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I have set up a new Web site for my books. You can find it at http://www.waynewolf.us or through my Georgia Tech home page.
I set for myself two goals in producing this fourth edition of Modern VLSI Design. First, I wanted to update the book for more modern technologies and design methods. This includes obvious changes like smaller design rules. But it also includes emphasizing more system-level topics such as IP-based design. Second, I wanted to continue to improve the book's treatment of the fundamentals of logic design. VLSI is often treated as circuit design, meaning that traditional logic design topics like pipelining can easily become lost.
In between the third and fourth editions of this book, I respun the third edition as FPGA-Based System Design. That book added new FPGA-oriented material to material from Modern VLSI Design. In this edition, I've decided to borrow back some material from the FPGA book. The largest inclusion was the section on sequential system performance. I had never been happy with my treatment of that material. After 10 years of trying, I came up with a more acceptable description of clocking and timing in the FPGA book and I am now bringing it back to VLSI. I included material on busses, Rent's Rule, pipelining, and hardware description languages. I also borrowed some material on FPGAs themselves to flesh out that treatment from the third edition. An increasing number of designs include FPGA fabrics to add flexibility; FPGAs also make good design projects for VLSI classes. Material on IP-based design is presented at several levels of hierarchy: gates, subsystems, and architecture.
As part of this update, I eliminated the CAD chapter from this edition because I finally decided that such detailed treatment of many of the CAD tools is not strictly necessary. I also deleted the chapter on chip design.
Chip design has changed fundamentally in the past 20 years since I started to work on this book. Chip designers think less about rectangles and more about large blocks. To reflect this shift, I added a new chapter on system-on-chip design. Intellectual property is a fundamental fact of life in VLSI designeither you will design IP modules or you will use someone else's IP modules.
In addition to changing the chapters themselves, I also substantially revised the problems at the end of each chapter. These new problems better reflect the new material and they provide new challenges for students.
While I was at it, I also made some cosmetic changes to the book. I changed the typesetting to use the same format for left- and right-hand pages, an unfortunate necessity with today's tools. I also added margin headersthose phrases you see on the left-hand margin.
Wayne Wolf Atlanta, Georgia