VLSI – The Global Revolution

VLSI is an abbreviation for Very Large Scale Integration and refers to a major breakthrough in the field of electronics when millions of transistors started to be integrated onto single chips. Today, VLSI is one of the world’s leading industries, still continuing to grow. VLSI internship in Bangalore is offered by major VLSI companies who are looking to hire graduates interested in the field.

The first integrated circuit was designed with two transistors on one chip. Later, multiple transistors were fit on one chip. Multiple connections started taking too much space on the chip; this led the designers to begin multi-layering on the chip. But all these connections were discrete in nature. The main disadvantage of discrete design was poor reliability. Frequent loose connections, heating problems, high humidity, and corrosion were ill effects of such design.

To mitigate these problems monolithic integration was introduced. Monolithic integration of many functions on a single chip usually provided the following advantages.

  • Reduction in size/volume and hence compactness
  • Higher speed due to a decrease in length of interconnects
  • Higher reliability due to improved interconnects
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Less testing requirements at system level
  • Comparatively meager costs

VLSI emerged in the 1970s when semiconductors and transistors were introduced. The first device to be used in electronics was the vacuum tube. Soon after, the first transistor was invented at Bell Laboratory in the late 1940s.  The late 50s saw the invention of the first Integrated Circuit (IC), a JK-FF, by Jack Kilby at TI. In the early 60s, Small Scale Integration (SSI) led to integrating 10s of transistors on a chip. The late 60s gave way to Medium Scale Integration (MSI), where 100s of transistors were integrated on a single chip. In the early 70s, Large Scale Integration (LSI) allowed 1000s of transistors on a single chip. The early 80s was when VLSI emerged as a technology, integrating 10,000s of transistors on a chip.  Later 100,000s and now 1,000,000s of transistors were integrated on one chip. Sometimes, the term Ultra LSI (ULSI) was used for 1,000,000s of transistors but was dropped later.

Today, integration of more than a billion transistors on a single chip has been made possible. VLSI technology has brought incredible benefits to our life ever since it began. The term VLSI and the question of how so many transistors can be put on a single chip may still not be understood by a person with no experience in the field. However, VLSI circuits are used simply everywhere. Microprocessors in a personal computer, chips in a graphics card or a digital camera, memory cards in a cell phone, and embedded processors in a vehicle are all everyday examples of where VLSI is used. VLSI involves many phases of design and fabrication of integrated circuits. For the design of a commercial chip, the steps involved are system definition, architecture design and optimization, RTL coding, simulation and verification, synthesis, placement and routing, timing analyses and device fabrication. The last step usually involves wafer processing, die preparation and packaging & testing of the IC.

VLSI internship companies in Bangalore are many in number. You can look up their websites and intern in their companies for a great job experience!