For about five decades, integrated circuits (IC, microchips) have now been the key technologies for electronic systems in many application areas, ranging from data processing to telecommunication and automobile electronics. In this domain, an unprecedented development has taken place from the assembly of the first planar ICs with two transistors in the year 1961 to today’s integrated processor components with up to a billion transistors on a single chip. An ending of this development is not yet foreseeable and Very Deep Submicron (VDSM) fabrication technologies (with structure sizes that are smaller than 100 nm) will offer the possibility to integrate even more complex systems.
These developments are not merely the prerequisite for even more reliable and cost-efficient system solutions, yet they will also open up a lot of new application possibilities. Due to the new requirements and especially due to the enormous complexity of such solutions, not only new fabrication technologies have to be developed, but also new challenges in the design of integrated systems and circuits have to be faced. Among these challenges are modeling on different levels of abstraction, system level verification, low-power design, circuit design in new technologies, high frequency circuits, intelligent solutions for power electronics as well as an increase in design efficiency. The master degree program ISCD - Integrated Systems and Circuits Design provides the necessary knowledge to master these challenges.
The international graduate curriculum Integrated Systems and Circuits Design was developed in a cooperation of academic and industry experts and will address all challenges of the design of integrated systems and circuis.
The objective is to generate special skills in the following three areas:
- System and VLSI architectures
- Embedded systems
- SoC – system on chip
- SiP – system in package
- Fabrication technology
- Analog and digital VDSM-circuit design
- Sensors and power electronics
- Use of modern CAD tools
- Modeling and verification
- HDLs – hardware description languages
In these working areas chip designers often concentrate on the development of analog or digital components, which are also frequently used in mixed-signal integrated circuits. While many designers worldwide specialize on the design of purely digital components, Austrian microelectronic companies employ many experts for analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design.
Therefore the ISCD curriculum offers 2 semesters of mandatory courses and allows specialization in the more analog or digitally dominated domain through elective courses in semester 3 and a thesis work which is accompanied by seminars with presentations and technical discussions, in semester 4.