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Applying new skills to a variety of design applications

is becoming increasingly critical for engineers. This holds true for industries including wireless communications, digital audio, digital telephony, SOC design involving mixed-signal processing, and analog/digital conversion. Mixed signal design entails integrating sampled and quantized digital circuits with continuous analog circuits on a board, or, more typically today, within an integrated circuit. The most familiar components are analog-to-digital converters, digital-to-analog circuits, sample-and-holds, and phase locked loops. Some purely analog circuits, such as anti-alias filters and reconstruction filters and some purely digital circuits, such as digital filters, are also part of this field of study.

Whenever a computer or other piece of digital logic interacts with the real world, some sort of analog-to-digital or digital-to-analog conversion is required. The digital revolution has shrunk the analog domain significantly. As a result, stringent performance requirements have been placed on technology including phase locked loop jitter, circuit noise, and sample-and-hold "droop." Often a complex system's ultimate performance depends more on its mixed signal data converters and oscillators as opposed to other components.

This course covers fundamentals of data converters, Nyquist-rate converters, discrete-time signal processing, central concept of oversampling and noise-shaping, and delta-sigma modulators. Intended for engineers working with digital and analog signals, seeking to learn more about mixed-signal (analog plus digital) circuit design, analysis, and application. Whether you are a "pure" digital or analog engineer, the material covered in this course will provide you with the skills necessary to excel in your field.

Course Highlights: 

  • Explore various types of analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter and phase lock loop (PLL) circuits, including design details and benefits and disadvantages of each type
  • Examine phase locked loops and their design and use in real-world communications systems

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Design an A/D or D/A converter to a given performance specification, choosing an overall architecture, number of stages, and internal precision
  • Design a digital phase locked loop to a given performance specification, choosing an overall architecture and number of loop elements
  • Design a simple first-order reconstruction filter for a D/A converter or anti-alias filter for an A/D converter
  • Discuss the tradeoff between analog filter design and converter clock/sample rate
  • Design a track-and-hold circuit and discuss how it can improve an A/D converter's performance

Required Software: Students will need the latest version of:

  • Matlab and Simulink Student Suite to complete their course project.The discounted student version is available for purchase online from MathWorks
  • LTSpice available to download for free from Analog Devices
  • ModelSim PE Student Edition (for digital Verilog simulations) available to download for free from Mentor

Optional Reading: CMOS Mixed-Signal Circuit Design, 2nd ed. - Author: R. Jacob Baker. Ph.D. - Pub: Wiley IEEE Press - ISBN-13: 978-0470290262

Course Typically Offered: Online in Fall and Spring quarters.

Prerequisite: Some background in analog circuit design is recommended, and you should review basic differential equations and simple calculus.

Next Step: After completing this course consider taking other courses in the Wireless Engineering, Digital Signal Processing or RF Engineering certificate programs.

Contact: For more information about this course, please email

Course Number: ECE-40244
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: RF EngineeringWireless Engineering

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