, is a step towards this direction. However, without active/direct
support from the industry and the faculty members/trained staff our goal can not be
achievable. We expect active participation from all corners in this endeavor. The
Management Committee's responsibility is to initiate new activities and provide an open
platform to expedite the VLSI research activities at BESUS. The activities may include
imparting VLSI training for the professional engineers and students, offering part/full
time interdisciplinary degree/diploma programmes for EE/IT/ETC/CSE students, starting
venture of collaboration with the industries, etc.
The laboratory in its present form, is the outcome of co-operation and help of a lot of
people who have given their planning and time. First and foremost, we thank our Vice-
Chancellor Dr. N. R. Banerjea and the former Vice-Chancellor Prof. A. Sengupta for
their inspiration. Our sincere gratitude goes to the former members of the Management
Committee. We have received uncountable support from the members of B. E. College
Alumni Association of North California and Dr. Elizabeth Sengupta, wife of late
Ganapati Sengupta in respect of fund, comments, criticism and suggestions. Thanks to
Magma Design Automation for the generous support. We have received free synthesis
tool from Magma. We also like to record our heartfelt thanks to our colleagues, Teachers,
Officers and Staff of this University who have been of constant help.
Finally, we feel gratified by the presence of experts in the field of VLSI in this region
who have assembled on this occasion to deliver their lectures in the seminar. We pledge
to try our best to implement their valued suggestions.

Biplab K Sikdar
Hafizur Rahaman

Jt. Convenors


P Pal Chaudhuri VLSI research and education in the next decade an introspection 1-4

Indranil Sen Gupta VLSI Design: where we stand today? 5-10

Debesh Kumar Das VLSI Design and Test - Indian scenario 11-13

Bhargab B. Bhattacharya VLSI Design: An Interdisciplinary Challenge 14

Partha Pratim Das VLSI Education in India 15-26

Abhik Mukherjee A critical study of radio frequency radiations from VLSI circuits 27-30

Parthasarathi Dasgupta VLSI Physical Design in Deep Sub-Micron: Some Recent Issues 31-32

Susanta Sen VLSI education the Indian scenario 33-36


P Pal Chaudhuri

Introspection, as per Webster, refers to examination of ones mind and the
thought process. This brief write-up represents my thought process and traces the
historical development of the VLSI technology in national and international level. A
sketch is next depicted in respect of the current status prevalent in India in the
background of the wind of globalization blowing around the globe. Finally considering
the ground realities, a few suggestions have been enlisted for current and future activities
of the newly established VLSI Research Centre at this University.

Intel fabricated their first microprocessor in mid 1970s exploiting
the prevailing technology of Small Scale and Medium Scale Integration ( SSI/MSI ). In
view of persistent demand of industry, SSI/MSI technology led the development of LSI
Large Scale Integration of circuits employing number of transistors touching a million.
The subsequent developments of 1980s paved the way for VLSI ( Very Large Scale
Integration) with number of transistors one to two magnitude higher. As a result,
fabrication of any complex digital system within feasible cost had become a reality.
Further, mixed signal circuits involving both digital and analog devices had become
possible. The low cost consumer electronic devices ( cell phone with camera, notepad,
hand held low cost computing devices etc.) we enjoy today is the direct impact of such
phenomenal development of this technology.
While semiconductor fabrication technology did advance significantly,
the systematic methodology to design a complex system/sub-system was not in place. As
a result, progress of pervasive usage VLSI technology to design large scale systems/sub-
systems on a chip got delayed. The very first step in formal VLSI design methodology
can be traced to the publication of the book entitled VLSI System Design by Mead
and Conway in late 1970s. The R&D activities in semiconductor industries and leading
academic institutions concentrated on developing design toolkit. Research in the field of
VLSI CAD ( Computer Aided Design ) got a significant boost. VLSI chip design became
a routine affair with the availability of sophisticated design tools. System On Chip ( SOC
) design methodology became matured over the last decade.

Notwithstanding all the above developments, the design community of 21
century have
to live with a few major problems such as :
(1) Design Verification ,
(2) efficient synthesis of Designers intent expressed in a suitable language
supporting verifiability;
(3) an efficient CAD tool at high level to try out alternative designs with
desired trade off in silicon area, throughput, and cost; and
(4) cost effective testing of a complex SOC.
No doubt, remarkable progress has been made to address each of these problems.
However, I personally look forward for totally innovative solutions which should aim at
(a) exploring new models of computation;
(b) supporting easy verifiability; while
(c) solving a specific class of problems rather than generalization; and
(d) finally, exploiting the regular, modular, local neighborhood cascade-able
structure efficiently supported by the VLSI fabrication technology.

Recognizing its immense potentiality, Department of Electronics
(DOE), Government of India formed a VLSI task force and Steering Committee in mid
1980s at the national level with late Prof. B Nag ( Director, IIT Bombay) as its
Chairman. As per the recommendation of this Committee, DOE established nodal centers
in 5 IITs and a few other leading institutions like IISc., CEERI etc. IITs started offering
VLSI courses from mid 1980s. Two distinct directions emerged at the national level
(i) innovative design of system/sub-system on a chip; and
(ii) design of efficient CAD tools.
Fabrication of chips was supported by Govt of India public sector undertakings like
Semiconductor Industry Ltd. of Chandigarh, and BEL of Bangalore. Since appropriate
tie-up with industries was not established, the efforts of academic and research
institutions did not yield the desired results. Nevertheless, looking back to the efforts put
at the national level from mid 1980s to mid 1990s, I can confidently state the following
inherent benefits derived out of this project :
1. a general awareness was developed in respect of high
potentiality of the VLSI technology;
2. a large number of students were trained to take up the
challenging job of VLSI chip design;
3. a number of start up companies took off with the
faculties/researchers associated directly or indirectly with this
4. the discipline of VLSI Design and VLSI CAD took a firm
root in academic and research program of different
Govt. of India project of one decade provided the desired launching pad for full thrust
academic and research program in larger number of institutions throughout the country.
In addition, chip design culture and associated entrepreneurial activities took off in a
small scale.
Even though academicians and researchers have been predicting merging of computer
and communication technologies since late 1980s, true integration of these two
disciplines, in my view, got delayed by one decade. This merging of two disciplines
paved the way for the next revolution triggered by Information Technology . As a
result, by late 1990s VLSI design activities got a significant boost. With the blowing of
the wind of Globalization, the skilled -labour intensive task of chip design got outsourced
to India from USA and Europe. A number of MNCs initiated or expanded their work in
India. With the high salary offered by such MNCs, all the design activities initiated in
Govt undertakings came to a virtual grinding halt. Suddenly there was high demand of
trained hands in the field of VLSI design.

In the above background by late 1990s the Department of Electronics, Govt. of India
was renamed as Department of Information Technology . This newly created department
did recast the earlier program of VLSI Training/Design/Research with the inclusion of
larger number of institutions as secondary centers attached to a primary centre. Under
this new program, an attempt was made to establish a Primary VLSI design center in this
University. However, that did not materialize. So two departments ( CST and ECE ) had
to accept the status of a secondary VLSI Design center. Both the departments started
offering VLSI courses at the UG and PG level. The CST Dept. also offered tailor made
courses to industries like CMC to train their staff on VLSI Design.

Even though VLSI courses were initiated in this university, VLSI design and associated
research could not take off due to lack of interested faculties and research scholars/staffs.
A full fledged R&D activities in this field demands dedicated research/design staffs along
with teachers having active interest in this field.
In late 1990s a number of ex-students of Bengal Engg. College showed active interest to
help their Alma Mater. They started collecting contributions to create a VLSI Design
centre in this university. That dream, I believe, started getting materialized in last one
year or so. With the establishment of the new VLSI Design Centre in this university
funded by its Alumnai, a comprehensive plan can be made based on the past experience
of prevailing scenario in this university. Such a plan should take into consideration the
fact that the design of VLSI chips has become a routine affairs with the availability of
sophisticated Design Toolkit. As a result a large number of VLSI design jobs are getting
outsourced in Bangalore, Chennai and other regions in India. A large number of design
centers have come up in those cities. No doubt, Kolkata and this region lagged behind.
However, as per the current indication, Kolkata is likely to catch up soon. VLSI design
jobs, that are routine in nature, are going to be outsourced directly or indirectly to
Kolkata region. This demands availability of reasonably trained manpower in the field of
VLSI design. Such manpower should have a first hand experience of running the
currently available Design Toolkit may be from Magma, may be from Cadence or
Synopsis. They should have gone through two formal course in the field preferably on
system/circuit design and VLSI CAD. They should also take some design projects in the
final year.

The above scenario establishes the fact that in order to establish a state-of-the-art
inter-disciplinary center on VLSI Design in this university, it is essential to earmark at
least two faculty posts and four research scholars for this center. These staffs should fully
concentrate on the development of this center in respect of VLSI design activities along
with offering part time and full time courses in the field of VLSI. The Alumnai
Association may be requested to provide some financial support for this purpose.This
should be adequately supported with the allotment of internal resources. This center
should grow as an interdisciplinary platform with the active participation of faculties of
Department of CST, Electronics, and Electrical Engg.
While fund from Alumnai and internal resources of the university will be used for
growth of this center, attempts should be made to generate fund for this center by offering
courses for industries and procuring sponsored research/consultancy projects from Govt.
agencies and private industries. Help from ex-students of this university may be sought to
realize this objective once the center is equipped to undertake design jobs.

The short term and long term program of this center can be planned around following
Short Term one to two years :
1. The center will start offering tailor made courses for industry personnel and also
for students of BECDU and other institutions. The fee structure will depend on
the duration and type of the courses offered. Till the center is equipped with
adequate staff, such courses can be offered during summer/winter vacations.
2. UG and PG students of BECDU will undertake their final year projects at this
3. The VLSI courses offered within BECDU should be strengthened through mini
projects executed by the students enrolled for such courses.
4. The center will also offer new in-depth course for UG and PG students on VLSI
Design Methodologies, Physical Design, VLSI CAD etc,, each of one semester
duration while avoiding overlap of areas already covered by existing courses. The
courses offered by this center should have a good flair for design assignments
along with in depth study of the specific design functions that are currently not
available in existing courses.
Note : Within one year the center should be able to demonstrate a few designs undertaken
by students enrolled for the courses offered by this center.

Long Term ( should be initiated within two years ) :

1. Offering specialization in the field of VLSI at the PG level with the introduction
of 5 courses Digital and Analog Circuit Design, VLSI Design Methodology, Physical
Design, Semiconductor Technology, and VLSI CAD, followed by one semester project
on VLSI system design.
2. Procuring sponsored research projects from Govt. agencies and industries.
3. Offering Design services to industries.
4. Offering PG Diploma on VLSI design ( two semester courses ) for engineers.
5. Tailor made courses for industry personnel.
VLSI Design: where we stand today?

Indranil Sen Gupta
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur 721302, India

1. Evolution of Semiconductor Technology
Small scale integration (SSI)
Gates, flip-flops
Medium scale integration (MSI)
Multiplexer, decoder, adder, register
Large scale integration (LSI)
IO processor, floating-point unit, memory
Very large scale integration (VLSI)
Processor, memory, ASIC
2. Basic Technology
Forms the basis for almost all the chips that are manufactured today.
Consists of two types of MOS transistors:

n-channel Transistor

p-channel MOS Transistor


CMOS Fabrication .

Moores Law

Processor Type Year









1974 5,000



80286 1982


Intel386 processor



Intel486 processor 1989


Intel Pentium processor 1993


Intel Pentium II processor 1997


Intel Pentium III processor 1999


Intel Pentium 4 processor 2000


Intel Itanium processor 2002


Intel Itanium 2 processor 2003


3. Typical VLSI Design Flow
Behavioral specification
High-level synthesis
Logic synthesis
Fabrication / Prototyping

4. Fabrication of VLSI Devices
VLSI chips are typically based on CMOS technology.
How to fabricate these devices on the silicon floor?
Use masks.
A mask is a specification of geometric shapes that need to be created on a certain
Must be used in a well-defined sequence.

5. Parasitic Effects
Circuit elements lie in close proximity.
Inter-component capacitances play a major role in the performance of these
Interconnect capacitances.
Between wires across layers.
Between wires within the same layer.

6. Interconnect Delay
Two types of delays in a circuit:
Gate delay
Interconnect delay
Both types of delay depend on :
Width and length of the polysilicon
Thickness of oxide
Width and length of metal lines

7. Future of Fabrication Process
Fabrication process is very costly to develop and deploy.
Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) published the National Technology
Roadmap for semiconductors in 1977.
Provides a vision for the future.
Several manufacturers have released roadmaps, which are far more aggressive
than the SIA roadmap.

8. SIA Roadmap
Feature size
0.25 0.18 0.13 0.10
Time frame 1997 1999 2003 2006
3.7 6.2 18 39
>500 >750 >1100 >1500
Chip size (sq
300 360 430 520
Wiring levels 6 6-7 7 7-8
Package pins 512 512 768 768

9. Todays Scenario
Technology has overtaken SIA roadmap.
Todays chip can:
Run at frequencies over 3 GHz.
Contain more than a billion transistors.
Use basic feature size of as small as 80 nm.
Nanotechnology has emerged as a separate field with its unique challenges.
Feature size less than 100 nm.
Parasitics and interconnect delays dominate.

10. The Indian Scenario
Fabrication Facilities
Semiconductor Limited (SCL), Chandigarh
Provides 1 micron (1000 nm) technology.
Can be accessed under India Chip programme.
SITAR, Bangalore
Provides 1.2 micron(1200 nm) technology.
INTEL might set up a state-of-the-art fabrication facility in India.
Other options:
Look for a fabrication facility outside India.
Taiwan, Korea, Israel, Singapore, etc.
Initiative by DIT
VLSI laboratories have been set up in many institutions all over the country.
CAD tools from Cadence, Synopsys, Magma, etc.
Possible to design ASIC in these labs.
Create Verilog/VHDL design specification.
Perform simulation / front-end synthesis.
Using the technology library of the target fab, perform back-end design /
Send the layout file to the fab lab for fabrication.
Any Alternative?
Use programmable devices.
Field programmable gate array (FPGA).
Todays FPGA chips are extremely powerful.
More than a million gates.
May contain one or more built-in processors.
Can be reprogrammed on the fly.
In essence:
The fab can be set up in your lab.
Very low cost, yet reasonably powerful solution.

Even without fabrication .
One can develop designs that can be reused.
Basic concept behind system-on-chip (SoC) implementations.
Modules can be shared.
Possible to develop an intellectual property (IP) library of designs.
Modules are called IP cores.

VLSI Design and Test - Indian scenario

Debesh Kumar Das
Computer Science and Engineering Department
Jadavpur University

Present students with VLSI backgroundAbout 500,000 graduates pass every year with
Electronics and Microelectronics background.Among them about 10000 graduates are
specialized in VLSI, Microlectronics design related area.
India has some advantages in VLSI Education
Basic Education standard is good in comparison to International standard. Mathematical
skills and English of the students are strong. Every year lots of students are making good
scores in GRE, TOEFL, etc. Some faculties have the international experience. A lot of
reputed scientists in the world, specialized in VLSI are India-born.
VLSI Industry - Indian scenario
1980-81: Govt. of India set up a company Semiconductor Complex Limited.
1985-86: Texas Instruments opened a R & D centre in India.
At present, a lot of Multinational companies on VLSI have opened their branches in
India: Mentor-Graphics, Synopsys, Cadence, etc.Some Indian companies have grown up:
Delsoft, Intera, HCL, TCS etc.
What are these companies doing?
- mostly design works
- designing also front-end for the software tools, designed by their US counterpart
Advantages for growth VLSI Industry in India
Availability of talented students, capable of writing good software programs. Salaries are
less in comparison to USA, Japan.
Growing Research on VLSI in India
A lot of change in last 15 years - International Conference on VLSI started by the
initiative of Dr. Vishwani Agrawal and others,
- The conference gathered the people and also created new generations, interested to do
work in design and test.
- The conference is now being attended by about 800 people every year
- The conference in 1994 in Calcutta started the fellowship programme to sponsor the
graduate students, research scholars and faculties, interested to do work in the area.
- The conference in 2000 in Calcutta started an industry-day to achieve industry-
academic interaction
- 19
International conference on VLSI will be held in January, 2006.
- Another workshop, namely VLSI Design and Test Workshop (VDAT) is now being
held in every year in August
Research and Education on VLSI
1987-88: Setting up of academic and R & D VLSI design centres at some leading
Institutes (IITs) under major initiative from Government of India.
1997: M. Tech in VLSI, sponsored by companies started in a leading Institute (IIT-
Delhi) , followed by other Institute (IIT-Bombay). Some leading Institutes started
collaboration in joint projects with Industries
Corporate initiatives on VLSI education : More than ten companies are presently
involved in providing 4-6 months diploma on VLSI
1998: Government came up with the project Special Manpower Development Project
for VLSI design and related software
- to develop manpower in VLSI
- About 3.3 M$ project for 5 years
- to provide hardware and software tools to 19 Institutes
- to train up people in academics of these institutes
- to start new subjects in syllabus and also new courses based on VLSI
Problems in VLSI Education in India
- Not many properly trained people
- Software are costly, according to Indian standard
- Problems of installation, commissioning, periodic updating and technical support for
professionally used tools
- Long times involved in taming the tool
Indian Position In Global scenario
India s share in global VLSI design market is now around 0.5%
The intention of the Government of India:
- To raise this share up tp 5 %
Indian needed a minimum of 660 well trained professionals per year in 1998.
At present, about 4000 ME/Mtech needed per yea r in VLSI embedded system design.
Current academic status
Total core faculty pool size: 60-70
ME/MTech with knowledge in VLSI courses pass every year: 250-300 (19 Institutes)
Undergraduate students being exposed to VLSI courses: 1000-1200
PhD: 8-12
Future Perspectives considering the present growth rate
Required number of Institutions: 50-60
Required faculty pool size: 250-300
VLSI Lab set up: 15 M$
Book-journals: 2 M$

Problems for the growth in VLSI Industry in India- Being dependent on the orders
from outside India
- Completely dependent on the global market
-.Lack of fabrication set-up India should design the chips of its own problems

How do the other Asian countries advance?
Japans Experience: Industry-Academic interaction
VLSI Design and Education Center (VDEC)
- An organization supported by many industries
- aims at improving education on VLSI and supports VLSI chip fabrication for
universities in Japan
- more than 450 research groups from 158 universities in Japan are utilizing
services and support from this Center
- in 2000, 335 chips were fabricated by VDEC
Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) - An organization
supported by 11 semiconductor companies of Japan aims to strengthen the countrys
technological foundation concerning silicon semiconductors.
- enhance international competitiveness by funding universities for research

Chinas Experience
China is a late starter in VLSI, but there is a lot of change in recent past
- In 2002, mainland China produced 9.6 billion chips (in comparison to 32
billion chips imported) China is trying to produce all the chips it needs
- Government has a strong initiative. A lot of investment were done by the
Government in VLSI industry (more than 50%)
- There are about 500 ASIC design design companies in mainland china
Industry-academic interaction
- Not as good as Japan (The condition is same as in India)

What India should do some suggestions
- Should attempt to design and fabricate all the chips, we need in our internal market
- Besides the designing chips for the foreign needs, try to find the needs of our country
-Initially, a lot of investment is needed from the Government (as like as China)
- May try to expertise on a particular production (example, South Korea on Memory
Design, Thailand on IC Packaging)

What can be our responsibilities?
-To change the syllabus of undergraduate course in electronics and computer to give
more stress on VLSI
- To start an M.Tech course on VLSI?
- To start new projects (it is not the problem of money, but the human resource)
- To encourage research groups (not an easy task)
- To organize seminars, workshops, conferences (to make more awareness)
- To start a center/Institute on VLSI?
-To maintain and strengthen the international contact

VLSI Design: An Interdisciplinary Challenge

Bhargab B. Bhattacharya

Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur, India


A VLSI microchip encapsulates millions of transistors and their interconnections on a
tiny piece of silicon. The social impact of microchips is all pervading and unfathomable.
Design of such a complex system is an extremely complex task, and its fabrication
requires the highest degree of precision. In this talk, we will walk through the amazing
world of this intricate design flow, focus on the basic design goals, and elucidate their
relationships with their classical mathematical counterparts. Expertise in VLSI is hard to
acquire without vast interdisciplinary knowledge. Further, it is observed that the task of
disseminating the theory and practice of ever changing VLSI education to the learners not
only poses a challenge but also an enigma to a trainer.

* On leave from the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta 700 108, India
VLSI Education in India
Dr. Partha Pratim Das
Interra Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd.
VLSI Chronology
India Advantage
Government Initiatives
Jaipur Workshop on VLSI Education
Actors for Change

VLSI Education and R&D A Chronology
Start of VLSI Education in India with the publication of the path-breaking book, Introduction
to VLSI System Design by Mead and Conway in 1980, and the introduction of VLSI
Design courses based on it by some IITs.
Adoption of the books methodology by TIFR and CEERI for their design R&D work.
Concurrently, MOS technology development related R&D work was being pur- sued at
Setting up of SCL and the VLSI Task Force by GoI. Big hopes! Big proposals and
investment recommendations! Only realistic follow- ups.
First commercial interactive layout design system (among academic and R&D institutes)
installed at CEERIs Delhi Centre under UNDP support.
Mid 1980s
Evolution of focused integrated electronics and circuits oriented ME/MTech degree
programmes at IITs.
First multinational company, TI, sets up its R&D Centre in India (for EDA tool development
and software verification).
First real application of Mead-Conway methodology to design a full custom LSI processor
the PWM processor for variable frequency AC drives at CEERI, Pilani together with UCL,
Belgium (under UNDP support).
Setting up of Academic and R&D VLSI Design Centres at IITs and CEERI under an
initiative of DoE.
Academic Centres equipped with
Sun workstations
VTI tools (an integrated tool-set for full-custom and semi-custom logic, circuit and
layout design and verification)
Semi-custom design tool Vinyas developed by ITI that ran on a particular brand of PC
(the OMC PC-286 and PC-386).
10 industrial VLSI Design Centres were also set up by DoE 5 under the charge of SCL
and 5 under the charge of ITI.
Development of PLA-based FSM compiler at CEERI, Pilani.
Development of a high-level synthesis tool under the Rachana project at IIT Delhi.
Start of VLSI Design Workshop and International Conference.
VSI Formed to foster education and research in VLSI
Early 1990s
Successful chip design-developments by academic-R&D design centres :
CEERI (for C-DoT) using VTI tools and VTI foundry.
IIT-Kharagpur and Jadavpur University using Vinyas tools and ITI foundry.
Introduction of VHDL in the Indian academia and R&D.
Start of the first industry-sponsored MTech programme VLSI Design, Tools and
Technologies (VDTT) programme at IIT-Delhi sponsored by Philips and co-sponsored by
a number of other industries.
Subsequently, TCS has supported a MTech degree programme at IIT-Bombay.
DoE/MIT project Special Manpower Development for VLSI Design and Related Software
(SMDP): 9th plan.
Start of VLSI Design & Test Workshop (VDAT).
Around 2000 & Beyond
Literal boom in Design Industry with every major setting up or trying to setting up shops in India
Advanced VLSI Laboratory at IIT Kharagpur in collaboration with Natsem, Intel, Synopsys.
ISA Launched
Ganapati VLSI Laboratory at BESU, Kolkata
VLSI Mtech Program at Radio Physics, CU, Kolkata
Where are we today?
Many major design companies (count the subsidiary industry as well) have an India Center
Many more are working on a plan to setup
Every India Center has a very aggressive growth plan

Why India?
India Operations were fuelled by
Cost Advantages
Availability of an English speaking, electron-aware technical community
India Operations have been supported by
Positive Policy adoption
Improving service attitude

Why not India?
India Operations are being deterred by
Spiraling Costs
Weakening Infrastructure
Aggressive poaching
India is failing to deliver in
Quality Man-Power
Quantity Man-Power

VLSI Challenges Evolution of VLSI Design Scenario

SMDP: Phase I
Started 1998
Market share for VLSI design from 0.5% to 5%
Salient Characteristics
19 Participating Institutes
7 Resource Center (RC), 12 Participating Institutes (PI)
Rs. 15 Crores budget for 5 years
Training of Faculty at PIs
Setting up VLSI Labs
Development of learning material
Teaching courses
SMDP I: Man-Power
Type-I: PhD in Microelectronics.
Type-II: MTech (VLSI Design / Microelectronics) graduate from PIs 250-300 / yr.
Type-III: MTech graduate of other electronics disciplines (communications, control, . . . ) with at least
two relevant VLSI courses.
Type-IV: BTech of EE/ECE/CS exposed to two basic VLSI design courses.
SMDP: Phase II
Report prepared by TCS & IIT Bombay
Promoting Microelectronic Education The Indian Imperative
32 Institutes Identified in report
7 RC
25 PI
Budget: Rs. 50 Crores / 5 Years
Resource Centers (7)
IIT Chennai, Delhi, Kharagpur, Mumbai & Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, CEERI Pilani
Participating Institutes (25)
IIT Roorkee & Guwahati, Warangal, Surathkal, Tiruchirapalli, Rourkela, Motilal Nehru REC,
Allahabad, B.R. Ambedkar REC, Jalandhar, Surat Nagpur, Hamirpur, Silchar, Kurukshetra,
Calicut, Jaipur, Durgapur, Bhopal, Srinagar, Jamshedpur BEC, Jadavpur, G.S. I.T.S,
Indore, Thapar, Patiala BHU-IT, PSG, Coimbatore
Salient Characteristics
Continued VLSI Lab setup support (EDA SW, HW)
Support for hiring 2 faculty members / institute
Travel support for presenting papers
Leverage SCL India Chip program
Model Course Curriculum
Access to IEEE Explore
Plan for national website for public domain EDA software

Academic Estimates
Institutes offering ME/MTech degree in VLSI / Microelectronics discipline are the 6 (IITs and
IISc) + 10 (NITs and Other) Institutes.
Total Core Faculty Pool Size : 60-70
Type-I Manpower/year : 8-12
Type-II Manpower/year : 250-300
Type-III Manpower/year : 150-200
Type-IV Manpower/year : 1,000-1,200
M.Tech Programs in VLSI in India
M.Tech in VLSI Design, Tools, and Technology (IIT Delhi)
M.Tech in Integrated Electronic Circuits (IIT Delhi)
M.Tech in Micro Electronics & VLSI Design, IIT Madras
M Tech (Electronic Design Technology), CEDT, IISc.
M.Tech in Microelectronics, VLSI and display technologies, IIT Kanpur
M.Tech in Microelectronics & VLSI, IIT Kharagpur
M.Tech in Microelectronics (IIT Bombay)
PG Program in VLSI, PSG College of Technology, Tamil Nadu
M.E. Program in VLSI, SJCE Mysore, VTU
M.E. Program in VLSI, Anna University, CE, Chennai
M.E. Program in VLSI, Govt. College of Technology and Engineering(GCT), Coimbatore,
Tamil Nadu
M.E. Program in VLSI, Amruta Institute of Technology (AIT-Deemed), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
M.E. Program in VLSI, SASTRA, TIFAC-CORE, Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu

VLSI Opinion Polls
How many B.Tech/B.E. students with specialization in Semiconductors/VLSI do you think will be
needed on an annual basis by 2010?
Less than 5000
5000 7500
7500 10000
10,000 or more
How many B.Tech/B.E. students with specialization in Semiconductors/VLSI do you think will be
needed on an annual basis by 2010?
Less than 5000: 23%
5000 7500: 35%
7500 10000: 16%
10,000 or more: 24%
How many PG students with specialization in Semiconductors/VLSI do you think will be needed
(annually) by 2010?
Less than 500
500 1000
1000 2000
2000 3000
More than 3000
How many PG students with specialization in Semiconductors/VLSI do you think will be needed
(annually) by 2010?
Less than 500: 1%
500 1000: 12%
1000 2000: 26%
2000 3000: 16%
More than 3000: 43%
What is the number of B.Tech students graduating today with some specialization in
Semiconductors/VLSI to take up a profession in the VLSI area?
Less than 1000
1000 2000
2000 3000
3000 4000
More than 4000
What is the number of B.Tech students graduating today with some specialization in
Semiconductors/VLSI to take up a profession in the VLSI area?
Less than 1000: 52%
1000 2000: 13%
2000 3000: 23%
3000 4000: 2%
More than 4000: 7%
What is the number of M.Tech students graduating today with specialization in Semiconductors/VLSI
to take up a profession in VLSI?
Less than 500
500 1000
More than 1000
What is the number of M.Tech students graduating today with specialization in Semiconductors/VLSI
to take up a profession in VLSI?
Less than 500: 66%
500 1000: 27%
More than 1000: 6%

What constitutes Talent in VLSI ?
Device Physics, VLSI Technology, Fabrication
Transistor-level Circuit Knowledge
Analog and mixed signal design, RF
Design Digital Design (HDL)
Verification (Simulation, Formal Verification, )
Signal Processing
Embedded Systems
Goals of University Industry Interaction
Talent Pool Generation growing the right kind of talent
VLSI is a fast growing field and curriculum updates cannot keep pace
Research Collaboration
Funded projects
What is Industry saying?
Insufficient talent pool quality is lacking
Graduating students are not industry-ready
Productivity Issue
Related to attrition
Hiring experienced persons from outside India
Motivation factor
Should we rework the curriculum?
Public-domain tools are enough Emphasize small projects and assignments in the course
Placement is disorganized students interested in electronics are getting placed in software jobs
Target M.Tech and Ph.D. programs?
Students graduating from M.Tech programs are not industry ready

VSI Surveys
Numbers where are we today and where are we headed?
Electronics and Communications
Computer Science/Engineering
Both B.Tech level and Specialized man power (M.Tech)
Quality of man power
Survey results available from vdat yahoogroups

Projected Requirements
3000 persons required in 2006
500 experienced
2500 fresh engineers (100 companies)
150 M.Techs from IIT
150 B.Techs from IIT

Whats Industry Ready?
Frequently not answered questions: setup and hold delay, RC circuit operation,
Ability to grasp concepts
If the student has understood what was taught in the curriculum, (s)he can be trained
Training is different from education
Industry does not expect VHDL and Verilog knowledge from students! That would be a bonus.
Applying concepts
Basic computer skills
At least one programming language, OS skills,
Bonus: Exposure to TCL/TK, Perl, etc.
Soft skills (team work, )

What should be emphasized, what should not
To be emphasized
CMOS circuit design
Electronic Design Flow
Effect of Interconnects
Design Timing
Test and Verification
Emphasize less
BJT can be emphasized less
Debate Talent that is coming out of the Universities is not industry-ready
Strongly Disagree
The curriculum is already strong on fundamentals
Strongly Agree
Curriculum cannot be changed too often
Less resources are available for faculty recruitment, lab infrastructure, tools
Exposure to circuit design and semiconductors lacking (both students and faculty)
Students see more glamour in software/There are more opportunities in software
Readymade kits
Less industry interaction (visits from industry and faculty internship programs)
Lack of motivation (device physics is less attractive)
Exams give too much choice of learning
Curriculum cannot be changed too often
Less resources are available for faculty recruitment, lab infrastructure, tools
Exposure to circuit design and semiconductors lacking (both students and faculty)
Students see more glamour in software/There are more opportunities in software
Readymade kits
Less industry interaction (visits from industry and faculty internship programs)
Lack of motivation (device physics is less attractive)
Exams give too much choice of learning
Academias Concerns
If industry wants high quality, let them pay for it
Indian semiconductor/VLSI industries are not coming forward for project training
Project ideas, data, guidance
Take faculty for deputation
Need long-term projects
Does any Indian semiconductor industry even want anything from the academia (other than students?)
Make this a win-win situation for all concerned (students, industry AND faculty)

VLSI Design Park
Near Kharagpur IIT Campus, Kolkata
100 to 150 acres of land
20 to 30 million dollar in investment.
To house companies in development, manufacturing and assembly line.
Directly linked with R&D at IIT
Joint Proposer - Mr. Deb Gupta, CTO of APSTL advanced Packaging & System Technology
Laboratories, USA and an IIT Alumni.
The state government is facilitating for
Funds - Meetings with Consul General of Japan, Kolkata and Embassy of Japan, Delhi (by
APSTL, US, IIT, Kharagpur and IT WB) have been held.
Land considering favorably
Academia-Industry JV
BITS-RIT APEX (Applied research and professional Excellence):
BITS Pilani
New York based Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA).
Applied research lab in Bangalore
Focus on cutting edge semi-conductor research and would also have basic and advanced
BITS is investing around Rs 1.5 crore into the center
Come up in July.

VSI: VLSI Society of India
The purpose of VSI is to contribute and promote the advancement of all aspects of VLSI technology,
primarily in India:
To promote all areas relating to VLSI field - materials, technology, process, design, application
CAD/Design Automation, VLSI architectures, education, policies, etc.
To bring wide class of professionals from process technologies to specialists in VLSI architectures
on one platform.
To provide impetus to infrastructural growth for technology development.
To provide impetus to human resources development.
Conduct periodic seminars/conferences/workshops in this area.
To bring out quality publications.
To continually formulate national goals for a sustained and vibrant VLSI industry.
To evolve standards and frameworks for achieving effective synergy.
To establish relations with other similar associations, national or international.
VSI Activities
Regular Activities
VLSI Design Conference (every Jan)
VLSI Design and Test Symposium (every Aug)
VLSI Education Day (every Aug)
Other Activities
Curriculum Discussions, Surveys
Focused workshops (Low Power, Memory, DFT, ...)
VLSI Education Workshops
VSI Newsletter
Journal of the VSI

VED: VLSI Education Day
Observed as a part of VDAT every year since 2000
The intent of VED is to bring together VLSI professionals in academia and industry and promote
education, research and development in all aspects of VLSI in India.
VLSI Education Day includes programs such as:
Keynote speeches from eminent personalities
Panel Discussion on topics related to VLSI Education
Invited talks from VLSI professionals
Short tutorials on current topics
Book Exhibition, IEEE/ACM booths, University Booth
Poster Paper presentations from Indian Colleges

ISA: India Semiconductor Association
Setup in Nov. 2004 at IT.com at Bangalore
ISA is the premier national-level body for the semiconductor technology-driven industry in India. Its a
new entity and truly a global body with the active participation of semiconductor companies from the
leading markets, including the US, EU and Asia.
To establish India as the preferred global hub for excellence in creation of semiconductor products
through technology leadership
ISA: Mission & Objectives
The primary objective of ISA is to act as a catalyst for the growth of the semiconductor industry in
India. Other objectives include:
Create global awareness for Indian semiconductor industry outside of the generic IT umbrella
Create a win-win interaction amongst Semiconductor product and services companies, Government,
Academia, VCs and Industry bodies
Create an enabling ecosystem that catalyzes industrys growth and leadership
Enhance Operational Efficiency
Identification of Investment opportunities
Foster active collaboration between Industry and Universities to further expand the available world-
class Semiconductor talent pool
Drive technology vision for the Semiconductor industry

ISA: University Gateway Initiative (UGI)
Invigorate research in semiconductors
Technology Leadership
Create sustainable tread-mill for talent generation
Growth of India Semiconductor Industry
ISA: UGI: Focus
Focus Areas
Design Support & Fab access
Student projects
Faculty training, support, exchange
Curriculum / Course ware development
VSI, MCIT collaboration
Other Items
ISA: UGI: Research
Research papers in international conferences
An award system to create incentives
Travel grants for international conferences
Create a SRC like forum
Participation from Industry & Universities
Identify key thrust areas of research
Invite & fund research proposals
Publish a list of interesting research problems
Similar to top 10 problems in Physical Design from ISPD
Arrange visits / talks from leading researchers
Technnovation Initiative
ISA-Technnovation Shield
Awarded every year to an Academic Institution that excels in Technology Innovations in
semiconductors and related areas
ISA-Technnomentor of the Year
Awarded every year to a faculty member for outstanding contribution in Technology
Innovations in semiconductors and related areas
ISA-Technnovators of the Year
Awarded every year to top 5 students in the country with outstanding performance in
technology innovation in semiconductors and related areas
Patents and Research Publications as the yard sticks for technology innovation
Technnovation Initiative
ISA-Technnowhizkids of the Year
Semiconductor Industry aims to emerge as future for our nation and so are the young
children in the school
The idea is to catch them young
ISA will partner with leading assessment institutions to create a nationwide contest on
innovative thinking
Top 5 school children will be awarded ISA Technnowhizkids of the Year Award
ISA PhD Fellowships
An incentive program to support top talent to pursue research in India
Will help fund the core research and provide financial scholarships to PhD students and
their guides
Will facilitate research collaboration with other nations in the world
Technnovation Initiative
Life Time Achievement Award for Technnovation
Awarded to a distinguished academician / researcher for significant contribution to
Technology Innovations in India in the field of semiconductors and related areas
ISA: UGI: Design Activity Support
EDA Software
Leverage Infrastructure created by SMDP/MCIT
Work with MCIT to create a web portal for public domain tools
ISA Facilitate EDA software acquisition for members
(60+ universities already have access to EDA tools)
Design kits
Cell Libraries, I/Os, memory compilers, process models
Fabs (SCL, TSMC), I/P (Artisan, Virage)
Design flows & Methodology
Training to use the infrastructure
Quarterly reviews
Fab Access
SCL, India Chip Program
TSMC Shuttle
ISA: UGI: Academic Interaction
Student Projects
One of the Most frequent request
Create a database of student projects topics
Cover wide variety of topics of interest
Solicit Ideas from member companies / Universities
Short duration projects to support course curriculum
Long duration projects used for practical training
Need mentoring from industry (Technical, Financial)
Active participation from faculty
Background material for the projects
Faculty & Student exchange
Internship programs for students
Faculty exchange programs
Sponsored Sabbatical for summer in industry
Visiting faculty from industry for short duration (1 week)
Major key incentive for the universities
Lack of information about activities in universities
Advanced placement (1 year ahead)
Facilitate placement activities for member universities
Curriculum / Courseware
SMDP/VSI/Univ. have put together a good curriculum
Need to support curriculum with courseware
Augment with practical & Projects
Courseware available electronically for wider usage
MCIT & VSI have been doing a lot of work in this area
Create partnership with MCIT to leverage infrastructure
Partner & support VSI for conferences / workshops
ISA: UGI: Membership for Universities
Awareness / Value Proposition
Create awareness for opportunities in semiconductors
Publicize benefits for ISA membership
Create criteria for becoming ISA member
Membership Category-B
Membership Fee Rs. 10,000 / year
Access to Design kits
Support for student projects
Possible mentoring relationship with ISA companies
Membership Category-A
Membership Fee Rs. 25,000 / year
Additional Benefits
Technovation Initiative
Possible access to Fab-Shuttle program (Future)
Summer Sabbatical program for faculty
ISA: UGI: Mentorship
Facilitate Mentor Relationship
Enlist ISA Industry members with commitment for
Faculty hosting at their site
Support & guidance of student projects
Providing expert visiting faculty (Short-term)
Help with course-work & curriculum
Providing placement support for eligible universities
ISA Plays a role of Facilitator based on needs
ISA: UGI: Other Items
Create & Maintain database of university activities in India
Survey to project talent generation requirements over next 5 years
Work with MCIT on
Hiring & Supporting additional faculty under SMDP-II program (2 per institutes)
Extend IEEE-Explore facility to member universities
Work with publishers to provide Indian edition of books

We have a strategic position that happened to us
The opportunity is immense
We are ahead - yet, competition is fast catching up
We need to deliver through the production of abundant quality man power

Dr. C P Ravikumar, TI
As Secy, VSI
Dr. G D Gautama, IT Secretary, WB Govt.
Dr. Pradip Dutta, Synopsys
Ms. Reena Mishra, Interra Systems
Dr. Uma Mahesh, Insilica
As Secy, ISA

A critical study of radio frequency radiations from VLSI circuits

Abhik Mukherjee
CST Department
BESU, Shibpur

1. Introduction
Research in VLSI is one of the major success stories of science and technology .The expertise has
come from diverse fields, which include Physics, Chemistry, Material science, Manufacturing science,
Physical electronics, Mathematics, Computer science and other allied disciplines. Advantage of all these
disciplines in parallel has made it possible to realize the dream of integrating millions of transistors into a
chip measuring one square inch in area. The technology is still maturing, as this remains one of the most
sought after area of research for various disciplines.
Miniaturization of integrated circuits has today reached a technological advancement where it can
be embedded within every product that may require some processing in its lifetime. However,
electromagnetic interference within the chip among its components as well as with other adjacent chips is a
major hurdle to miniaturization. Electromagnetic radiation is therefore emerging as a major component of
VLSI research. In this report, some frontier areas of this aspect of electromagnetic interference and
compatibility are outlined.
With the advancement of technology, it has become possible to attach a radio frequency tag to an
item so that it may be tracked continuously. At the same time, radiations from VLSI circuits have been
captured to reveal the kind of processing that the circuit is undergoing. This has raised issues of both
privacy and secrecy, which requires attention of the circuit designers. However, the most challenging of the
issues confronting the research community is the pronounced biological effects of non-ionizing radiation
being emitted by the circuits that need to operate and communicate at high frequencies.
In Section 2, the radiations emanated by VLSI circuits are briefly introduced. Section 3 deals with
antenna-coupled VLSI circuits. In Section 4, we explain the biological hazards, with evidence mostly from
the domain of mobile phones. In Section 5, we conclude with note of what needs to be worked out.

2. Emanations from the circuit
In this report, we are interested in one aspect of VLSI research, that is, the electro magnetic field
produced by circuits with or without antenna. Over the years, the size has grown smaller and the speed of
the operation has become faster. When processor is working at a clock speed of 3 GHz, the corresponding
wavelength becomes (3 * 10^8 m/s) / (3*10^9 m/s) = 0.1m = 10 cm. As current flows in the IC around a
loop, it produces a magnetic field and the IC now emanates electromagnetic waves at the high frequency
and its harmonics while it is operating. The field around the IC will now interfere with that of other
adjacent electro magnetic fields (EMF). The field will attenuate at a distance obeying inverse square law in
the far field region. Analysis of this radio frequency radiation (RFR) is important, because its effect on
performance of the circuit is substantial.
The analysis of RFR at a distance reveals information about the processing undertaken. Studies
show that it has been possible to correctly trace the processing of RSA algorithm in progress through RFR
by a receiver placed 50 ft away in another room [1]. This means that the secrecy expected out of such
systems involving smart cards is under serious threat. If the remedial measures are not undertaken now, the
technology may not be able to fulfill the expectations and may fall apart.
Apart from this, as the number of transistors keeps on increasing, total length of interconnects
required also increases. So, the heating of the circuit will be substantial. Along with RFR, this heat will also
bother the advancement of technology. In fact, simple power analysis of the line through which the
processor works is also able to reveal important operations being performed by the processor. These
approaches, termed as side channel attack, can expose the limitations of any strongly mathematical
cryptographic function without getting involved in any actual mathematics.
3. Embedded system applications
In embedded system applications, the focus is now on antenna-coupled VLSI chips. Mobile
communication using small handsets has been possible because of technological advancement to deal with
antenna coupled VLSI circuits. Similar attempts in the field of nano-technology have yielded the concept of
radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID tags are microchips with antenna strips that are embedded into
any product for continuous future tracking [2]. While mobile communication (MC) is meant for far field,
RFID (passive tag) is essentially a near field application. But there is a privacy issue associated with such
systems, which needs immediate attention. The major constraint being the extent of space available, adding
features to address the privacy related issues is difficult.
Miniaturization has today reached a stage where the manufacturers are contemplating the use of
microchips that will radiate their identity at radio frequencies, which will be captured by RFID readers for
authentication. Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is an automatic data capture technology that uses
tiny tracking chips affixed to products. These tiny chips can be used to track items at a distance--right
through someone's purse, backpack, or wallet. Many of the world's largest manufacturing companies would
like to replace the bar code with these, meaning that virtually every item on the planet--and the people
wearing and carrying those items--could be remotely tracked.
However, items containing liquid or metal are especially hard to chip. Liquids tend to absorb the
electromagnetic energy needed to power the chip, while metal tends to reflect it and bounce it around in
unpredictable ways. Both problems can cause interference in the RFID signal sent by a chip to the
reader. Traditional metal shelving has to be replaced with new-fangled plastic shelves, to prevent
interference with RFID transmission.
There are two types of tags: passive ones with no independent power source and active ones
containing a battery. Depending on a number of factors like antenna size, RF frequency, environmental
conditions etc. a passive tag can have a range of anywhere from 1 inch to 40 feet. Active tags can have a
read range of miles or more. Most tags being considered for use in consumer products are passive.
While intrusion into privacy is an important issue, devising some technology to prevent intruders
from accessing information is challenging. Given the intended size of the tag, it is difficult to put too much
processing into such a small space. Without strong encryption and authentication algorithm, secrecy or
privacy cannot be guaranteed. This is one area where a lot of work is expected to be performed over the
next few years.

4. Biological implications
Far away from all the advancements, one major challenge faced by the researcher is to deal with
impact of RFR on biological tissues. Embedded systems have now established their all-pervading presence
in our homes. The amount of RFR has also become substantial. If they interfere with the performance of
another, there is no escaping the fact that this RFR will interfere with organism. After all what else is a
biological organism but a complex electronic circuit? World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with
safety standards for non-ionizing radiations. It is important to know the major effects on the tissue and
critically analyze the present safety standards for adequacy. It is worthwhile to set higher safety standards
and think in the lines of achieving them in the country.
4.1. Thermal effects of RFR
Microwave ovens work on the principle of breaking dipole moment of water and in the process
they heat up the food inside the oven. Similar things can happen to biological living tissue. The heating
effect will obviously be more pronounced in case of high power devices applications.
WHO has classified RFR as a non-ionizing radiation. In the literature, the major point of concern
is the heat generated as the RFR gets absorbed in the tissues. The Specific energy Absorption Rate (SAR) is
different for skin, muscle, fat types of tissue. If the conductivity of the tissue is S siemens (r^-1m^-1), the
amount of electric field is E volt/m and density of the tissue is r kg/m^3, then the SAR is expressed as SAR
= (S*E^2/r) watt/kg. The conductivity and density are properties of the tissue and depends on type of
tissue. There, the absorption of RFR will depend on electric field. With rise of SAR, the tissue gets warmer
which in turn results in a series of reactions. The tissues of the reproductive organs like testes maintain a
temperature 2-3 degrees C below the normal body temperature to protect the activities of sperm. Rise of
temperature near these tissues will mean that the balance has to be restored through the blood circulation
system which is poor in this region.
Localized heating of tissues near regions with limited blood circulation has dangerous
consequences. Eye and brain also has this problem of heat absorption since it is not compensated with
circulation of blood. There is no element of surprise in the fact that epidemiological studies [8] conducted
in developed countries over the years indicate an association between melanoma of the eye or brain tumour
with excessive use of mobile phones.
All biological organisms run the risk of absorbing RFR. So, for the ones with lightweight, the total
heat absorbed is high. Further, when the wavelength of the RFR matches with the dimension of the
organism, there is resonance. At resonance, the body becomes a receiving antenna and a surface current
(charge) flows through the organism. One reason behind house sparrows getting extinct due to RFR or
diminished cocoanuts is arguably this RFR absorption phenomenon. So far, animal experiments conducted
over rats have shown that tumour can be formed in the brain through prolonged exposure to microwaves
similar to that in use for mobile [4].
4.2.Non-thermal effects
Unfortunately, there is both logic and evidence that RFR can affect at low power levels as well.
The nervous system acts on the stimulus of potential difference caused by imbalance of sodium (Na) and
potassium (K) ions inside and outside the neurone. Even a small electric field of RFR at high frequency is
capable of disturbing this imbalance of ions. The brain has to overwork to restore the balance.
Permeability of substances in Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) significantly increases under the effect
of high frequency RFR. These can happen at low power levels and this increased permeability is capable of
damaging the BBB [3].
Another effect of low power RFR is the sleeplessness, which in turn results in reduced secretion of
Melatonin. Melatonin is known to be a major immunological agent that prevents cancer. Epidemiological
evidence of such effects is feeble [7], but the biological research community has enough reasons to backup
the findings. Abnormal growth of nematode worms has been found in experiments and reported in [4]. This
implies that the adverse effects of RFR cannot be ruled out in any way.
The DNA molecule has weak bonds between Phosphate and hydroxyl ions. Such bonds can be
easily broken in the presence of electric or magnetic field by detaching an electron involved in the bond. As
far as repair of DNA is concerned, once again presence of EMF obstructs the process by exerting its share
of force on molecules. This unnecessary breaking of DNA strands may trigger off uncontrolled
multiplication of cells and thus malignancy.
RFR damage of tissues will invoke a repair mechanism that may go out of control and trigger
cancer. RFR at low power level is capable of breaking DNA strands through ionization of tissues [3,8],
distortion of chromosomes and delays in cell repair. This can increase genetic aberration that gets carried
forward to next generation.
Cells are surrounded by protective membranes consisting of proteins and fats. The lipid membrane
become leaky in the presence of external magnetic field. This in turn distorts the protein configuration of
the membrane. Now, proteins act as receptors and are responsible for controlling flow of substances in and
out of the cell. So, once this gets distorted, the cell is susceptible to toxic substances. It has been
experimentally verified in mice that the cells within breast cancer tissues grow faster than the normal cells
in the presence of low frequency magnetic fields [4].
Maintenance of ionic equilibrium is one of the major tasks of the cell. EMF tends to destroy the
equilibrium. It is known that ionizing radiation does this by putting unbalanced ions into the cell, thereby
breaking molecular bonds. On the other hand, the non-ionizing radiation produces an electric field and
magnetic field around the cell, to which the cell molecules respond under certain complex conditions.
Interaction among the various tissues is complex and non-linear in nature and what has been verified on
experimental animals may not occur in actual human scenario. Results of some detailed epidemiological
studies are given in [7]. However, studies near the base station are yet to be conducted rigorously.
4.3.WHO standards and the national scenario
WHO has formed International Commission for Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and
has argued all countries to formulate regulations. United States has regulated SAR to 0.08 w/kg for general
public and 0.2 w/kg for occupation [5]. China has even more stringent regulations and have fixed their
standard at 0.02 w/kg for general public [3,5]. Detailed restrictions for E (electric field), H (magnetic field)
intensities are imposed in the advanced countries [5]. Now there are similar restrictions to protect from the
effects of EMI as well. However, there is so far no bar imposed on export of non-standard equipment to
countries without such standards. India and Bangladesh are countries without any instrument to protect
RFR and with unknown standards as per WHO document [3]. WHO has urged all countries to develop a
uniform framework for harmonization of standards in the lines of GATT and WTO recommendations. Until
that takes effect, these countries cannot stop importing equipment that poses serious health hazards.
We shall discuss the issue in the context of mobile phones, one important far field application of
antenna-coupled embedded systems application. Let us consider the restriction posed by ICNIRP on mobile
phone. As per norms, they can transmit only 2w at 900MHz frequency. When the tower is located at a
distance 1km from the mobile, the tower gets RF signal of intensity around 2w/4 (1km)^2 = (2/4
)*10^-6 w/m^2 . Now, if the effective aperture of the antenna is Ae = G^2 / 4 from antenna theory, the
received power will be (taking gain = 1), P(1km)=(2/16 ^2)*10^-6*(1/3)^2 watt,
Since = 3*10^8 m/s / 900MHz = 1/3m i.e. the wavelength of 900 MHz is 1/3m and hence P (1km) is
order of nanowatts or 90dB or 60dBm. At a distance of 10 km, this power will become P (10km) of the
order of 0.01nw or 80dBm or 110dB. It requires very much sophisticated and costly device to receive
such small power. Now, it is obvious that mobile phones are not designed to work with so small power.
Even 1 microwatt or 30dBm is difficult to detect through the antenna. Hence, if the base station is 10km
away, is order to produce 1microwatt at the mobile, it has to radiate at 1kw at least. This 1kw at a distance
of 100m from the base station will produce a power of about 1w, which far exceeds the permissible
exposure limit. So to maintain quality of service at a distance of 10km there is health hazard around the
base station itself. Solution is either to restrict cell range to within 1km (then the exposure comes to 10mw
at 100 m distance, permissible up to 40 mw) or resort to systems that can operate with signals at much
lower power levels. In the vast rural areas of India, it is common to find towers spaced far apart and thereby
radiating high power, because of low subscription. This practice must be put to proper perspective, given
the hazards associated with such high power RFR.

5. Conclusion
In this report, we have tried to highlight the electro-magnetic radiations from embedded VLSI
circuits and their effects on biological organisms. So far, the approach taken to tackle RFR from circuits is
inadequate. Circuits keep on revealing secret information to the outside world. In case of embedded
antenna-coupled systems, working with higher signal strengths must be discontinued because of risks of
privacy and secrecy. Given the emerging facts about adverse biological effects of RFR, which are not
merely thermal, research has to shift its attention to find the new threshold below which it will remain
harmless. Of course, the technology must advance to a stage where circuit activities can be kept below the
new threshold as well. India is expected to lead in this venture, since they are yet to set any standards.

The author acknowledges Durjoy Majumder, research scholar of Physiology and Bio-Physics at
Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, for fruitful discussion and supply of articles in biology. The services of
Subhankar Dasgupta, ME student of CST Department of BESU is also acknowledged for providing useful
reference and helping in the compilation of the article.
1. D Agarwal, B Archambeault, Suresh Chari and J R Rao, Advances in Side-channel cryptanlysis:
Electromagnetic analysis and template attacks; RSA Labs Cryptobytes Vo. 6 No. 1 pp. 20-32,
2. S. Weis, S Sarma, R Rivest and D Engels, Security and privacy aspects of low cost radio
frequency identification systems, AutoID Lab MIT, 2004.
3. Abdullah AlOrainey, Recent research on mobile phone effects, Proceedings of the International
Conference on Non-Ionizing Radiation, 2003.
4. Premalatha Das, Health effects of Radio frequency radiations, Proceedings of the International
Conference on Non-Ionizing Radiation, 2003.
5. World Health Organization website http://www.who.int/docstore/peh-emf/EMFStandards/
6. World Health Organization website http://www.who.int/peh-emf/standards/framework/en/
7. M Kundi, KH Mild, L Hardell and M Mattson, Mobile telephones and cancer a review of
epidemiological evidence, Journal of Toxicology and environmental health, Part B:7,pp. 351-384,
8. Omprakash Gandhi, Biological effects and applications of electromagnetic radiations, Prentice
Hall, 1996.
9. A. Bhanu Labanya, Effects of EM radiations on biological systems: a short review of case studies,
International Conference of Electromagnetic interference and compatibility, pp. 87-90, 2003.

VLSI Physical Design in Deep Sub-Micron: Some Recent Issues

Parthasarathi Dasgupta
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
Joka, D. H. Road, Kolkata 700 104
E-mail: partha@iimcal.ac.in

The semiconductor industry has witnessed device size miniaturization as guided by
Moores law for more than a quarter of a century. This has allowed dense packing of
transistors while the improved transistor performance has resulted in significant increase
in frequency. Design of high performance integrated circuits with process technologies at
0.18 micron or below is highly complex, and poses major challenges of recent times. This
is primarily due to the finer geometries, design size, high clock frequency, and low
voltage. We briefly discuss some of the recent challenges in physical design of VLSI
circuits in deep sub-micron (DSM) regime.

VLSI physical design starts from a gate-level description (I/O pads, RAMs, IP blocks,
logical gates, and flip-flops), and ends up with a GDSII (or the recently proposed OASIS)
file describing the layout. This entire process involves constraints on timing
requirements, area, placement of logic modules and buffers, routes, power consumption,
clock skew control, and technology constraints. Interconnection of a net comprises a set
of wire segments, called interconnects, connecting all the pins of the net. With increased
downsizing of geometries, interconnect delay, which depends on the capacitance and
resistance of the nets dominates over the gate switching delay. Interconnect delay is also
affected by the coupling capacitance between interconnects in the same layer placed in
close proximity to each other. Recently, a 3-phase interconnect-centric design flow has
been proposed, which includes interconnect planning, interconnect synthesis, and finally
interconnect layout. Interconnect planning is important because it provides early
assessments on the system performance, thereby enabling performance optimization.
Additionally, it tends to reduce design uncertainty, and ensure that the planned results can
actually be implemented in later design flow. Due to their distributed nature,
interconnects have become much more difficult to model and optimize in the deep sub-
micron domain. Interconnect delay is roughly determined by the driver or gate resistance,
interconnect and loading capacitance, and the interconnect resistance. The most preferred
delay estimator is the Elmore delay estimator, though linear and other estimators have
also been used. One of the major concerns is the lack of a useful metric for measuring the
performance of an interconnect architecture vis--vis electrical and material parameters.

Routing of interconnects in VLSI use buffers (or repeaters) primarily for reducing the
delay. Buffers are devices placed along interconnect, that also help control the attenuation
of signal levels, increase the drive strength for a gate that is driving a large load, and are
used to shield a critical path from a high-load off-critical path.

Floorplanning and Placement are classical problems of physical design with emphasis on
layout area minimization. In recent times, they have to be aware of several design
parameters. Unlike considering only area, there is a need of an open cost function, which
can analyze timing, area, power, congestion, signal integrity, and others. Some recent
works consider the integration of interconnect planning and buffer block planning with

Design of a complex system, comprising a large number of components is difficult
without partitioning, i.e., decomposing it into smaller subsystems. On decomposition in a
recursive manner, each subsystem can be designed independently. This process is widely
applicable in hierarchical design strategies for a VLSI, and is commonly referred to as
partitioning. Partitioning of an electrical circuit depends on certain parameters like
interconnection between the partitions, delay due to partitioning, number of terminals,
area of each partition, and the number of partitions.

The placement phase determines the exact locations of the circuit blocks and pins.
Outcome of placement phase is a netlist, which defines the required interconnections.
Space unoccupied by the blocks is a collection of regions to be used for routing. Global
routing generates an approximate route for each net. On the other hand, detailed routing
involves the actual assignment of the routing regions. Global routing algorithms are
broadly classified as those using sequential approach, and concurrent approach. The
classical objective function used for global routing algorithms is the total wire-length. In
the context of DSM regime, several new objectives are used to improve the performance.
These include delay minimization, satisfying the required arrival times at a source of a
net for a pre-specified required arrival times at a set of sink terminals of the net,
minimization delay for the critical sinks of a net, and so on.

When there is too much current density through an interconnect for a prolonged interval
of time, the resistance increases. This results in self-heating and metal disintegration,
leading to an open or short in the circuit. This is called electromigration. It is defined as
mass transport in solid-state metals under high current densities, resulting in a change in
conductor dimensions. This effect is more acute for DSM circuits. Electromigration is
often addressed much earlier in the design flow, by calculating the required width of an
interconnect as placement and routing are refined.

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is a new buzzword in the VLSI design community.
Below 0.13 micron, there is an interaction between design and manufacturing issues,
leading to reduction in the yield. This results in new interesting challenges for the
designers: factors related to manufacture have to be considered in the design solutions.

In summary, with ever shrinking sizes of the chip geometries, design researchers and
engineers are faced with more and more stringent performance requirements, and are
facing new challenges, some of which are radically different from the classical problems,
and hitherto unknown.

VLSI Education: The Indian Scenario

Susanta Sen
Institute of Radio Physics & Electronics
University of Calcutta

Late 70s and Early 80s

Analog Circuit Design
Differential Amplifiers
Current Mirrors
Wide-band Amplifiers
Phase Locked Loops
CMOS Design
Mead & Conway
Scalable Design Concept
CAD Tools were few & expensive
VLSI Industry in India
Virtually non-existent

Late Eighties / Early Nineties

Digital Design (CMOS) Started Dominating
New Technologies/Concepts
Programmable Logic Devices: FPGA, CPLD
Hardware Description Language: VHDL, Verilog
Free Tools appeared on the scenario
VLSI Design Conf. Initiated in India in 1985
More Institutes initiated the program
Computer Science & Engg. Depts. joined in
Training in CAD Tool Design started

Change of Industrial Scenario

Rising Engg. Costs in Advanced Countries
Global Recession
Performance of Indian Expatriates

Major Players in the Field considered India as a viable alternative Design

Started with Tool Design
Migrating to Chip Design
Many fold increase in manpower requirement

International VLSI Design Conference, Kolkata, Jan. 2005
(Industry Academia Panel)
Indian Human Resource Scenario
Requirement 10,000 trained personnel
Present training a few hundred per year
Strong emphasis on training required
Proposal for a Finishing School

_|e _ucr~|e _ucre! _|e _ucr~|e _ucre! _|e _ucr~|e _ucre! _|e _ucr~|e _ucre!

Whom are we going to finish? They are already finished !

- Dr. P.P. Das General Chair

Initiative at INRAPHEL

Proposal to start M. Tech in VLSI Design
Industries agreed to provide active support
Xilinx donated software tools and hardware kits
DC meeting Feb. 16, 2005
BPGS March 9, 2005
Self Financed Course
Course Fee : Rs 24,000/- per semester
Proposed intake 10
To be increased to 20 later
Active Industry Participation
Visiting/Adjunct faculty
Project work

Regulation changes
Admission on the basis of entrance test
Eligibility: B.Tech/B.E. in RPE/ECE/CSE/IT from CU or any
recognized University and also EE from IITs
Project : 1 semester (9 months) in Industry
Continuous evaluation
Assignments : 30%
Sessional assesssment : 30%
Semester-end Exam : 40%
Course Structure

Semester - I

Discrete MathematicsGraph Theory & Combinatorics (50)
Data Structures and Algorithms Graph algorithms relevant to VLSI Design (50)
Physics of VLSI devices (50)
Microelectronics Technology (50)
OO Programming and Language Translation (50)
CMOS VLSI Design (50)
CAD Techniques: I Spice, VHDL/Verilog (design entry & simulation) (100)

Semester II

Design Verification and Testing (50)
Low Power Design (50)
RF, Analog and Mixed Signal Design (50)
Processor Organization and Architecture (50)
Digital Signal Processing (50)
ASIC/Memory Design (50)
CAD Techniques : II Physical Design, DRC, Parameter Extraction, Simulation (100)

Semester IIIA (3 months)

Design of VLSI CAD Tools (50)
System-on Chip/Embedded Systems (50)
FPGA Lab (100)
Semester IIIB (3 months)

Thesis Prelim (100)
General Viva Voce (100)

Semester - IV

Thesis (400)