2021 Wiley-IEEE Press Textbook Award Recipient R. Jacob Baker

Baker photo

For a detailed biography, please visit: http://cmosedu.com/jbaker/jbbio.htm

What is your background? 

I started working as an electrical engineer designing diagnostic test equipment for underground nuclear weapons tests at the Nevada Test Site in 1985. In the early 1990s my focus shifted to integrated circuit design. Concurrently, I started teaching electrical and computer engineering courses in 1991.

What are the most profound changes you have seen in your field across your career? 

The use of simulation tools. When I started working design was done by prototyping a circuit. This entailed sitting at the bench and soldering components together then testing the design. Nobody had a personal computer. Now designs are verified before fabrication using simulation tools. There are too many components, generally, nowadays for a prototype to be soldered together. 

The other thing that has changed is that fewer "new" designs are tried. Nowadays in order to reduce the risk of failure most designs are modified versions of previous designs. Trying something completely new, especially on a product with million dollar prototype costs, is unheard of.

What motivated you to write CMOS: Circuit Design, Layout, and Simulation, 4th Edition?

I wanted a textbook covering CMOS (by far the most common integrated circuit fabrication technology) that integrated design discussions with simulation and layout. I wanted the book to be practical and useful to the working engineer, not just another book on circuit theory.

Who is the primary audience for CMOS: Circuit Design, Layout, and Simulation, 4th Edition?

Working engineers, students that are learning integrated circuit design in undergraduate and graduate courses, and students doing research in chip design.

What are the key challenges this audience faces?

One of the biggest challenges faced nowadays is learning the software tools to do the chip design. The book's companion website, CMOSedu.com, provides supporting material as well as tutorials and examples, based upon material in the book, to help someone learn the various design tools such as Cadence. Hundreds of people from all over the planet use the website daily.