ECE 304A

Design of Electronic Circuits
Fall and spring
Catalog Data: 

ECE 304A - Design of Electronic Circuits (4 units)

Description: Integrated theory and design laboratory course. Current mirrors, active loads, multistage 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

Course Fee: $100

ECE 351C

Sedra, Adel S., and Kenneth C. Smith. Microelectronic Circuits. 7th ed. Oxford University Press, 2015.
Herniter, Marc E. Schematic Capture with Cadence PSpice. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, 2002.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

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:

  1. Design a current mirror to meet specified compliance voltage, AC ripple requirements, and so on
  2. Design differential amplifiers using active or resistive loads to meet large-signal swing and small-signal gain specifications
  3. Design output stages to meet power delivery, efficiency and heating specifications
  4. Relate capacitance in devices to the frequency performance of circuits, including the Miller effect
  5. Use multiple stages (like the cascode, or voltage follower input and output stages) to avoid frequency limitations
  6. Design a cascade of differential amplifiers that meets large signal and gain requirements
  7. Use the methods of open- and short-circuit time constants to estimate bandwidth
  8. Determine the loop gain of a feedback amplifier using return ratio
  9. Determine the loaded gain of a feedback amplifier using two-ports 
  10. Design the four types of amplifier (voltage, current, transconductance and transresistance) based upon two-port theory and T-section resistor feedback networks
  11. Relate feedback to frequency performance and stability using Bode plots
  12. Design a stable circuit using Miller compensation
  13. Design circuits to work for a range of device parameter variations
  14. Build working circuit prototypes
  15. Test and troubleshoot a prototype
  16. Keep lab notebooks using standards required for use in a patent dispute
  17. Write clear technical reports that meet professional standards
  18. Use a variety of measurement instruments and techniques
  19. Work closely with a colleague
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Three 50-minute lectures per week
One 170-minute lab session per week

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

ECE 304A contributes directly to the following specific electrical and computer engineering student outomes of the ECE department:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering (high)
  • Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data (medium)
  • 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)
  • Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams (low)
  • Ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems (medium)
  • Ability to communicate effectively (medium)
  • Ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice (high)
Prepared by: 
Hal Tharp
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering