A Career In VLSI Design Verification

Career in VLSI Design Verification

Are you looking for an engineering career which will also let the artist in you take prominence?

If yes, then a career in VLSI design might be your calling!

VLSI Design is the art & science of designing large & complex electronics systems on a small piece of silicon called the chip. The artistic side of an individual takes prominence when he/she is required to come up with circuit design along with geometrical designs for printing on silicon, simultaneously it also involves technology and engineering to implement the designs.

Skills & Challenges:

Typically, a VLSI verification engineer verifies the functionality and performance compliance of a design with respect to specifications and ensures that designs are correct. A verification engineer is required to develop a verification environment which mimics the real world deployment scenario also known as Verification Intellectual Property (VIP) for the design under test (DUT) and also captures the failure models for the design.

There are two types of verification:

1.Functional Verification – It is the task of ensuring that the design conforms to the specification. It attempts to answer the question “Does the proposed design do what is intended?”
2.Timing Verification – It is the task of verifying if the design is fast enough to run without any errors at the targeted clock time. It can be classified into two categories:
Static Timing Analysis – (STA) is a method of computing the expected timing of a digital circuit without requiring simulation.
Dynamic timing verification – Refers to verifying that an ASIC design is fast enough to run without errors at the targeted clock rate. This is accomplished by simulating the design files used to synthesize the integrated circuit (IC) design. This is in contrast to static timing analysis, which has a similar goal as dynamic timing verification except it does not require simulating the real functionality of the IC.The main challenge of the job is that a VLSI engineer seldom has a choice of being incorrect. The cost of designing, fabrication and testing is extremely high – sometimes amounting to even billions of USD.

An error by the engineer will cost an organization dearly. It will not be incorrect to say that there is no room for failure in this profile. This job role is challenging and yet can be rewarding when one directly contributes towards bringing out high performance system for applications like smart-phones, medical instruments, automotive controls and defense applications.

General Eligibility:

B.E / B. Tech graduates from streams of Engineering such as Electronics & Communication (ECE), Electrical & Electronics (EEE), Instrumentation Technology (IT) and Telecommunications with a good understanding of concepts related to Circuits and Digital System Designing will be considered for this role.

Skill Set:

Ability to formulate test plans
Proficiency in System Verilog
Verification Methodologies – UVM/OVM

Scope & Outlook:

The VLSI sector is expected to grow in the next 4-5 years and
About 70% of jobs openings in VLSI Front-end design sector are those for of ‘VLSI Design Verification’

Remuneration:

Depending on the organization, a fresh graduate in India can expect 2.5 Lakhs – 4 Lakhs per annum.

Top recruiters in India:

Xilinx, HCL, CoreEL Technologies, Cisco Systems, Honeywell, Tejas Networks, BHEL, Tata ELXSI