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Edit: Apparently this has replaced Weste and Eshraghian: "CMOS VLSI Design: A Circuits and Systems Perspective (4th Edition)" by Weste and Harris https://www.amazon.com/CMOS-VLSI-Design-Circuits-Perspective...

Weste and Eshraghian was (and may still be) the Bible for a very long time: https://www.amazon.com/Principles-CMOS-VLSI-Design-Perspecti...

It's a lot newer (and nicer) than most other references.

I would avoid Mead and Conway because it's really dated. It's not wrong, but a beginner won't know which parts to skip.

If you're looking for something about VLSI layout design, "The Art of Analog Layout (2nd Edition)" by Hastings would be the choice: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Analog-Layout-2nd/dp/0131464108/r...

The complete beginner should start with Harris & Harris "Digital Design and Computer Architecture" (David Harris is one of "CMOS VLSI Design" authors), it provides a gentle introduction into the underlying physics but focuses more on the logic of the whole endeavor, i.e. how to get from transistors to CPUs.

Looks like there's a 2nd ed (mips based?) and an "arm edition" (more recent?) of the same title by the same authors. Online reviews are sparse, wonder which is better now?

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