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Back to VLSI CAD Part I: Logic

Learner Reviews & Feedback for VLSI CAD Part I: Logic by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

537 ratings

About the Course

A modern VLSI chip has a zillion parts -- logic, control, memory, interconnect, etc. How do we design these complex chips? Answer: CAD software tools. Learn how to build thesA modern VLSI chip is a remarkably complex beast: billions of transistors, millions of logic gates deployed for computation and control, big blocks of memory, embedded blocks of pre-designed functions designed by third parties (called “intellectual property” or IP blocks). How do people manage to design these complicated chips? Answer: a sequence of computer aided design (CAD) tools takes an abstract description of the chip, and refines it step-wise to a final design. This class focuses on the major design tools used in the creation of an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) or System on Chip (SoC) design. Our focus in this first part of the course is on key Boolean logic representations that make it possible to synthesize, and to verify, the gate-level logic in these designs. This is the first step of the design chain, as we move from logic to layout. Our goal is for students to understand how the tools themselves work, at the level of their fundamental algorithms and data structures. Topics covered will include: Computational Boolean algebra, logic verification, and logic synthesis (2-level and multi-level). Recommended Background Programming experience (C, C++, Java, Python, etc.) and basic knowledge of data structures and algorithms (especially recursive algorithms). An understanding of basic digital design: Boolean algebra, Kmaps, gates and flip flops, finite state machine design. Linear algebra and calculus at the level of a junior or senior in engineering. Exposure to basic VLSI at an undergraduate level is nice -- but it’s not necessary. We will keep the course self-contained, but students with some VLSI will be able to skip some background material.e tools in this class....

Top reviews


Sep 3, 2020

One of the best courses that I have come across in the Coursera platform which is very interesting, I'm very glad that I took this course which leads to exploring some concepts of VLSI.


Jun 16, 2020

Very good course and instructor. The material used in the course is very good and the theories and heuristics were explained in best possible manner with help of examples.

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1 - 25 of 103 Reviews for VLSI CAD Part I: Logic

By Tanj B

Jan 1, 2022

This course should be titled "Fundamental Algorithms for digital circuit CAD". It has nothing at all to do with VLSI and none of the tools you get access to will be practical for you to use for large exampls. If you seek to understand how digital circuits get synthesized, how the functional descriptions are broken down into elements and then reconstructed as gates and circuit elements, this has some of the basics. The tools you get access to are old, with primitive user interfaces, suitable only for very simple examples. This is ok for the purpose of understanding the basics if you are interested in the internals of such tools. The course will not help you with modern VLSI design with modern EDA tools, if that is what you are looking for. Coursera seems currently to have nothing for EDA design of ASICs.

By Shubham

Aug 1, 2020

Course Was well organized . I am very very thankful to Prof. Rob A. Rutenbar Which provide me an opportunity to learn the Logic Part of the VLSI. I liked the teaching way of the Prof which explained the topic (Logic part of the VLSI CAD) in hierarchical way i.e. as we move towards the depth of the topic difficulty level get increases(Specially in the QUIZ section). Again I am thankful to Prof. R.A.Rutenbar and entire Coursera team.

By Sachin K V

Aug 14, 2017

Really Enjoyed taking the course. The course gives interesting insights about how various EDA tools work and algorithms that make it possible.

By Abhishek S

Aug 1, 2020

This course was exceptionally Awesome. Mr. Rutebar is really motivating in terms of explaining the complicated details of the boolean world.

By Venkata K M

Jun 30, 2020

A very well structured and thoughtfully organised course. It was interesting, challenging and stimulating. The lecturer had a very thorough understanding of the topics and managed to break down hard topics into easy parts and also was very articulate in explaining.

The assignment problems were also thoughtfully devised so that we would have to revisit and enhance our understanding of the previously learned concepts in order to solve them.

Please do note that it could be a bit more demanding (in terms of time and energy spent) than your average course. So make sure that you allocate a good amount of time each week so that you can follow the course and complete within deadlines.

By abd E R S A

Sep 9, 2017

Very interesting information. You will appreciate CAD tools very much after this course.

By Tomasz K

Nov 13, 2019

Exceptionally interesting course with variety of topics discussed in area of Logic and Logic Design . Videos are of a high quality and provide enough information to cope with exercises. Course requires some focus as it forces trainee to actually practice logical thinking not only memorizing knowledge. I will definitely keep coming back to this course as knowledge presented here is condensed and gives a superior example of how knowledge should be taught. Additionally I learned about topics that were neglected during my studies that is topics of Satisfiability , ROBDDs which are essential in modern software/hardware verification techniques.

By Md. F K

Jul 10, 2019

It's been a quality 30 days spent on this course. I must thank Professor Rutenbar, UIUC and Coursera.

Quality course material and easy to understand storytelling like approach to a complex topic like logic synthesis. I highly recommend this course if you have an interest in chip design and me myself is planning on taking the part-2: Layout of this specialization.

By Dhruvajit G

Apr 19, 2020

The course takes us into the world of Boolean algebra with daunting functions. The instructor elucidates every topic with a lot of clarity. Recommended to anyone who loves logic design concepts and wants to understand the data structures used in the industry to condense byzantine functions to don't cares and ultimately removing them.

By Devang R

Jul 30, 2020

A great course indeed! The Math and Heuristics are extremely helpful to get started with VLSI CAD. Prof. Rutenbar explains all the aspects of the course in the best way possible. I definitely recommend this course for the ones who wish to explore this domain.

By Shreya G

Sep 4, 2020

One of the best courses that I have come across in the Coursera platform which is very interesting, I'm very glad that I took this course which leads to exploring some concepts of VLSI.

By Naren c D

Jun 26, 2018

the course is designed so well I didn't face any problems while doing this course the technical support is always availableThank you

By Armen K

Jul 18, 2022

Complete anarchy. You are given 1 or two examples in lecture and then expected to solve very hard problems on your own. There is no textbook or assigned reading, it's like trying to navigate the pacific ocean without a map. The forums are full of people asking for some semblence of direction/guidance.

By Hari P G

Jul 21, 2021

Professor Teaching and materials provided in the course are excellent and very helpful. I thought the first week / first exam was tough because of the tools presented in the first week. I did not review the tools section in the first week but during the exams where it is actually related. It would have been better if the tools were provided for each week separately and so it's related.

By Anurag S R

Jan 31, 2018

This course does a great job of introducing you to the basics of Computational Boolean Algebra and completing the Honors track not only gets you on with BDDs, SATs and logic development but also gives a flavour of creating relevant software. A bit of background in Digital Logic and some basic programming exposure would help.

By Srinath R

Aug 13, 2017

It's a great course! It made me understand the concepts of boolean network optimisation and the different data structures we can possibly use to implement the same. High quality lectures, easy weekly assignments and pretty difficult Honors assignments! Happy to have spent 5 weeks of my free time in something interesting.

By Ahmed A A

Jun 16, 2020

Very good, a lot of great knowledge that I didn't previously know, I come from an electrical engineering background, all I knew about boolean algebra were Kmaps... This course taught me a lot and got me hooked on this domain.

The material is well presented and the quizzes/programming assignements are fun and challenging.

By Samit H

Jul 11, 2020

This was an absolute masterpiece course. Few things are difficult to understand in the assignment parts.Actually, we can learn even from the assignment part. If someone would have explained a few parts there it would have been even better. I gave five stars for the wonderful and creative assignments(problem sets)

By Ameer S

Mar 19, 2021

The single best online course you could take. Material, pase, lecture style, lecturer, and assignments are all very good.

The course can be challenging soemtimes, but all the information you need is in there. It has a very nice style.

I recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn CAD.

By Mahesh J

Dec 15, 2020

One of the best courses I have done. In college or online. The Professor keeps the lectures very engaging. The Quizzes are very good and tricky. Honors Projects really helped me understand the bigger picture. Really enjoyed coding the required projects.

By Mohammad H

Jul 28, 2018

Great Course and excellent lecturer, Almost all of the content of the course was new to me, even that I am a grad student in electrical engineering (digital design). I am looking forward to start the next course and do some physical layout.

All the best

By Santhosh k

Jun 1, 2020

I was very excited about the course and the content of the course never disappointed me at any point and looking forward for industrial required courses like this one. Wonderful way of teaching and thank you Rob Rutenbar sir.

By Calebe M d O C

Feb 18, 2019

The course takes the 'hands-on' experience seriously. It made me go more in-depth on details of the logic synthesis, leading me the great pleasure of discovering I had so much to know about a subject I imagined I was familiar.

By Benjamin M

Mar 22, 2024

Great course. I found it challenging even as a CS grad, but the instructor did a fantastic job in making it approachable. The assignments pushed the knowledge learned during lectures, but were never unreasonable.

By Naman S

Apr 22, 2020

This course was a great help in understanding deeper insights to VLSI logic. Prof Rob A. Rutenbar has accumulated the best explanations and presentation possible, given the time constraints. Thank you Professor!