Computer Laboratory > Teaching > Course material 2008–09 > ECAD



Principal lecturer: Dr Simon Moore
Taken by: Part IB
Past exam questions


The Part Ia Digital Electronics course is a prerequisite. If you have not undertaken this course then please read Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of the recommended text (Harris and Harris - see below) and complete the exercises before starting the ECAD course.

The material in this course (including the IVC web based tutor content) is prerequisite for the ECAD practical classes.


ECAD is being taught through an Interactive Verilog Compiler web system and four lectures.


  • Introduction and motivation
    • Current technology, technology trends, ECAD trends, challenges.
  • Logic modelling, simulation and synthesis.
    • Logic value and delay modelling. Discrete event and device simulation. Automatic logic minimization.
  • Chip, board and system testing.
    • Production testing, fault models, testability, fault coverage, scan path testing.
  • Verilog systems design.
    • Practicalities of mapping Verilog descriptions of hardware (including a MIPS processor) onto an FPGA board. Introduction of SystemVerilog constructs not covered by IVC. Tips and pitfalls when generating larger modular designs.

On-Line Learning Component: Interactive Verilog Compiler

The interactive Verilog compiler (IVC) teaches the synthesizable subset of Verilog which is required to complete the laboratory sessions. IVC will be used for the first laboratory session and completed as homework. The material the IVC covers is a prerequisite for the ECAD practical classes.

Start IVC

Lecture Handouts

The lecture notes are handed out at the first lecture. Further copies should be available from Student Admin. A PDF is also available from the domain only.

Related workshops

Please see ECAD and Architecture Practical Classes


  • Slide 3-13: "D latch" should have been a "D flip-flop" (i.e. edge triggered clocked D flip-flop rather than a D latch with level sensitive enable) and the multiplexer enable was inverted - see the corrected slide.

Recommended book

The following text is recommended for this course and also Digital Electronics (Part Ia) and Computer Design (Part Ib).
  • Harris, D.M. & Harris, S.L. (2007). Digital Design and Computer Architecture. Morgan Kaufmann.

Related external links

Examination information

There is one ECAD question in the Part IB Tripos.