A World Wide Web education center for analog microsystem design education

Abstract

have ready access to chip fabrication, or do not have faculty with chip fabrication knowledge. The project discussed in this paper attempts to address this access issue by creating a World Wide Web (WWW)-based education center, accessible by the general engineering community, that uses the resource kit as a base to expand the analog VLSI design education products available to include a web-controlled analog integrated circuit tester. This tester, called the WEBalog Tester, is described in detail in this paper. A World Wide Web-based education center for analog microsystem design education is described. This education center combines written tutorials, simulation and web-based measurement experiments into a single web site that can be accessed by the general engineering community. The web-controlled measurement suite is described in detail. Contact the author for information on how to access the education center over the web. The WWW Analog VLSI Design Education Center Introduction Teaching analog CMOS microsystem design at the undergraduate level requires a different educational methodology than digital design. To help engineering faculty teach analog microsystem design to upper division students, the Analog VLSI Design Resource Kit was developed to provide an educational resource containing a set of pre-fabricated analog CMOS circuits and an accompanying set of tutorials to explain important measurements needed in evaluation of analog circuits. The kit acts as a supplement to analog CMOS microsystem design courses, but does not preclude the assignment of individual student projects. The specifics of the resource kit have been described in detail elsewhere [1-3]. The education center web site starts with a home page based on the current analog resource kit, with links to the different laboratories and tutorials. A short abstract and explanation of the experiments leads off each tutorial. The user has a choice of either the simulation branch or the measurement branch. The simulation branch has a short discussion of the material the tutorial will cover, including possible simulation scenarios. A SPICE circuit file, containing the actual fabricated circuit elements for the accompanying chip set as well as the fabrication run parameters, is included. Finally, a section of typical results is given to provide feedback to the student attempting their circuit simulations. A major limitation of the resource kit in its current form has been the inability of outside users to obtain the fabricated chip set. This single limitation has prevented more widespread use of the educational material. Many of the interested parties are from small colleges, universities and industries that do not The measurement branch starts with a discussion providing guidance in setting up the experiments. A forms capable browser is required. The user fills in the appropriate form entries with the desired measurement parameters (voltages and sweep ranges, for example), and submits the request. Once the Proceedings of the 1997 International Conference on Microelectronics Systems Education (MSE '97) 0-8186-7996-4/97 $10.00 © 1997 IEEE measurement is complete, the results are returned to the user over the WWW in text format. The user can then employ their favorite graphics package to plot the results or incorporate the results in a formal laboratory report. The specifics of the remote controller analog tester are described in the next section. the user to perform frequency response measurements as a function of sampling rate. The final laboratory focuses on measuring output frequency versus control voltage of a voltage controlled oscillator based on a 19-stage 2 micron CMOS ring oscillator. Acknowledgment WWW-Controlled Equipment: The WEBalog Tester This work is sponsored by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE-9650733. A block diagram of the WEBalog tester is shown in Figure 1. The HPIB controller (a PC running Windows 95) connects directly to the server and acts as the liaison between the measurement equipment, the analog test chip and the server. The HPIB-controlled test equipment suite chosen for the WEBalog tester includes an HP-5316 frequency counter, an HP3314 function generator, an HP-3478 digital multimeter, and a Tektronix 2230A digital oscilloscope. The incoming user data (voltage amplitudes, sweep ranges, for example) are decoded and parsed to the HPIB controller if the equipment is not already in use. If another user is currently using the equipment, a warning is sent to the second user requesting that the user wait one minute (typical measurement time) and resubmit their request. Once the measurement input data is parsed to the controller, the data is verified to be within the operating range of the equipment and test chip and then sent to the HPIB equipment for measurement. Each measurement data point is stored in a text file that is sent back to the user at measurement completion. Concurrently, the equipment is placed in an idle state until the next user request. References 1. Caverly, R., "A Laboratory-Oriented Approach to Undergraduate Analog CMOS VLSI Design Instruction", Proc. 1994 ASEE Conf., vol. 2, pp.

DOI: 10.1109/MSE.1997.612542

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@inproceedings{Caverly1997AWW, title={A World Wide Web education center for analog microsystem design education}, author={Robert H. Caverly and Vladimir Zlatkovic}, booktitle={MSE}, year={1997} }