VLSI Design – Introduction

Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit (IC) by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip. VLSI began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were being developed. The microprocessor is a VLSI device.

Before the introduction of VLSI technology, most ICs had a limited set of functions they could perform. An electronic circuit might consist of a CPU, ROM, RAM and other glue logic. VLSI lets IC designers add all of these into one chip.

The electronics industry has achieved a phenomenal growth over the last few decades, mainly due to the rapid advances in large scale integration technologies and system design applications. With the advent of very large scale integration (VLSI) designs, the number of applications of integrated circuits (ICs) in high-performance computing, controls, telecommunications, image and video processing, and consumer electronics has been rising at a very fast pace.

The current cutting-edge technologies such as high resolution and low bit-rate video and cellular communications provide the end-users a marvelous amount of applications, processing power and portability. This trend is expected to grow rapidly, with very important implications on VLSI design and systems design.