Date of Award

Spring 1998

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The evolution of Computer Aided Design (CAD) calls for the incorporation of design specifications into a microelectronics system development cycle. This expansion requires the establishment of a new generation of CAD procedures, defined as Very High Level Logic Synthesis (VHLLS). The fundamental characteristics of open-ended VHLLS are: (1) front-end graphical interface; (2) time encapsulation; and (3) automatic translation into a behavioral description. Consequently, the VHLLS paradigm represents an advanced category of CAD-based microelectronics system design, built on a deep usage of expert systems and intelligent methods. Artificial Intelligence (AI) formalisms such as Knowledge Representation System (KRS) are necessary to model properties related to the very high level of specification such as: dealing with ambiguities and inconsistencies, reasoning, computing high-level specification, etc. A prototype VHLLS design suite, called Specification Procedure for Electronic Circuits in Automation Language (SPECIAL), is defined, compared with today's commercial tools and verified using numerous design examples. As a result, a new family of formal and accelerated development methodologies has become feasible with a better understanding of formalized knowledge driving these design processes.