A new course that teaches the principles of integrated circuits and silicon chips to engineers brought up on printed circuit boards, uses the Internet to teach its pupils.
The course is run by Bolton Institute, a college appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry to be a microelectronics support centre.
With fees of nearly £10,000, it is more expensive than the average but the cost includes a PC with a Pentium processor, ISDN line and card, and chip design software, all of which the student keeps at the end of the course.
‘Our target market is electronic design engineers who already know how to design circuits,’ says Roy Attwood, the course coordinator . ‘Electronics is moving so fast you can’t just sit back, but at the same time you can’t afford time out on a release course.
‘Engineers who come to us will have a design that uses traditional components, but they want to use application specific integrated circuits or a new device.’
Tuition via the Internet gives engineers with degrees in electronics and electrical engineering the chance to learn outside work and to keep learning if they move location. Lecturers are available via e-mail. The course has been developed with Philips Semiconductors, GEC Plessey Semiconductors and others.