For the latest Electrical Engineering program information please visit the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Enginering website here, http://ee.usc.edu/academics/
There are many ways for students to measure the "goodness" of a program--one of which being how successful the graduates are in finding the type of employment they seek. The VLSI Program* achieves the high marks that students strive for because of the breadth, depth and quality of its program. The focus of this program is to train engineers to analyze and synthesize CMOS based systems using their thorough understanding of today’s technology and tools.
The breadth of the VLSI Program, in conjunction with her sister Institutes and Departments, is so expansive that no MS or even PhD student can explore all avenues that are offered. At the heart of the program lie three courses that focus on VLSI circuits and technology (EE477 and 577ab). Sitting above this circuit level view of systems are several VLSI architecture courses, including those dealing with reconfigurable and FPGA based system. Since most new designs are ASICs rather than processors, we have complemented our program with courses in the signal processing and communication theory groups within the department.
Supporting the areas of circuits and architecture are the two pillars that make all of this a reality, namely CAD tools and computational fabrics such as materials and their (analog) electrical properties. Finally, most students have the opportunity to become well grounded in many of the practical aspects on this field so valued in industry, such as communication skills, programming skills, UNIX, and VHDL.
Because of the large number of faculty who staff this program, most areas are covered in more depth than can be found elsewhere. Unlike most programs, the USC VLSI program offers the following courses and opportunities:
• An entire course in asynchronous circuits and systems and related CAD
• Two courses in CAD; one focused on synthesis and verification, the other on physical design
• An entire course related to testing and design-for-test
• A course focused on the mathematics for CAD tool developers
• VLSI fabrication carried out on campus in a sister program
• Development of “industry” grade hardware and software via interaction with the School’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), home of the MOSIS project.
The backbone of any program lies in its quality. Here at USC the faculty have achieved both National and International recognition for their innovations, creativity and scholarship. Most are Fellows of the IEEE, most have won several best paper awards, and several awarded “best teaching awards.”
For those young people driven to be part of the current information technology revolution, and if you are also one of the few at the top of your class, then this is the place to come. In a few years this is the place you will be proud to say you are from.
View Sample Project Reports.