Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at introducing the processing of analog signals by means of linear integrated circuits, in particular operational amplifiers, with particular regard to applications to authomatic controls and measurement of physical quantities. The experimental-practical approach of the course is emphasized by numerous laboratory sessions.
Algebra and mathematical analysis of complex quantities;
basics of linear circuit analysis and discrete electronic components.
Course contents summary
- Amplifiers with feedback: basic concepts.
- Operational amplifiers (Op Amp) as ideal components. Real op amps: static and dynamical specifications, and deviations from the ideal op amp model.
- Fundamental circuits based on negative feedback: inverting and non-inverting amplifiers, analogue adder and subtractor, phase shifter; integrator and differentiator.
- Conversion and precision circuits: current-to-voltage converter, voltage converter-to-current converter (current source), charge amplifier; instrumentation amplifier; active rectifiers and peak detectors, sample-hold module.
- Fundamental circuits based on positive feedback: Schmitt trigger and multivibrators; square wave, triangular wave, and pulse generators.
- Barkhausen criterion and sine-wave oscillators. RC network (phase shift, Wien bridge) and resonant network (Colpitts/Hartley, crystal) oscillators. Oscillation threshold and automatic gain control.
- Hints at the usage of non-linear components with operational amplifiers.
- Noise in electronic circuits as the limit to the detection of small signals. Physical origin of noise (hints). Coherent detection and its application to reception of noisy signals: mixers, lock-in amplifier.
- Hints at automatic control theory, and its application to PID controllers.
- P. H. Beards, Elettronica Analogica e Digitale, Jackson Libri
- A. B. Carlson, Communication Systems, McGraw-Hill
- Teachers' notes.
An essentially practical approach is followed in this course. Lectures on the theory of digital signals and circuitry are accompanied by laboratory exercises, in an approximate ratio of 1:1. During laboratory sessions, students are required to design, assemble and test some of the electronic circuits subject of the lectures, by mounting electronic components on breadboards.
Evaluation of students consists in an oral exam on theory and laboratory exercises, possibly integrated by a written test.