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    Integrated Circuits, Microprocessors, and Chip Sets

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    1. The advantage of computer simulations of integrated circuits and how simulation techniques are an example of scientific methods
    2. How the computer design tools facilitate the coordination of design and manufacturing.

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    Major steps in designing and manufacturing a new microprocessor
    When designing any product, the first steps are to identify the need the product will fill, and identify the market it will be sold into. Then we consider the competing products that can already perform the job - even 'unique' products have some kind of competition, somewhere. Finally we build up a specification for a new product positioned successfully in the market.

    We describe the process for designing a new electronic circuit board, typically one that is microprocessor based with embedded firmware. This same process is used for most products we design. Usually an industrial designer is employed to produce the product enclosure or case, with labeling and graphics. We deliver working prototypes and then the product goes on to beta testing, pilot run, and production release.

    The Specification

    The Specification is the customer's instructions to the designer describing the features the new product should have. A specification starts out as ideas and a wish list, then gradually gets nailed down to something more formal and explicit. It is a good idea to have a list of "reasons why" and "how it's done" to explain the specification, but keep these separate from the main document.
    The basic, introduction explanation of the products function within a specification should be quite short, keep it to one page:

    The Circuit Design

    The Circuit Diagram, also called the Schematic or Logic Diagram, maps out the electronics and connections in the most readily readable form. The designer needs to do background work while producing the Circuit diagram, researching specifications of components, interaction between components (especially timing and loading) physical packages, and arrangement of connector pinouts. The circuit will often start on paper and finish in Computer Aided Design (CAD) format.
    The finished circuit diagram, supported by notes if required, is the main reference document for the design.

    The Printed Circuit Board Layout

    The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is the laminate to which all the electronic components are soldered, with one or more layers of etched metal tracks making the ...

    Solution Summary

    Integrated Circuits, Microprocessors, and Chip Sets are emphasized.