Course Title: EE 315 Introduction to Electronic Analysis & Design
ABET Course Description: This course focuses on properties of diodes, bipolar transistors, FET and operational amplifiers, analysis of DC and AC small-signal operation and circuit models for the design and analysis of electronic circuits.
Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze circuits containing op amps, resistors, and capacitors
  2. Use op amps to design amplifiers having precise characteristics
  3. Understand the operation of the PN junction, diodes, MOSFET transistors, and bipolar junction transistors (BJTs)
  4. Understand how the voltage between two terminals of the transistor controls the current that flows through the third terminal and the equations that describe these current-voltage characteristics.
  5. Analyze and design circuits that contain transistors (MOSFET and BJT), resistors, and dc sources
  6. Make an amplifier using a transistor

Required Text:

  • Sedra, A., et. al. (2020). Microelectronic Circuits (8th ed.) Oxford University Press. New York.

Suggested Resources: (I use these materials/resources frequently…)

  • Irwin, J. D., & Nelms, R. M. (2020). Basic engineering circuit analysis. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Jaeger, R. C., & Blalock, T. N. (1997). Microelectronic circuit design 3rd New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Wilamowski, B. M., & Irwin, J. D. (2018). Fundamentals of industrial electronics. CRC Press.
  • Horowitz, P., Hill, W., & Robinson, I. (1989). The art of electronics (2nd ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge university press.
  • TI-89 Calculator (Or equivalent ACT-approved calculator i.e. TI-Nspire CAS)
  • MATLAB, Octave, SciPy/NumPy
  • LTSPICE or similar SPICE software

Additional References:

  • Roberge, J. K. (1975). Operational amplifiers: theory and practice (Vol. 197). New York: Wiley.
  • Carter, B., & Mancini, R. (2002). Op Amps for everyone. Texas Instruments.
  • Pease, R. (1991). Troubleshooting analog circuits. Newnes.

Co-requisites: EE 316 (Electric Circuits & Electronic Design Lab) concurrent or after
Prerequisites: Directly - EE 213 (Electric Circuit Analysis I), Latently - Linear Algebra, Calculus, Differential Equations, Chemistry I, Physics II, Logic Circuits

A note on prereq material: Electronics courses build heavily on previously mastered skills acquired through significant practice in regards to pre-engineering STEM courses and electronic circuit analysis. There can be growing pains as developing engineers transition from demonstrating prereq knowledge in their respective prereq courses and actually applying the prereq knowledge to design and analyze real-world electronic circuits. Some additional thoughts (tutorial support) that may help with ‘connecting the dots’ between undergraduate circuits-related courses and first-time, university-level electronics courses can be found here.

Suggested ‘second-nature’ skills from prerequisite courses:

  1. Basic engineering mathematics:

solving systems of equations, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, complex numbers, rational functions, complex exponential-sinusoidal function relationship

  1. Using Ohm’s law to find a desired current, voltage or impedance.
  2. I-V Curves for voltage sources, current sources and resistors.
  3. Identifying circuit loops to apply KVL to obtain an expression of an unknown voltage.
  4. Identifying circuit nodes to apply KCL to obtain an expression of an unknown current.
  5. Mesh and nodal analysis
  6. Using voltage/current dividers that result in expressions of desired, unknown quantities.
  7. Recognizing elements in series/parallel and collapsing them into a simplier equivalent circuit.
  8. Thévenin & Norton equivalent circuits.
  9. Time-domain/transient RC circuits.
  10. Laplace transforms (notions for frequency-domain RC circuits).

Dr. Beal’s Course Statement: This first electronics course builds on circuits theory to provide useful circuits from operational amplifiers, diodes and transistors.
Dr. Beal’s Course Description: Electronics are often designed using a hierarchical methodology. This notion implies that simple, fundamental circuits may be combined to create intricate arrangements that perform sophisticated tasks. Honestly, the practice seems overwhelming for anyone who isn’t familiar with these building blocks. This course is about those building blocks. Simple component configurations can stacked, cascaded, cascoded, nested, and otherwise cleverly arranged to useful, creative, and even surprising effect. Most of the journey starts with voltage dividers, Kirchhoff’s laws, and frequency-dependent elements (capacitors and inductors). If a student can gain fluency with these skills, the study of most op amp circuits can be reasonably straight forward. Next, semiconductors are studied. Solid-state physics models provide intuition towards the microscopic operation of PN junctions, diodes and transistors. Semiconductors included as circuit elements translate these ‘micro-level’ behaviors into ‘macro-level’ observations via bulk quantities like current, voltage, resistance, capacitance, etc. As a result, many indispensable circuits like rectifiers, logic gates and amplifiers may be designed. These new circuit elements provide an introduction to nonlinear elements. Sometimes, nonlinear effects can be linearized. Other instances lead to bugs or features with interesting consequences and new applications. My main goal for this course is to give students a balance of theory, examples, and practical circuits such that they can build high-quality and creative electronics solutions using resistors, capacitors, op amps, diodes and transistors. I generally assign around 7-10 homework assignments (with solutions), give 2 midterm exams (with old exams, solutions, practice material, etc.), and a comprehensive final exam. When possible, I try to build and/or simulate particularly interesting or challenging hardware examples to share with the class.
Some exciting questions we can answer:

  1. What is the difference between a circuits class and an electronics class?
  2. What can I build using operational amplifiers?
  3. How do diodes work?
  4. How do transistors work?
  5. What can semiconductors do for me?
  6. How do frequency, noise and power limit electronic designs?
  7. What can feedback systems do for me?
  8. What circuits are used to build an operational amplifer?
  9. If positive feedback is unstable, when can it be useful?
  10. How can I transform a capacitor into an inductor?
  11. What compels talented designers to throw computers from rooftops?

Threads and themes for my electronics course:

  1. Nearly all complex circuits are built out of simple design patterns that compound to make something sophisticated.
  2. Analogies for established patterns (i.e. non-ideal gain is similar to parallel resistors)
  3. When possible, build it! (Breadboard, PCB, Dead bug, Sculpture, Wire wrap, Protoboard)
  4. Feedback often improves designs.
  5. Real-world signals are analog, even the digital ones.
  6. Positive feedback leads to many interesting circuits and solves many practical problems.
  7. Circuits behave in both time-domain AND frequency-domain.
  8. Numerical simulations (yes, SPICE) can and will LIE to you.
  9. Inverters → Logic Gates → Digital Latches/Memory
  10. Progression of Comparators → Schmitt Triggers → Relaxation Oscillators (Astable Multivibrators) → One-shot Circuits (Monostable Multivibrators) → Analog Latching Memory
  11. Active circuits can be used to transform and even synthesize new elements.

Notional Schedule of Topics & Assignments:

Meeting Topics Covered Course Objectives
Prereq Review HW 0
Module 01: Introduction & Circuit Review HW 1
Lec. 01: Introduction, circuits, signals & systems Analyze circuits
Examples, discrete vs. integrated, signal chains
Lec. 02: Signals & Amplifiers I Analyze circuits
Hierarchy, fundamentals review
Lec. 03: Signals & Amplifiers II Analyze circuits
Module 02: Ideal Operational Amplifiers HW 2
Lec. 04: Ideal Op Amps I Analyze circuits
Inverting, noninverting, difference, & inst. amplifiers
Lec. 05: Ideal Op Amps II Analyze circuits
Filters, integrators, differentiators
Lec. 06: Practical Op Amp Potpourri Design circuits
Practically motivated, nonobvious op amp circuits
Module 03: Nonideal Operational Amplifiers HW 3
Lec. 07: Nonideal Op Amps I Op amp parameters
Gain error, bandwidth, input/output resistance
Lec. 08: Nonideal Op Amps II Op amp parameters
D.C. offset, offset current, slew rate
Module 04: Semiconductors & PN Junctions HW 4
Lec. 09: Semiconductors I Understand PN Junc
Lec. 10: Semiconductors II Understand PN Junc
Module 05: Diodes & Diode Applications HW 5
Lec. 11: Diodes I Diode Behavior
Nonlinear circuit elements, ideal diodes, first-glance analysis, rectifiers, gates, min/max circuits, superdiodes, SPICE models
Lec. 12: Diodes II Diode Behavior
Constant-voltage diode model, Small-signal diode model, Voltage regulators, Iterating solutions
Lec. 13: Diode Circuits/Apps I Analyze Diode Circ
Lec. 14: Diode Circuits/Apps II Diode Circ Designs
Midterm Exam 01 (around week 7)
Module 06: MOSFETs HW 6
Lec. 15: MOSFETs as devices Analyze Transistors
Lec. 16: MOSFETs as circuit elements Analyze Transistors
Lec. 17: MOSFET Ciruits I Transistor Designs
Lec. 18: MOSFETs Circuits II Transistor Designs
Module 07: BJTs HW 7
Lec. 19: BJTs I Analyze Transistors
Lec. 20: BJTs II Analyze Transistors
Lec. 21: BJT Ciruits I Transistor Designs
Lec. 22: BJT Circuits II Transistor Designs
Module 08: Transistor Amplifiers HW 8
Lec. 23: Transistor Amps I Make Amplifiers
Lec. 24: Transistor Amps II Make Amplifiers
Lec. 25: Transistor Amps III Make Amplifiers
Midterm Exam 02 (usually before a break)
One-week Break (Thanksgiving/Spring)
No Lecture
No Lecture
Lec. 26: Practical & Advanced Topics
Lec. 27: Review (as time permits)
Final Exam (comprehensive)