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IIIT-B integrates VLSI curriculum with software engineering

Posted: 12 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HR Leadership Forum  VLSI design  Ranjan Acharya  educational programmes 

Presently, educational institutions largely adopt linear thinking while designing educational programmes in VLSI design, shared Ranjan Acharya, corporate VP of Human Resources, Wipro, during the start of Wednesday's HR Leadership Forum, which is part of the VLSI Conference 2007.

Acharya, the forum moderator, called on educational institutions to apply lateral thinking to enable innovation to occur in the semiconductor sector.

The presentation by Professor Prasanna, from the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B), seemed to be a direct response to that call.

In his presentation, Prasanna outlined IIIT-B's experiment to integrate VLSI curriculum into its software engineering curriculum. The context for IIIT-B's experiment is the growing complementarities between the hardware and software fields. The importance of programmability in the design of electronic systems is growing significantly.

A growing class of specialised application areas, especially banking, is creating a requirement for high-speed, high-precision computing, which conventional computing hardware architectures are not able to meet effectively, Prasanna said. Other end-use areas that have a similar requirement include multimedia and entertainment applications, telecommunications, and embedded systems.

As a result, an increasing proportion of functions for these areas are being implemented through software programming. Prasanna pointed out that there is high potential for implementing these functions on hardware, and this would drive the requirement for new computing hardware architectures.

IIIT-B is encouraging students through its programmes to work first hand on improving accuracy and throughput of actual case applications in these areas. The basic idea is that as students begin to gauge for themselves the limits of conventional architectures, they will realise the need for developing newer architectures.

IIIT-B's approach will attract more students to the hardware engineering field, believes Prasanna. "Engineers will also have increased mobility to shift between traditional information technology services and VLSI design," Prasanna said.

- Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan
  EE Times India




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