Thursday, January 15, 2009

VLSI Trainings

Today I am working in a leading EDA industry because of the VLSI design course that I did 8 years back. After finishing my engineering course in 1997, I was working in an engineering industry as a electrical engineer for more than three years. I was not happy about my 'Market Value' and life status and I decided to change my field. I did *PG Diploma inVLSI Design* and got into an VLSI design company. These kind of certified courses are very effective and they change your life too. But one should know how to choose the right VLSI institution and evaluate the worth of the course.

There are so many VLSI institutions offer VLSI design courses in India. Many educational institutions are also into this business. I am not going to rate them. But I would say most of the VLSI institutions are charging heavily and they don’t justify for the same. Here I am highlighting some of the important points that one needs to consider when he chooses the VLSI training institution.

*Course contents:
Please understand that VLSI is not Verilog/VHDL or EDA tools. Course should focus mainly on VLSI design fundamentals, design and verification methodologies and ASIC and FPGA flows. More importantly, it should teach what industries need.

Many of the institutions teach what they know. I would say they simply dump you with all the stuff that they have. Ask few questions and understand the worth of their course.

Sample Questions:
- Are you teaching how to architect the design?
- Can you just brief me about the lab exercises?
- How many days theory and labs?
- Can you differentiate your course from others?
- Please brief about the latest technologies that you are imparting.

Find out the background of faculties that are imparting the course. Experienced engineers who work in the VLSI industries are the right people.

Sample Questions:
- Can you please tell me who is going to teach all the subjects?
- Can you tell me who created the course contents?

*Training methodology/style:
Trainer should explain the concepts by providing the real time examples. Course should be more hands-on and less theoretical. They should follow industry standards for the projects.

* Projects:
The projects that you would be doing as part of the course are the key things. This increases the value of your resume. You can easily differentiate yourself from others by doing industry standard projects. By doing the project, one should be able to understand the complete project cycle and how we can tape out the design as a team.

*Personality Development:
Candidates should be trained and well prepared to face the interviews. Many institutions don't do this. I feel many fresh engineers don’t know how to face the interviews. You know, at the end of the day you should know how to sell yourself and get the job.

*Guest Lectures:
This helps the students to interact with the industrial experts and assimilate the concepts clearly.

*EDA tools:
EDA tools are highly needed to explore what you learn. But it does not mean that you need all EDA tools from all EDA vendors. Some institutions use EDA tools from all the EDA vendors blindly and charge the candidates heavily. Exposure to EDA tools usage is a plus but in industries we do not select candidates based on his EDA tool skills. We focus more on fundamentals and concepts.

It should provide good learning environment with adequate hardware and software.

You really need to get through the written exam and impress the interviewer during face2face interview. To achieve this, all you need is good knowledge and hands-on experience in VLSI. So don't go behind popular VLSI training institutions and certified courses blindly. None of the VLSI industries care about the certificates and institutions.

You can directly reach me at for any more help/information. All the best ...