Design of Electronic Circuits
Fall, Spring
Technical Elective for ECE
Catalog Data: 

ECE 304a -- Design of Electronic Circuits  (4 units)
Description:  Integrated theory and design laboratory course. Current mirrors, active loads, multi-stage amplifiers, output stages, frequency response, and feedback with emphasis on design, simulations of design and laboratory verification, measurement techniques, and technical communications.
Grading: Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
Typical structure:  3 hours laboratory, 3 hours lecture.
Usually offered:  Fall and Spring.

ECE 351C

Microelectronic Circuits, Sixth Edition, by Adel S. Sedra and  Kenneth C. Smith, Oxford University Press, 2010.
Schematic Capture with Cadence PSpice, 2nd Edition, by Marc E. Herniter, Prentice Hall, 2002.

Course Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Design and Analysis:
    Students completing this course should be able to design and use basic analog building blocks and understand how they interact using the operational amplifier as an example. The emphasis in the lectures is on developing recognition of the interplay between large-signal and small-signal behavior, on learning the constraints each place on the other, and upon using multiple stages to circumvent these problems. Specifically, students should be able to: 
       Design a current mirror to meet specified compliance voltage, AC ripple requirements, etc. 
       Design differential amplifiers using active or resistive loads to meet large-signal swing and 
       small-signal gain specifications
       Design output stages to meet power delivery, efficiency and heating specifications
       Relate capacitance in devices to the frequency performance of circuits, including the Miller effect
       Use multiple stages (like the cascode, or voltage follower input and output stages) to avoid 
       frequency limitations 
       Design a cascade of differential amplifiers that meets large signal and gain requirements
       Use the methods of open- and short-circuit time constants to estimate bandwidth 
       Determine the loop gain of a feedback amplifier using return ratio
       Determine the loaded gain of a feedback amplifier using two-ports
       Design the four types of amplifier (voltage, current, transconductance and
       transresistance), based upon two-port  theory and T -section resistor feedback networks
       Relate feedback to frequency performance and stability using Bode plots 
       Design a stable circuit using Miller compensation 
       Design circuits to work for a range of device parameter variations
    Appraisal is accomplished through five exams through the semester, and one final comprehensive exam.
    The main objective of the laboratory portion of this course is to assign basic, open-ended design projects in a laboratory setting. The laboratory projects put into practice the techniques learned in analog circuit lectures.  However, the emphasis in the laboratory is on a working circuit, which requires troubleshooting, using measuring instruments, and dealing with non-ideal, real world circumstances. Examples of real-world problems are pickup noise (like stray 60Hz bench noise), circuit parasitics (like stray capacitance and resistive connections), heating, poor connections, and unknown device behavior (due, for instance, to manufacturing tolerances and temperature variations). Students completing the course should be able to: 
        Build working  circuit prototypes 
        Test and troubleshoot a prototype 
        Keep lab notebooks using standards required for use in a patent dispute
        Write clear technical reports that meet professional standards 
        Use a variety of measurement instruments and techniques 
        Work closely with a colleague
    Appraisal is accomplished through grading of lab notebooks and lab reports.
    The use of paper-and-pencil design always is employed in analyzing the circuits of this course. However, it is also an objective of the course to make students realize that software tools can greatly aid in exploring design alternatives and in extending the understanding of how designs work. EXCEL is used to graphically visualize complex expressions of hand analysis, and PSPICE is used as a design tool, with emphasis on exploring the effect of varying various circuit parameters upon the design, and the utility of using formulas from hand analysis for component values in PSPICE simulations.
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

3 hours laboratory and 3 hours lecture per week
Weekly Quizzes
Exam 1: Covers current mirrors, active loads and differential amplifiers. (~11 lectures)
Exam 2: Covers feedback, compensation and stability and amplifier design. (~10 lectures)
Final Exam: This exam is cumulative and, in addition to the material already cited, covers output stages, data-converters and wave-shaping circuits. (~10 lectures

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

a)  an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (High)
b)  an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret
     data (High)
c)  an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within
     realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical,
     health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability (High)
d)  an ability to function on multi-disciplinary terms (Low)
e)  an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (Medim)
g)  an ability to communicate effectively (Low)
k)  an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary
     for engineering practice. (High)

Prepared by: 
Dr. D. F. Cox
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering