EE/CSE 416 is a technical elective available to electrical and computer engineering students. It is intended for students who wish to specialize in the field of digital circuits. This course introduces the basic concepts involved in the design of digital circuits, which find practical application as logic and memory circuits in computers and other digital processing systems. The course emphasizes integrated circuit process-compatible circuit design techniques in recognition of the amazing synergy that has characterized the relationship between computer circuits and integrated circuit processing technology. This course includes three lectures and a two-hour laboratory each week. The only prerequisite is EE 310, a basic circuits course required for both electrical engineering and computer engineering students.
EE/CMPEN 416 begins with a review of the bipolar junction transistor (BJT) device and proceeds into the more advanced Ebers-Moll device model. This is followed by an examination of a series of BJT-based saturating and non-saturating digital circuits of ever increasing complexity illustrating the evolution of the modern bipolar logic circuit families. The next phase of the course reviews the metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) and proceeds along the same path taken for the bipolar transistor circuits. Various MOSFET logic circuit families are introduced and analyzed. Computer semiconductor memory circuits are considered next. Both BJT and MOSFET versions of both static and dynamic read-write and read-only memories are considered. The cell array, memory addressing circuits, and sense amplifier designs are all examined in detail. This is followed by the related subject of programmable logic arrays, the final topic.
The emphasis of the laboratory component of the course is to compare the performance of representatives of each class of circuits to computer simulations of the same circuits. Parameters such as input-output voltage transfer characteristics, noise margins, and propagation delays are evaluated by building and measuring laboratory models. Most of the laboratory exercises require the student to evaluate a specified circuit, but the final exercise requires the student to design a circuit to meet a predefined set of specifications, then to prove that the design meets the requirements by measuring the circuit performance. Students are required to write a formal engineering report detailing the results of each laboratory exercise.