Back to bASICs Course

New for 2023

Back to bASICs 

Course Logo showing magnified image of circuit on silicon wafet

Beaver Works Summer Institute will offer a brand new course on open source semiconductor design and fabrication this summer.  This course will give students a fundamental and working knowledge of the building blocks of today’s electronic world—knowledge that will benefit the student no matter what they decide to pursue academically.  Students will receive hands-on experience on how to design and arrange semiconductors on a nanometer scale to perform a specific function.  Students will start with a blank canvas (silicon substrate) and learn how to take a specification through the entire design process—including foundry manufacturability.  Once complete, the student’s design will be sent to a foundry for fabrication.  Six months later we’ll host a class reunion and the students will be provided a dev kit with their custom design permanently etched in silicon—a milestone to be treasured for a lifetime


screenshot of Siliwiz circuit layout toolThere is overlap with the microelectronics course, including basic electronics, but this course will focus more semiconductor theory, MOSFET/CMOS fabrication.  Course instruction by industry practitioners with context from academia and government.


This course does not have any prerequisites as part of the application process (other than deep interest in this topic!).  The course will begin in June for accepted students with online instruction of tools and software that will be used during the July program.  Accepted students will be provided with this information after April 30.


Week 1  Recap of online prerequisites

  • Foundational info on PN junctions and depletion region

Week 2  Introduction to TinyTapeout and Makerchip tools

  • Introduction to TinyTapeout and TL Verilog,
  • Learn about and “dissect” previous designs

Week 3  Introduction to eFabless Tools

  • Familiarization exercises and discussion of selected previous designs available online

Week 4  Student Project Development (teams of 3 or 4 students)

  • Using commercial tools to design chips leveraging new knowledge
  • DRC check and submit for fabrication.