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ECE 6770 Project Ideas

The project portion of the class is intended to reduce to practice at least one of the
theoretical topics discussed in the lectures. Thus some aspect of the lecture material must
be applied in your project.
The project must be of sufficient scope, but be careful not to over commit this part of
the class. The design, if not fabricated, should be implemented in and advanced process
technology - 130nm or lower.
Preferred team size is 2 4 students. Smaller or larger teams are allowed based on project
definitions and scope. Projects can be combined to make a more comprehensive design. For
instance, a low power microcontroller project could be combined with an MPEG decoder
project to form a larger and more interesting design.
This year we have the support of ON Semiconductor! They will be providing mentorship
for some of the projects, and perhaps even an award for the best project in the class! We
would like to thank them for their support.
Following is a list of project ideas. Feel free to pick one of these or select one of your
own choosing. Combining this with other aspects of your education are okay. For example,
if your masters project is defined, you can develop part of that work as a project in this
class. Also be sure and look at the class project to get an idea of what other students have
implemented in the past.

ON Semiconductor Supported Projects


(others may apply as well)
Delta-Sigma Converters
Automatic Gain Control Buffer Analog/Digital
Single wire interface clock included with the data
Encryption Engine
DSP Application signal filtering and differentiation
Real World interfaces (sense analog, process analog/digital, display/communicate
digital) Audio, Visual, etc.
Verification methods for mixed-signal VLSI designs (system level approach, analog
modeling)
Design for Test methods with mixed-signal systems
JTAG interface
High-speed communications interface I2C, SPI, Serial Interface (RS232)
USB interface
1

Low noise methods


Extreme low power digital design (sub-threshold logic)
Analog control sample, correction, trim (binary search)

Custom Design / Technology Studies


Simple MIPS/ARM ISA processor with dynamic power management techniques
Study designs and tradeoffs of different dynamic power management methods for data
paths.
Low power (static and dynamic) cache design (with dynamic or static Vt / Vdd scaling)
Multi-Vdd microcontroller design with voltage converters.
Dual Vt DTCMOS microcontroller design for high performance and low leakage power
microcontroller with dynamic voltage and frequency scaling
Asynchronous micro controller datapath
Asynchronous FIFOs for interfacing between clock frequencies
GALS (Globally Asynchronous Locally Synchronous) SoC or processor
NoC relay controllers for high bandwidth and low latency
Adiabatic datapath design
Current based voltage sensor and control for PLLs
High speed arithmetic coprocessor or datapath using advanced logic family such as
Domino or pass gate logic.
New clocking schemes (rotary clocks, resonant clocking, etc.)
Library design issues - low variation, low power, function diversity issues.
Timing flow and closure issues - Datapaths that detect timing failures

IP Blocks
Encryption chip for the Advanced Encryption Standard (Rijndael algorithm) with selftest upon power-up.
Public key encryption using Montgomery or Galois Field multiplier
Smart proximity card controller that is secure from attack
IP Packet Forwarding engine (possibly with encryption and decryption)
PCI controller for a microcontroller
Ethernet controller for packet transmission/reception and encapsulation/decapsulation.
Viterbi decoder
Game or graphics coprocessor for accelerating graphics rendering
Arithmetic co-processor implementing complex numerical algorithms
Low power high throughput FFT design
MPEG compression / decompression
JPEG encoder / decoder
DSP core with multiple MAC units and VLIW instructions
Application specific processors with ISAs specifically designed for efficient execution of
compression or encryption algorithms
Base band digital signal processing such as JPS, Bluetooth, MIMO

Analog and Other Designs


CDMA encoder/decoder
PLL
DLL
Switched capacitor DAC/ADC
Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO)
Low voltage analog design
Image sensing array with image processor
Reconfigurable computing array