Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Salvatore PENNISI

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide advanced knowledge on analog and mixed-signal electronic circuits in CMOS technology and mixed Bipolar / CMOS in low-frequency applications. Furthermore, during the course there will be numerical, computer and experimental exercises aimed at consolidating the topics and techniques dealt with during the lectures.

Knowledge and understanding. The student will know the main circuit configurations and the techniques for designing and optimizing the performance parameters of Comparators, Operational and Transconductance Amplifiers, Discrete (continuous-time), and Integrated (continuous-time and sampled-data) Filters and Data Converters. He will have a better knowledge of an environment of simulation and experimental characterization.

Applying knowledge and understanding. The student will be able to understand, analyze and simulate the performance parameters of the studied circuit configurations and basic and advanced analog and mixed-signal blocks present in modern integrated systems. They will also be able to choose the most appropriate circuit configuration for solving design problems. Finally, thanks to the laboratory activities, the student will improve his or her skills in teamwork and problem-solving.

Making judgments. Theoretical training is accompanied by examples, applications, exercises, both practical and theoretical, which accustom the student to make decisions and to be able to judge and predict the effect of his/her choices.

Communication skills. Upon completion of the course, the student is expected to acquire the ability to convey to his / her interlocutors, in a clear and complete way, the knowledge acquired

Learning skills. Upon completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to rework the knowledge to extend it to situations not explicitly dealt with, also being able to learn independently.

Course Structure

The course includes both frontal lessons, numerical exercises and design examples at the simulator (CAD), aimed at putting into practice, developing and consolidating the theoretical contents and the design techniques developed. Seminars will also be held by researchers and designers from industries operating in the micro and nanoelectronics sector.

Required Prerequisites

Knowledge of elements of analog and digital electronics (diode circuits, single transistor stages, differential pair, operational amplifiers, logic gates), feedback theory, linear circuit theory, signal theory (analog and digital).

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not compulsory, but strongly recommended for the activities that will take place in the classroom.

Detailed Course Content

  • From Electronics to Micro and Nano electronics. The semiconductor companies ecosystem. Asics and design steps. IC design flow.
  • Operational amplifiers and feedback. Applications: instrumentation amplifier and for sensors. Effect of finite gain and bandwidth. Op Amps architectures. Output stages. The uA741.
  • Frequency compensation. Harmonic distortion. Noise. Slew Rate.
  • Operational Transconductance Amplifiers (OTAs). Miller OTAs (class A and AB). Folded Cascode OTA. Telescopic OTA etc. Low voltage solutions. Multistage OTAs . Fully differential architectures and common mode control schemes.
  • Comparators. Autozeroed comparators Schmitt Triggers.
  • Filters. Active and passive filters, continuous time and discrete time solutions. First order and second order filters implmented in RLC, Active-RC, Switched-Capacitor, Gm-C and MOSFET-C approaches. Biqudratic cells (Thow-Thomas, Sallen-Key, Ackerberg-Mossberg, Delyannis-Friend). High-order filters. Gyrators (Antoniou, Gm-C). Automatic tuning for Gm-C filters.
  • A/D e D/A converters. Performance and design specifications. Sample and Hold circuits. A/D examples: full flash, two step flash, time interleaved, successive approximation, ramp. D/A examples: current-steering (binary, thermometric, segmented), resistor-string, capacitor-string, ramp.
  • Computer Aided Design Tools for the microelectronics.
  • Textbook Information


    Learning Assessment

    Learning Assessment Procedures

    The exam consists of an oral test preceded by the presentation of a course project.

    The course project is typically carried out in a group (of 2-4 students). The work focuses on the design, simulation of integrated circuit blocks at the transistor level or experimental implementation of discrete circuits.

    The oral exam typically consists of 3 questions. One question is about the work, one about filters, and one about data converters. The overall grade of the exam takes into account the draft and the answer to the 3 questions, in terms of completeness, accuracy, and language properties. The average duration of the exam is 30 min.

    To ensure equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students may request a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures based on educational objectives and specific needs. Students can also contact the CInAP (Centro per l’integrazione Attiva e Partecipata - Servizi per le Disabilità e/o i DSA) referring teacher within their department.