Teaching in the area of standard-cell based ASIC design is not that easy due to, e.g., the required EDA tool knowledge and the enourmous design and verification efforts. The main goal of the TWASIC project is to develop course materials like lecture notes, demo examples, EDA tool flows and scripts to ease design and verification steps in the area of digital ASIC design. That way, future students of the "Embedded Systems" master program should be able to design their own digital microchips during their diploma/master thesis.
Another project goal is the design of a 8051-based microcontroller in a 0.35um CMOS process technology. The manufactured prototype samples will be used in the regular lectures of the department. Students will be able to access the on-chip test facilities of the samples (Scan-path, BIST, etc.) in order to learn and understand state-of-the-art test methods for digital integrated circuits.
For future ASIC designs in context to diploma/master theses and R&D projects a PCB board is developed for prototyping and testing. The PCB board contains a zero-force socket for the ASIC samples, a clock circuitry (oscillator, PLL), a power supply for the ASIC as well as a reset generator and connects to a Xilinx Virtex-4/5 FPGA base board (see figure to the left).
Finally, an eyecatcher application is developed using the 8051-based ASIC samples in order to present the activities of our department at events like the "Technikum Wien Open Days".