Computer aided design programs

In summary, Max suggests that there are many steps that go into chip design and that it takes a lot of experience and expertise to be able to design chips for production.
  • #1
maxsthekat
55
0
Hi all!

I'm a second year student at a university, and I'm wondering, what programs do "real" EE or computer engineers use to design their circuits or register-transfer-level systems?

I'm currently in a computer organization course, where I've designed a (limited) MIPS processor, and implemented it using Quartus II (with some VHDL). This is great for rapid-prototyping, but what about going to an actual chip production? What I've been wondering is, how do the "real" companies (ie Intel or AMD) go about making designs which can then be fabbed? With processors now having millions (billions?) of transistors, it can't possibly all be done by hand.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)

-Max
 
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  • #2
Hi Max :)

Quite a lot goes into a chip in order to get it from behavioral code to the final product so it can be fabbed. See this for more information.

As you can see from the above link, there are lots of processes that goes into the VLSI design flow. There are many programs that you use from behavioral description to gds2. Here are some CAD tools for a very rough design flow: Synopsys VCS (HDL simulation and verification) --> Synopsys Design Compiler (synthesis) --> Mentor DFT Advisor (scan chain insertion) --> Cadence Encounter (floor planning) --> Calibre (DRC and LVS checks).

Much more time is also added depending on whether you are doing ASIC or full custom design. As you have all ready seen, for rapid prototyping and quick time to market, FPGA is a good solution.

Oh, companies like Intel use custom software to design their chips, or at least for a greater portion of the design flow.
 
  • #3
maxsthekat said:
Hi all!

I'm a second year student at a university, and I'm wondering, what programs do "real" EE or computer engineers use to design their circuits or register-transfer-level systems?

I'm currently in a computer organization course, where I've designed a (limited) MIPS processor, and implemented it using Quartus II (with some VHDL). This is great for rapid-prototyping, but what about going to an actual chip production? What I've been wondering is, how do the "real" companies (ie Intel or AMD) go about making designs which can then be fabbed? With processors now having millions (billions?) of transistors, it can't possibly all be done by hand.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)

-Max

I'm a member of the AutoDesk Users Group (free to join) and you might pose your question there: [I don't work for Autodesk]

http://augi.com/home/default.asp"
 
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Related to Computer aided design programs

1. What is a computer aided design (CAD) program?

A CAD program is a computer software that is used to create, modify, and analyze designs and technical drawings. It allows users to create precise and detailed 2D and 3D models of objects or structures.

2. What are the benefits of using CAD programs?

CAD programs offer many benefits such as increased efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. They allow for quick modifications and iterations of designs, reducing the time and cost for product development. They also provide a platform for simulation and testing, which helps to identify potential problems before production.

3. What industries use CAD programs?

CAD programs are used in various industries such as architecture, engineering, manufacturing, and construction. They are also used in product design, automotive and aerospace design, and even in fashion and jewelry design.

4. Are there different types of CAD programs?

Yes, there are different types of CAD programs available in the market. Some are specialized for specific industries or applications, while others are more general-purpose. Some examples include 2D CAD, 3D CAD, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.

5. What skills are needed to use CAD programs?

To use CAD programs, one needs to have a basic understanding of computer operations and be comfortable with using a mouse and keyboard. Knowledge of drafting and design principles is also helpful, but most CAD programs have user-friendly interfaces, making it easy for beginners to learn and use them.

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