Because the physical implementation and hence performance limitation of many aspects of Electrical Engineering rely on the integrated circuit, all Princeton EE majors take a course to understand the fabrication and operation of ICs. In the lab portion of the course all students fabricate their own IC chip. The goal of the course is not to understand in depth the detail of the physical processes behind transistor operation or chip fabrication, but rather to show how basic analog, digital, and opto-electronic functions may be integrated onto a chip. The students test the circuits using needle probes and a microscope so they can see the circuit while measuring its limitations. Through lab and lecture the connections between the physical parameters, such as line width on a chip and system parameters such as power delay product (digital) or gain bandwidth product (analog) are developed.
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