EE3C11 Electronics

Topics: Electronic circuit design
An electronic circuit designer needs to connect two quite different disciplines: network theory and device physics. It all starts with the description of the functionality of the circuit that is prescribed by the end user. The requirements are described in terms like "required SNR and bandwidth" or "maximum allowable power consumption" etc... The first step towards physical hardware is the translation of these requirements into an electrical network that shows the required behavior. Electrical networks are composed of ideal theoretical components like nullors and have nothing to do with physics, but are an excellent means to specify the optimal circuit topology. This part of electronic design, which uses strict systematic design methods, could maybe better be called "applied network theory". The other part of electronics is dominated by the laws of device physics. The electronic components that can be realized in hardware form a subset of the components used in network theory and their performance and accuracy is restricted in many ways. Obviously, the limitations of the electronic components has a large impact on the final circuit design. It is the task of the electronic designer to design the ideal network and then to translate (morph) it into a physical realization that comes as close as possible to the ideal. This practical circuit result is then called "optimal" because it exploits the potential of a device technology to the maximum. A professional designer is fully aware of the flaws and limitations because of the mismatch between the collection of ideal components available in network theory and the smaller collection of practical components available in the physical world.

Device models play an important role in the translation of an ideal electrical network into an electronic circuit. These models contain parts that match the required ideal network theoretical behavior and parts that model the physical limitations. Electronic design is basically nothing more than finding the optimal electrical network that meets the system requirements and then translating it into a network that is physically realizable by gradually refining the models models used and keeping the influence of non-idealities that are introduced to a minimum in the process. It is important for professional designers to understand the physical background of the device models to be able to estimate the accuracy and the stability of the parameters. In the end this gives the expected performance of the circuit in the real physical world. It also gives clues for further technology improvement. It is important to know which parameters are most dominant in restricting the circuit performance. It is needed to select the technology that is best suited to meet all requirements or prove that the requirements are beyond (present) physical limits.

This course introduces the knowledge and methods to bridge the gap between abstract system requirements and physical circuits and components in both directions. It deals with device physics leading to understanding of transistor models and a systematic design methodology to come from a system requirement to an optimal practical circuit. The course concentrates on the physical description of the most relevant transistors (bipolar and MOS based) and the application of their device model to the design of negative feedback amplifiers and oscillators.

Teachers Chris Verhoeven

Design methodology for Analog Electronics, electronics for nano satellites, electronics for (swarm) robots

Rene van Swaaij

Last modified: 2016-02-24


Credits: 5 EC
Period: 0/0/6/0
Contact: Chris Verhoeven