Electronics engineers routinely use printed circuit boards at the SSI, or small-scale integration level, with things like parity encoders and field programmable gate array (FPGA) programming holding no secrets.
However, PCB design goes way beyond mobile phones and digital remotes. With practically every area of life now dependent on printed circuit boards, from motor cars to mobile oil rigs, large-scale miniaturization and complex microcircuitry is the norm. And this is where the specialized world of VLSI design comes in. VLSI stands for Very Large Scale Integration, i.e. the act of combining thousands of semiconductor operations into one microchip.
VLSI design dates back to the 1970s, and many people consider the first two letters obsolete, as complex microsystem design is today the norm. A whole science has grown up around the art of cramming as many logic devices as possible into the smallest possible area. Once, micro-transistors the size of a full-stop were big enough news to make the front page headlines. Now, PCB layout technicians routinely use them as part of their job.
Digital technology has taken off on a vertical flight path in recent years. We live in a world of state-of-the-art everything: digital 3D television; digital SLR cameras; programmable washing machines … we won’t even get started on the subject of motor cars, but all these devices and more rely on skilled, specially trained engineers versed in high speed PCB design and complex VLSI layouts.
VLSI is not an easy skill to acquire. However, it’s a necessary one for anyone involved with electronic hardware design or manufacture. We at Enventure Technologies offer a full range of PCB design services – however complex you want your VLSI designs to be.