Integrated Circuit Design

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Contribute to the advancement of modern electronics, designing chips that redefine connectivity, sustainability, and energy efficiency.

Integrated circuits, also called chips, make the world we are living in. The Internet, medical equipment, and communication devices wouldn’t exist without chips. At the same time, there is a pressing need to make them smaller, more powerful, and more energy-efficient. The design phase in chips is the blueprint for their functionality, performance, and reliability, influencing all technological applications that rely on chips. If you want to innovate the design of CMOS analogue or radio frequency integrated circuits, such as wireless receivers, transmitters, analogue-to-digital or digital-to-analogue converters, the specialisation in Integrated Circuit Design is a fantastic opportunity for you. You will join one of the world’s leading groups in the analogue and radio frequency domains.

“You are like an architect of a building. You will invent new circuit architectures that industries can use for better circuits. You will learn to design chips, which are the fundamental building blocks of all modern electronic devices: from consumer electronics like smartphones to more sophisticated systems used in MRI scans or self-driving cars."

Prof. Dr. Ir. Bram Nauta, distinguished professor and programme mentor Integrated Circuit Design

What is Integrated Circuit Design?

The essence of the specialisation in Integrated Circuit Design is to design electric circuits at the transistor level. As the transistor is an elementary block, you can change its properties and combine them to make something functional, such as a wireless receiver. A central approach in the specialisation is coming up with novel solutions. If something goes wrong in a complex circuit, how can you fix it? You will participate in different projects, namely designing a system-on-chip and simulating circuits on a computer. Also, you will learn to design basic circuits like operational amplifiers used, for example, to amplify microphone signals. You can focus on analogue integrated circuits or radio frequency integrated circuits. If you are interested in both, you can combine them by choosing elective courses.

Examples of courses you will follow within this specialisation:
  • Learn to design a mixed-signal system-on-chip and do computer simulations to predict its performance in the course System-on-Chip Design.
  • In the course Advanced Analogue IC Electronics, you will learn to implement analogue circuits, using CMOS or BiCMOS integrated circuit technology, and analyse their performance limitations.
  • How can you select an appropriate analogue-to-digital architecture for a given set of performance specifications? Explore this and more in the course A/D Converters.

Thanks to the on-campus community of research groups and high-tech companies that focus on the integration of systems for chips, you will be able to participate in novel research projects. Also, you will learn by doing. For example, in our Radio Frequency Lab, you can measure jitter and phase noise to maintain strong frequency stability in an electronic circuit. What’s more, our partnership with NXP, Bruce Integrated Circuits, Axign, and ItoM will expand your internship and master’s thesis opportunities in analogue, radio frequency, and mixed-signal integrated circuits.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of the Master's in Electrical Engineering with a specialisation in Integrated Circuit Design, you have acquired specific scientific knowledge, skills, and values that will help you in your future career.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have a comprehensive understanding of the analysis and design of electronic systems tailored for implementation on chips;
    • have the necessary knowledge to design analogue, radio frequency, or digital electronic systems at a functional level;
    • have an in-depth knowledge of designing analogue and radio frequency electronic circuits at the transistor level.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can design an analogue or radio frequency integrated circuit based on specifications;
    • can derive these circuit specifications from the system level;
    • can design, simulate, and lay out analogue or radio frequency circuits at the transistor level.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • understand the societal context of your work;
    • understand how the chip ecosystem works, both globally and locally;
    • understand how to collaborate with other disciplines to solve societal challenges.


In this video, Bram Nauta, Programme Mentor and Chair of the Integrated Circuit Design group, along with Maryam Dodengeh, PhD Researcher, and Luc van Dijk, Master Student, share insights into their experiences, the courses offered in the programme, research initiatives, the chip design process, applications of their work, and job prospects.

Other specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better.

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