Blog 5: Back to reality (and exams)

Hi y’all,

let me get the formitality out of the way;) I wish you all a very happy New Year and I hope all your wishes will come true. I hope to see some of you at the TU Delft at the end of this year, where you have just started your Master Computer Engineering (a man can dream:P). Anyways, the holidays have unfortunately ended and I’m back to reality. But before I talk about reality, let me talk about my holidays:D

Christmas was really nice; first Christmas day I had dinner with my father, brother, sisters and following, and on the second day I travelled all the way to Limburg (south-east of the Netherlands, known for Maastricht probably) to see my family.  New Year’s Eve wasn’t spectacular (however nor am I); I went to some friends and played an old Dutch game called “Sjoelen” (see the picture:)) and afterwards a friend came over and we played some games:) Oh, before that, I made the typical Dutch treat “Oliebollen”, which can be described as a ball of dough, with raisins, fried in oil. They were delicious haha. For the rest: I went to the (Charles) Dickens’ Fest in Deventer, I went ice skating in Rotterdam, I did karting and lasergaming in Den Haag.S490000-1-Sjoelbak-voor-senioren

(Old Dutch game “Sjoelen”. Get the stones in one of the 4 holes (2, 3, 4, 1 points respectively))


(Oliebollen (not the ones I made unfortunately:())

That was the fun stuff; as I’ve told you, university stuff needed to be done as well. On average, I spent 2 hours per day on that stuff (excluding Christmas and New Year). I am quite proud I was actually able to keep doing that for 2 weeks:P, and with the progress I’ve made. The whole first week I have spent on the Digital IC design project; at the end of the holidays we had all the cells except the delay element, although the counter wasn’t fully functional yet. I have also spent some time on the Systems Design lab; at the end of the holidays it wasn’t quite finished yet, but some progress has been made. One day I have spent on my essay; I read it through, and made some drastic changes and it is a bit better now:) I worked a bit on the Performance Analysis homework, however I didn’t finish it completely.

So far the holidays, so long my friend. I already have undergone another week of university stuff:P This past week my focus was primarily on the IC design project (which resulted in 4 days of at least 4 hours working in the lab room with my colleague), since the deadline of the midterm report was last Friday. We finished the design of the cells; we changed the counter design (old design couldn’t be asynchronously resetted) and we have decided to use an inverter as the delay element. Unfortunately, the design we had first chosen had a maximum possible resolution of around 16 ps (a TDC measures the time between 2 pulses, a start and a stop. The resolution is the smallest amount of time it can measure). This would fulfill the requirement of 30 ps, but according the the teacher, people from last years achieved resolutions of around 2 to 10 ps. Therefore we have worked on a second design which can achieve a resolution between 2 to 5 ps. This cost us a good 2 days. The rest of the time we have spent working on simulations and writing the midterm report. I am quite happy with our progress so far, however quite some work lies ahead still. The good thing, though, is that now I understand what our design will be, I am actually having some fun doing this project!:)

I have also spent some more time on de System Design lab. It is almost finised, however I’m having a weird result, which I have asked/mailed the teacher about. After that is resolved, all that there is left to do is to compile a report for the oral exam. I also finished the Performance Analysis homework (5th and 6 assignment), so I’m done with those homework assignments:D Lastly, last Friday I handed in my Essay. I reread it once more, and changed a few small things and then I handed it in. I’m hoping for at least a pass, possibly a high pass, meaning this part is finally finished:)

Coming week I have nothing planned, which means I can prepare for my exams. I have the oral exam for System Design on Tuesday the 19th of January, the Performance Analysis Exam on Friday the 22nd of January and the IC Design exam on Wednesday the 27th of January. The oral exam consists of 15 minutes answering questions about the material, 10 minutes of presenting an idea of a paper and 5 minutes discussing the lab.I still have to prepare the first 2 parts. For IC Design I already studied some material, but I still have to study it carefully. The same goes for Performance Analysis. A lot of studying to do the next 3 weeks;) Coming week I will focus mainly on System Design and a bit on Performance Analysis. Next week, after the Oral exam, I will focus on P.A.. The week after will be fully for IC Design. I still need to work on the IC Design project inbetween though.

That’s it for now, thanks for reading:) I hope to be back with my next blog the weekend after my exams. Wish me good luck:)! Cheers!

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