Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding: knowing main principles about semiconductor devices and basic typologies of digital circuits. Understanding basic analysis and design methodologies for digital circuits.
Acknowledging performance constraints coming from device physics.
Applying knowledge and understanding: solving elementary problems, regarding design and analysis of digital circuits. Making judgments: being able to identify the most appropriate choice of device and circuit types, given the functional specification.
Course contents summary
Fundamentals on semiconductor devices.
Introduction to digital circuits.
Introduction to semiconductor materials and their basic properties. Pn junction, bipolar junction transistor, MOSFET: operating principles and behavioral models. Digital circuits: main goals, principles and merit figures. Bipolar digital circuits: diode circuits, RTL. Summary notes on TTL, ECLMOS digital circuits: nMOS, CMOS. Pass-transitors and transission gates: principles and basic circuits. CMOS I/O circuits and buffers.
J.M. Rabaey: "Digital Integrated Circuits, a Design Perspective", Prentice Hall
Millman, Grabel: Microelettronica, McGraw-Hill.
R. Menozzi, “Appunti di Elettronica”, Pitagora.
The course includes:
- Oral lessons
- Classroom exercises, consisting of the solution of simple design and analysis problems, under the teacher’s guidance
Assessment methods and criteria
The final examination consists of:
- a written test, consisting of the solution of two exercises, related to design and analysis of digital circuits. Students are allowed to browse their own textbooks and notebooks, and to use (programmable) calculators.Evaluation of the written test yields a 4-classes classification, determining the admission at the oral test and (possibly) a constraint on final marks. Classes include: B (Good: admitted to oral test, no limitation on final marks), S (Sufficient: admitted to oral test, final marks limited to 28/30), I (uncertain: admitted to oral test, final marks limited to 26/30), N (Not admitted to oral test). Admission threshold (B,S,I classes) requires approximatively proper management of 50% of the test, with valuable results on both exercises.
- an oral examination, concerning a discussion of theory elements in the program. Examination consists of two questions (having similar weight on final evaluation) regarding basic semiconductor devices and digital circuits, respectively.