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This chapter gives a sound introduction to the technologies, tasks and methodologies used to design the layout of an electronic circuit. With this basic design knowledge as a foundation, the subsequent chapters then delve deeper into specific constraints and aspects of physical design, such as semiconductor technologies (Chap. 2 ), interfaces, design rules and libraries (Chap. 3 ), design flows and models (Chap. 4 ), design steps (Chap. 5 ), analog design specifics (Chap. 6 ), and finally reliability measures (Chap. 7 ). In Sect. 1.1, we introduce several of the most common fabrication technologies for electronic systems. The central topic of this book is the physical design of integrated circuits (aka chips, ICs) but hybrid technologies and printed circuit boards (PCBs) are also considered. In Sect. 1.2 of our introduction, we examine in more detail the significance and peculiarities of this related branch of modern electronics—also known as microelectronics. In Sect. 1.3, we then consider the physical design of both integrated circuits and printed circuits boards with a specific emphasis on their primary design steps. After these opening sections, we close the introductory chapter in Sect. 1.4 by presenting our motivation for this book and describing the organization of the chapters that follow.
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