Exactly a year ago, at the Department of Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Electronics, a laboratory for designing analog circuits with a very high degree of integration (VLSI-design) was opened. The project was implemented by the joint efforts of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and partner companies Tower Semiconductor (Israel) and Cadence Design Systems (USA), which provided hardware and software. Future specialists were able to participate from the student bench in the full cycle of the process of developing such schemes up to the production of the finished product. "Kyiv Polytechnic" then dedicated an article to this event, which described in detail the purpose of the laboratory and the opportunities that arose due to this at the Faculty of Electronics. How the plans of the co-founders of the laboratory are implemented, how the training takes place in the conditions of epidemic restrictions and what are the future plans of the department are described below.
The resources of the laboratory allow to conduct end-to-end design of analog chips from circuit design to topology development and analysis of the planned circuit taking into account parasitic effects.
The laboratory is a member of the Cadence Academic Network program, which brings together leading educational institutions and leading companies in the field of development and production of microelectronics. The laboratory is certified in Custom IC Design technology - development of custom chips. Such certification of the laboratory involves qualified teachers who have been trained and successfully passed the certification tests, as well as undergo annual training. Currently, the department has four certified teachers, three of whom have just confirmed their status for the year that has begun.
The quarantine restrictions introduced in March 2020 did not become an obstacle to learning. Appropriate network services have been deployed to organize remote work. Therefore, students and teachers have the opportunity to work from any place where there is access to the Internet.
In the spring semester of 2020, the students of the Department of Electronic Engineering were the first to study. They acquired the skills of working with the editor of circuit projects on the platform Virtuoso System Design in a series of laboratory works with the help of manuals developed by teachers of the department. In addition, students took the opportunity to study on the platform Cadence Internet Learning System. After graduation, 12 of them received the appropriate certificates. Teachers of the Department of Microelectronics also joined the development of the laboratory - and two associate professors received the relevant certificates.
In the autumn semester of 2020, the resources of the laboratory were used by 4th year students. In addition to the laboratory work provided by the discipline program, students also showed interest in online learning. 14 of them received certificates of successful development of the editor of circuit design projects and modelling system Spectre.
The acquaintance with the engine of the project, the company "Tower Semiconductor", took place thanks to the domestic design bureau "UkrSemi", which employs graduates of the Department of Electronic Engineering. "Tower Semiconductor" is a leading manufacturer of CMOS chips, radio frequency CMOS, CMOS sensors and high-voltage devices. So students studying in the laboratory have a unique opportunity to work with the technological process (Process Design Kit) of a real factory. Last year, two masters who chose to design end-to-end amplifier circuits for their graduation work underwent an undergraduate internship in UkrSemi. In addition to the internship of graduates, the internship in "UkrSemi" was conducted by a 4th year student Tatiana Baluta. According to her, she "tried herself in the development of a block of a real scheme - a level translator. Difficult, but extremely interesting. It's real electronics! “
In the spring semester of 2021, 3rd year students will get acquainted with the means of modelling and design. Third-year students of the Department of Electronic Devices and Systems will also join the students of the Departments of Electronic Engineering and Microelectronics.