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Want to Make a Career in VLSI: Master these 5 Engineering Subjects

From circuit theory to digital electronics, mastering these fundamentals empowers aspiring engineers to design innovative electronic systems and contribute to technological advancements.
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Introduction

Are you fascinated by gadgets, circuitry, and the inner workings of electronic devices? Pursuing a career in electronics engineering could be your ticket to diving deep into this exciting world of technology. But where do you start? To pave your way to success in this field, mastering key engineering subjects is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll break down 5 essential engineering subjects in simple terms that you need to master to kickstart your career in electronics.

Let’s explore these 5 Engineering Subjects together and embark on an exciting journey into the realm of electronics engineering!

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5 Engineering Subjects of electronics engineering

1. Network Analysis

Network analysis, also called as circuit theory is a crucial subject in electronics engineering that involves the study of electrical networks and their behavior. The main topics covered in this subject include circuit analysis techniques, network theorems like Kirchhoff’s laws and Thevenin’s theorem, nodal and mesh analysis, and impedance matching.

Understanding network theory is essential as it forms the basis for analyzing and designing complex electrical circuits. By mastering this subject, students can gain a strong foundation in solving electrical circuits which will be crucial while studying analog electronics.

Lecture ResourceNetwork Analysis | PrepFusion – YouTube

Read more Job search steps for fresher in VLSI – techovedas

2. Electronic Devices and Circuits (EDC)

The subject of Electronic Devices and Circuits delves into the study of semiconductor devices such as diodes and transistors along with their applications in electronic circuits. Topics within this subject include PN junctions, biasing techniques, amplifier configurations, and small-signal analysis.

This subject is highly important as it forms the backbone of electronic systems design. By mastering electronic devices and circuits, students can comprehend how electronic components function, design basic circuits, and troubleshoot common issues in electronic devices.

Lecture Resource –  Electronic devices and circuits | GATE Free Crash Course – YouTube

Once the foundational subjects mentioned above are completed, we transition into core electronics, which encompasses digital and analog electronics. These subjects should be tackled only after thoroughly mastering network theory and electronic devices.

3. Digital Electronics

Digital Electronics is like learning the language of computers. It is a branch of electronics that deals with digital signals and systems. It involves the study of electronic circuits that work with digital signals, which are represented by discrete values (typically 0 and 1). 

 Here are the key things you will explore:

  1. Binary Logic: Instead of letters like in the alphabet, computers use only ‘0’ and ‘1’ to communicate. Binary logic is the basis of this language, and you will learn how to interpret and manipulate these 0s and 1s.
  2. Logic Gates: These are like the tiny building blocks of digital systems. They take in 0s and 1s and perform operations to make decisions. It’s like a smart switch that knows what to do based on the inputs.
  3. Combinational Circuits: These are circuits that combine logic gates in a specific way to perform a function.
  4. Sequential Circuits: Unlike combinational circuits, these circuits have memory. They can remember past inputs and help in making decisions based on current and past information. It’s like having a short memory to keep track of things.
  5. Flip-Flops: These are the memory units in digital systems. They store and remember data in the form of 0s and 1s. You will learn how to use flip-flops to create memory systems.

In the industry, digital electronics manifests itself in the form of Verilog – a hardware description language.

Lecture ResourceDigital Electronics | Neso Academy – YouTube

Book recommendationDigital Design 4th Edition – Morris Mano (chapter end questions)

4. Analog Electronics

Analog electronics are electronic systems that use continuous signals to represent and process information. This is in contrast to digital electronics, which use discrete signals to represent and process information. Analog electronics are often used in applications where a continuous range of values is required, such as in radio and audio equipment, and in control systems. They can be used to amplify signals, filter noise, and perform a wide variety of other functions.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll study.

  • Signal Behavior: Studying how signals vary continuously, like sound or temperature.
  • Amplifiers and Filters: Understanding devices that enhance and control signal strength and quality.
  • Diode Circuits: Exploring circuits using semiconductor components like diodes for specific functions.
  • Transistor Biasing: Setting up transistors to operate effectively in circuits.
  • Frequency Response: Analyzing how circuits react to different frequencies of signals.

Lecture resourcesAnalog Electronic Circuits – Prof. Shanthi Pavan – YouTube

Book recommendationAnalog CMOS integrated circuits – B Razavi (chapter end questions)

Everything we sense is Analog and to digitize these signals we need Analog circuitry. Once the signals are in the digital domain, it is modified and processed easily using digital electronic circuits.

5. VLSI Design

VLSI Design (Very Large-Scale Integration) is a subject that focuses on designing integrated circuits with the knowledge gained by studying the above subjects. As the acronym goes, it involves ‘integrating’ large number of transistors on a single chip.

Topics within VLSI design include CMOS technology, logic gates, ASIC design flow, and layout design rules. This subject is crucial in the semiconductor industry and plays a vital role in developing advanced electronic devices.

What ‘hello world’ is to learning software, CMOS is to learning electronics

By mastering VLSI design, students can learn the intricacies of chip design, understand the VLSI design process, and work on cutting-edge technologies in the semiconductor field.

Book recommendationCMOS VLSI Design [4th Edition] – Neil H. Weste

Pro tips for studying

Students often jump into projects and learning languages like Verilog, in the belief that these pursuits are directly beneficial. While this assertion is true, practicing questions before delving into projects is important. It is during the process of solving questions that we develop a clear understanding of the subject matter. One can take notes on the theory being studied, but if questions aren’t being solved, the study is of no use.

Additionally, online recruitment assessments require students to solve questions within a limited amount of time (~30 questions in 40 minutes). Without practice, success is unlikely. Thus, solving questions must be the paramount focus.

Side note – Skipping network analysis won’t be a good idea.

Read more 7 Job Profiles in Semiconductor Chip Design – techovedas

Conclusion

In conclusion, mastering these 5 engineering subjects in electronics can provide a solid foundation for building a successful career in the field. Understanding network theory, electronic devices and circuits, digital electronics, analog electronics, and VLSI design equips individuals with the necessary skills to design, analyze, and innovate in the ever-evolving field of electronics.

Read more Top 5 VLSI blogs for Placements as VLSI Freshers – techovedas

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