Dr. Rhett Davis

Dr. Rhett Davis

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Phone: 919-515-5857
Fax: 919-515-2285
Instructor Website

ECE 720 Electronic System Level and Physical Design

3 Credit Hours

Study of transaction-level modeling of digital systems-on-chip using SystemC. Simulation and analysis of performance in systems with distributed control. Synthesis of digital hardware from high-level descriptions. Physical design methodologies, including placement, routing, clock-tree insertion, timing, and power analysis. Significant project to design a core at system and physical levels. Prerequisites: knowledge of Object-Oriented Programming with C++ and Register-Transfer-Level design with Verilog or VHDL.


ECE 520 Digital ASIC Design.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  • Capture digital designs at the Transaction-Level and Electronic-System-Level of abstraction using SystemC
  • Determine through simulation the performance of a system that includes embedded micro-processors, Dynamic Random Access Memory, Buses, and Direct Memory Access Controlers.
  • Identify whether or not a SystemC description successfully models the behavior of a system
  • Use behavioral synthesis tools to determine the hardware implied by a portion of C++ code
  • Be able to execute a physical design and verification flow through the following steps:
    ◦ Floorplanning
    ◦ Placement
    ◦ Clock-Tree Synthesis
    ◦ Repeater Insertion
    ◦ Routing
    ◦ Static Timing Analysis
    ◦ Power Analysis
    ◦ Signal Integrity Analysis
    ◦ Power Grid Analysis
    ◦ Write simple Python scripts to analyze the output of ESL simulations and automate physical design tasks

Course Requirements

10 Homework assignments (50%)

Design Project (50%)


No textbook required.

Computer and Internet Requirements

Students will need a relatively fast internet connection, because most of the work will be done using Linux remote-access through the Virtual Computing Laboratory, using X-Windows hosting software, such as X-Win32, which students can get from NCSU at no cost. If students have an internet connection that is fast enough to stream video lectures, then it should be sufficient.


Fall 2022 Coming Soon