Background Reading for VLSI Design

This page provides additional reading hints related to the courses in the field of VLSI Design. Most books mentioned are available in University of Twente Library.

VLSI Design


Rabaey, J.M., A. Chandrakasan and B. Nikolic, Digital Integrated Circuits, A Design Perspective, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, (2003).
This book provides a thorough introduction to VLSI design. Circuit-level design receives detailed attention including the equations involved. The second edition has just been published.
Author's site Amazon UK Amazon US


Chandrakasan, A., W.J. Bowhill and F. Fox (Eds.), Design of High-Performance Microprocessor Circuits, IEEE Press, New York, (2001).
This book is rather a reference book than a textbook. It contains 25 chapters, each written by experts in the field. The topics covered include logic families, adders and multipliers, memory elements, just to mention a few.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


Smith, M.J.S., Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, Addison- Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, (1997).
This book emphasizes practical VLSI-design skills. It lists almost all possible CAD tools that a designer may use, explains their intentions and shows detailed examples. Plenty of attention is also paid to VHDL and Verilog. The author's web site contains a lot of interesting on-line material.
Author's site Amazon UK Amazon US


Weste, N.H.E. and D.M. Harris, Integrated Circuit Design, Fourth Edition, Pearson, Boston, (2011).
This is a very complete book on VLSI design that has attention for both circuit-level and system-level design. The first edition (from 1985, authored by Neil Weste and Kamran Eshraghian) was an authoritative textbook on CMOS VLSI. Subsequent editions have been significantly updated to accommodate modern developments.
Authors' site Amazon UK Amazon US


Uyemura, J.P., Introduction to VLSI Circuits and Systems, John Wiley and Sons, New York, (2002).
This book covers the field of VLSI design with an emphasis on the circuit level.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


Wolf, W., Modern VLSI Design, System-on-Chip Design, Third Edition, Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, (2002).
This book presents quite some information on VLSI design. The structuring of the material is not very conventional and precision is lacking here and there.
Author's site Amazon UK Amazon US


Kaeslin, H., Top-Down VLSI Design, From Architectures to Gate-Level Circuits and FPGAs, Elsevier Morgan Kaufmann, Amsterdam, (2015).
This is a very complete book on digital design for both ASICs and FPGAs. It presents both VHDL as SystemVerilog as design languages. Clocking receives extensive attention as well as verification and testbench design.
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Dally, W.J., R.C. Harting and T.M. Aamodt, Digital Design Using VHDL, A Systems Approach, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, (2016).
This book covers digital IC design from the very basic concepts of truth tables and Karnaugh maps up to system-level design. Many concepts are supported by examples in VHDL.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


The VHDL FAQ, Part 2 contains a very complete list of all books on VHDL.


Chu, P.P., RTL Hardware Design Using VHDL: Coding for Efficiency, Portability and Scalability, Wiley-Interscience, (2006).
This is a very detailed book (600+ pages) on RT-level, synthesizable VHDL, the best book I have seen so far on this topic. Emphasis is put on coding style and for each VHDL construct explained the corresponding hardware is presented. In this way, many examples of good and bad design practice pass by. A very valuable chapter is the last one on designing with multiple clocks and synchronization.
Author's site Amazon UK Amazon US


Navabi, Z., VHDL, Analysis and Modeling of Digital Systems, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, (1998).
This is one of the most complete books on VHDL. It pays attention to many subtleties of the language that are not mentioned in other books. It does not deal much with the synthesizable subset of VHDL.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


Rushton, A., VHDL for Logic Synthesis, Second Editon, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, (1998).
This book especially targets the synthesizable subset of VHDL.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


Heinkel, U., M. Padeffke, W. Haas, T. Buerner, H. Braisz, T. Gentner and A. Grassmann, The VHDL Reference, A Practical Guide to Computer-Aided Integrated Circuit Design Including VHDL-AMS, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, (2000).
This is a rather syntax-oriented book in which all language constructs are illustrated by appropriate examples.
Authors' site Amazon UK Amazon US

VLSI Signal Processing


Parhi, K.K., VLSI Digital Signal Processing Systems, Design and Implementation, John Wiley and Sons, New York, (1999).
This book is perhaps the most detailed textbook on high-level transformation techniques (such as retiming, unfolding and many more). It does not deal much with physical aspects of implementations or architectural issues.
Slides page Amazon UK Amazon US


Wanhammar, L., DSP Integrated Circuits, Academic Press, San Diego, (1999).
The book covers signal processing, VLSI design and the combination of both. Being quite complete on one hand, it cannot avoid to be somewhat superficial on the other.
Author's site Amazon UK Amazon US


Pirsch, P., Architechtures for Digital Signal Processing, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, (1998).
This book concentrates on computational arithmetic and architectures for signal processing, including array structures.
Author's site Amazon UK Amazon US

Circuit Theory


Reed, M. and R. Rohrer, Applied Introductory Circuit Analysis for Electrical and Computer Engineers, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, (1999).
There are many, many books on circuit theory. This book, however, explicitly applies the theory to IC design. Consult this book if you feel insecure about RC delay and related concepts.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


This section lists some books that were published many years ago, but are still worth studying.


Mead, C. and L. Conway, Introduction to VLSI Systems, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, (1980).
This is the seminal textbook on VLSI design education advocating the idea that a VLSI designer should better know little about all specialities involved in IC design, from the device level up to the system-architecture level, rather than a lot about a single speciality. Based on nMOS technology, it introduced concepts such as stick diagrams, regular layouts and two-phase clocking. The book is out of print. You may find it at your university's library or you may manage to buy a second-hand copy.
- Amazon UK Amazon US


Lipsett, R., C.F. Schaeffer and C. Ussery, VHDL: Hardware Description and Design, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, (1989).
The authors of this book were involved themselves in the design of VHDL. This gives them an advantage in transmitting the essentials of the language. At the time of publication of the book VHDL synthesis was not yet known. Due to its age, the book does not mention either the revisions to the VHDL standard.
- Amazon UK Amazon US

Embedded Systems


Peckol, J.K., Embedded Systems, A Contemporary Design Tool, John Wiley and Sons, (2008).
This book covers a wide range of topics: digital hardware design (using Verilog), software (C), operating systems, interfaces, memories, etc. and how everything comes together (e.g. how you refer to the memory of your system from a C program). Processor architectures do not receive too much attention.
- Amazon UK Amazon US

Advanced Topics

In this section, books have been collected that provide a more in-depth presentation of topics covered by the course.


Zhu, Q.K., High-Speed Clock Network Design, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, (2003).
This book pays attention to various aspects of clocking: high-speed logic (including domino logic), on-chip clock generation, clock disribution in modern microprocessors, etc.
- Amazon UK Amazon US

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Last update on: Tue Sep 20 00:13:05 CEST 2016 by Sabih Gerez.