Blog, oh yeah! I got one of those. AKA Intro to VLSI Design Part 1

I know what you're thinking, "Didn't you say that you were going to blog all the time to become a better computer engineer? I remember hearing something in regards to a blog post a day?"

Yes, I did say that, and now after a month or so, I'm deciding to write my next blog post. This blog post is to compliment Cody's amazing Post "4 bit ALU with MIT's 0.25micron technology kit" in which Cody gets into the nitty gritty of VLSI design AKA (Very Large Scale Integration). While an aspiring computer engineering student may initially be intimidated by this engineering discipline, I plan to write a blog post that acts as the introduction to VLSI I would of very much enjoyed before beginning Digital Electronics (ECE 4500 for Computer engineering students at Western Michigan University) .

The best place to begin this post, would be to clearly define what VLSI is: according to the omnipotent Wikipedia, "Very Large-Scale Integration is the process of creating integrated circuits by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip". Simple enough right? I like to think VLSI is best described as a way combining transistors into arrangements that allow for the creation of digital logic devices such as: logic gates, latches, registers, ALUs, SRAM, etc... . Transistors are used due to the fact that in the most basic function they are able to used as simple switches. This is eloquently shown here!. Once this concept is understood, Transistors can be used to create simple logic gates that the freshman computer engineer learns in a class called digital logic like the Nand Gate. The observant student will notice that there are two distinct transistors in this schematic, one containing a bubble on the gate referred to as the PMOS, while the bottom transistor lacking the bubble is referred to as the NMOS.

Between the two Transistors PMOS and NMOS VLSI technology is created, but the digital logic is created by the distinct ways on how the transistors are arranged. In the following blog post I'll go into detail of how PMOS and NMOS are arranged to create different logic devices. (WARNING, the following blog post may take a while to be written, or not be written at all)

- Andrew -

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