Introduction to Communications
Fall, Spring
Required for ECE
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. Special exam: course may be taken by special exam for credit (not for grade). Usually offered: Fall and Spring

ECE 320A

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

Course Learning Outcomes: 

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


1.       Obtain Fourier Series for periodic signals; sketch the magnitude and phase spectra for periodic signals and identify the discrete frequency components.

2.       Obtain Fourier Transform for Non-periodic signals and use it to sketch magnitude and phase spectra.

3.  Use Fourier Transform theorems to describe frequency-domain effects of specific operations in the time-domain (such as, time-shift, scaling, convolution, etc.). 

4.  Compute the Fourier transform and the energy/power spectral density of communications signals.

5.       Calculate the bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio of a signal at the output of a linear time-invariant system given the signal and the power spectral density of the noise at the input of the system.

6.       Explain the operation of amplitude and angle modulation systems in both the time and frequency domains including plotting the magnitude spectra and computing the power and bandwidth requirements of each type of signal.

7.       Design a basic analog or digital communications system including:

a.       the selection of a digital or analog modulation format

b.      the block-diagram design of a transmitter for the system,

c.       the block-diagram design of a super heterodyne receiver for the system,

d.      the design of a time or frequency division multiplexing scheme, as appropriate

e.      the choice of an appropriate pulse shape and analog to digital converter (if needed) to meet performance requirements.

8.       Evaluate a given analog or digital communications system in terms of the complexity of the required transmitters/receivers and the power/bandwidth requirements of the system.




Course Topics: 

1.       Signals: Fourier Series and Fourier Transform, Parseval’s Theorem (20%).

2.       Systems: Linearity, causality, time-invariance, Filtering, Convolution, Energy and Power Spectral Density, Bandwidth and Rise Time (15%).

3.       Amplitude Modulation: AM Radio, TV, Superheterodyne Receivers, FDM (15%).

4.       Angle Modulation: FM Radio, Stereo, Bandwidth (10%).

5.       Sampling and PCM: Sampling Theorem, Pulse-Code Modulation, Quantization (20%).

6.       Basic Digital Communications: Line Coding, Pulse Shaping, TDM, Carrier Modulation (20%). 


Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Three 50-minute lecture sessions per week.

Approximately 10 homework problem sets during semester.

Two in-class examinations plus a final examination.

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 design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs (LOW),



an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (MEDIUM),



an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice (LOW).

Prepared by: 
Tamal Bose
Prepared Date: 
December 4, 2012

University of Arizona College of Engineering