Semiconductor Chip Design Course Attracts Canadian Graduate Students

A unique Integrated Semiconductor Chip Design course designed and hosted by Gayathri Singh, Team Leader for Microelectronics at CMC Microsystems, is popular with graduate students at Canadian universities. No other organization in Canada offers such a course based on the most advanced semiconductor chip processes that exist.

The online event May 10-21 (2021) is fully subscribed with the participation of 30 academic researchers and graduate students from across Canada.

Commenting on how she designed the course, Dr Singh said, “I wanted to base the content on cutting edge semiconductor technology. It is exciting and rewarding to see the interest in the program. I am very grateful to our industry partners who have come together to provide vital support to the program, ”she said.

Dr. Singh received her doctorate in electrical engineering from Queen’s University. She worked as a Senior Component Design Engineer at Intel, India, in their Bangalore Design Center between 2005 and 2008. This advanced course trains students and researchers in the methodology of analog-mixed signal design at the using Cadence tools, which target GlobalFoundries GF12LP FinFET / PDK (Design Process Kit).

FinFET transistors are key components

Training content and course materials were developed by Cadence Design Systems Canada Ltd. The skills acquired correspond to those of engineers designing chips at leading technology companies in Canada, including AMD, Alphawave IP and StarIC.

Participants. must have previous semiconductor chip design experience and knowledge of advanced design tools. Participants, including CMC staff, learn about one of the most advanced semiconductor chip processes in North America. FinFET transistors are key components down to the 2nm process nodes under development at the world’s most advanced manufacturing facilities. The actual fabrication of the chip designs created by the participants will be done through GlobalFoundries facilitated by CMC.

The skills acquired contribute to the overall knowledge

Participants will submit design proposals in fall 2021 for expert review. Another workshop-style session is scheduled for the winter of next year before these designs are registered so designers can consult with experts from Cadence, companies and universities before submitting their designs for manufacture.

CMC Microsystems enables industry-relevant technology research at 60 post-secondary institutions across Canada. CMC’s programs and services provide researchers with access and training throughout the integrated chip design lifecycle, from software design to actual silicon chip manufacturing and testing. The skills acquired in this course contribute to the overall knowledge and training of university graduates in semiconductor-related technologies. Knowledge and skills are highly relevant and desirable for the industry.

According to Marie Thiele, director of common services at CMC, the game plan is to open up the program more widely in the future. “Our training platform is especially valuable during a virtual training period, bringing together participants from across Canada, suppliers from other countries and CMC employees on our secure design tools and training,” said Thiele.


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