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Circuit Design - ELE00058I

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ruwan Gajaweera
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module introduces students to analogue and digital design concepts. along with the appropriate role of Hardware Description Languages (HDLs)and simulation in the modern design flow. Particular emphasis will be placed on using HDLs for the synthesis of digital circuits on one side and on the development of appropriate testing through the use of HDL test benches and simulation. The properties and behaviour of semiconductor devices, small signal design of analogue amplifier circuits, and the use of circuit simulation to verify performance. The effect of natural noise in analogue and digital circuits is also considered.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To introduce the concept and operation of hardware description languages: the basic syntax and structures of an HDL language, the implementation of digital designs using synthesizable HDL, basic simulation tools for digital designs and the concepts of testing and debugging of digital designs

  • To review basic semiconductor physics

  • To introduce students to basic semiconductor devices (Diode and Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) and their applications in analogue electronics

  • To introduce the underlying circuit principles of device models and circuits applicable to the internal design of operational amplifiers and power amplifiers

  • To introduce frequency ­dependent effects and other limitations of semiconductor devices

  • To introduce the use of SPICE based simulators in the circuit design flow

  • To appreciate the sources and effects of noise in electronic circuits

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop the ability to express algorithms in individual steps, and encode these steps in a programming language

  • To develop skills in the application of applied numeracy and analytical techniques in the analysis and design of analogue circuits.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Understand and have practice in the design of complex digital circuits using a hierarchical approach

  • Be familiar with the modern design flow for digital circuits and the relevant software tools

  • Be able to design digital circuits using HDL

  • Be able to use simulation to verify the operation of digital circuits

  • Be able to synthesise digital circuits

  • Be able to describe the basic principles of operation of semiconductor devices

  • Be able to analyse and design transistor bias circuits and small signal transistor circuits

  • Be able to determine small signal parameters and low­ frequency small signal equivalent circuits

  • Be able to design, at a circuit level, the internal blocks of an operational amplifier and audio­ amplifiers

  • Be able to use simulation tools to analyse the behaviour of semiconductor device based circuits

  • Be able to analyse the effects of noise in analogue and digital circuits

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have developed the ability to convert complex digital systems into simple components

  • Be able to explain commonly ­encountered technical concepts concisely and accurately

  • Be able to select and apply a range of mathematical techniques to solve problems

  • Have developed skills in problem solving, critical analysis and applied mathematics

Module content

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to HDLs

  • Combinational logic

  • Sequential logic

  • Testbenches

  • Datapath + control (FSMs)

  • Advanced HDL design techniques

  • Physics of semiconductors

  • Diode models and circuits

  • Introduction to MOSFET

  • DC model and dc bias circuits

  • Low-frequency small-signal models

  • High-frequency small-signal models

  • Sources and effects of Thermal, shot,avalanche, and 1/f noise in circuits


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Circuit Design Exam
2 hours 30
Analogue Lab Report 1
N/A 10
Analogue Lab Report 2
N/A 10
Digital Lab Report 2
N/A 10
Digital Lab Report 3
N/A 10
Digital Lab Report 4
N/A 10
Digital Project Report
N/A 20

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Circuit Design Exam Reassessment
N/A 30
Analogue Labs Reassessment
N/A 20
Digital Lab Report
N/A 30
Digital Project Report Reassessment
N/A 20

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Indicative reading

Fundamentals of microelectronics, Behzad Razavi, Wiley, ISBN: 9780471478461

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.