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How to get into the CPU design business?


I'm just out of high school (or the equivalent of high school in my country) and I want to work in the CPU design area. I'm not sure if I should study computer engineering or electronic engineering or something else. I live in Brazil, but I plan moving to Canada after I get my bachelor degree in whatever it takes to work designing silicon chips. I already have some knowledge of programming and electronics, and in 2013 I designed and built a RISC CPU made out of relays, and designed many more CPU's in the past years (most of them being RISC or TTA). Of course high-speed processors are far from relays, and I know they are made using VHDL or some other language, but the key concepts are the same.

Well, getting into CPU design (or chip design in general) is not easy. There are only a handful of companies that design CPUs as such (Intel, AMD, ARM, MIPS, Freescale, TI and few others), to most other companies license a core from ARM or MIPS. There are of course smaller players, but those are rather niche products.

I'd say the best way would be to get a degree in VLSI design, Microelectronics or something like that. Then you need to be proficient with VHDL and Verilog. I guess those would be good prerequisites for getting hired for a junior position in some design company.

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Xenon Photon:
I heard that a master of electrical engineering from a university like the University of Toronto will lead you to Intel or AMD.


--- Quote from: poorchava on October 01, 2015, 05:56:13 pm ---...a degree in VLSI design...
--- End quote ---

I think this is much too narrow and specialized for an undergraduate degree. For a bachelors degree it should be in something like electronics engineering or computer engineering. Later on it may be time to specialize in something like VLSI design, in a Master's or PhD program for example.


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