Introduction to Communications
Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
Catalog Data: 

ECE 340A -- Introduction to Communications (3 units)

Description: Analysis and design of analog and digital communication systems based on Fourier analysis. Topics include linear systems and filtering, power and energy spectral density, basic analog modulation techniques, quantization of analog signals, line coding, pulse shaping, AM and FM modulation, digital carrier modulation, and transmitter and receiver design concepts. Applications include AM and FM radio, television, digital communications, and frequency-division and time-division multiplexing.

Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E

ECE 320A

Lathi, B.P. and Zhi Ding. Modern Digital and Analog Communication Systems. 4th ed. Oxford University Press. 2009.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the major signal types and obtain their key properties such as energy, power, correlation, cross-correlation, auto-correlation.
  2. Obtain Fourier Series for periodic signals
  3. Sketch the magnitude and phase spectra for periodic signals and identify the discrete frequency components.
  4. Obtain Fourier Transform for aperiodic signals and use it to sketch magnitude and phase spectra.
  5. Use Fourier Transform theorems to describe frequency-domain effects of specific operations in the time-domain (such as, time-shift, scaling, convolution, etc.).
  6. Calculate the bandwidth and the signal-to-noise ratio of a signal at the output of a linear time-invariant system.
  7. Explain the operation of amplitude and angle modulation systems in both the time and frequency domains.
  8. Sketch the magnitude spectra and compute the bandwidth and power requirements for such signals.
  9. Evaluate a given analog or digital communication system in terms of the complexity of the transmitters and receivers and the power and bandwidth requirements of the system.
  10. Design a basic analog or digital communications system that can include:
    • the selection of a digital or analog modulation format
    • the block diagram design of a transmitter for the system
    • the block diagram design of a superheterodyne receiver for the system
    • the design of a time or frequency division multiplexing scheme, as appropriate, and
    • the choice of an appropriate pulse shape and A/D converter to meet the performance requirements.
Course Topics: 
  • Review of basic signals, signal classification, Fourier series and discrete spectra, Fourier transform and properties (5 lectures)
  • Signal transmission through a linear system, Ideal low pass filters, Energy and Power signals, energy and power spectral density (4 lectures)
  • Amplitude modulation (AM), DSB AM, Bandwidth efficient AM, Frequency division multiplexing (4 lectures)
  • Angle modulation, relationships between Phase modulation and Frequency modulation, Generation of FM signals, demodulation techniques, Nonlinear distortion, FM broadcast system (4 lectures)
  • Sampling theory and analog/digital conversion, quantization techniques, Pulse coded modulation (PCM), Digital multiplexing, Differential PCM, Video compression (6 lectures)
  • Digital communication systems, line coding, pulse shaping, scrambling, PAM, Digital carrier systems, M-ary digital carrier modulation (6 lectures)
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Two, 75-minute lectures per week

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

ECE 340 contributes directly to the following specific Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Program Outcomes of the ECE department:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering (High)
  • an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems (Medium)
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (Low)
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice (Low)
Prepared by: 
Dr. Ravi Tandon, Dr. Tamal Bose
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering