Electrical Engineering 105 — Microelectronic Devices and Circuits (4 Units)

Course Overview


The course introduces analog circuits along with semiconductor devices such as diodes and transistors (BJT, MOSFET). Different configurations of transistor circuits are analyzed using large and small signal models. Students have a chance to gain hands-on experience with these circuits through weekly labs and SPICE simulations.


  • EE16A/B

Topics Covered

  • Linear Time-Invariant Systems (LTI)
  • PN Junctions/Diodes
  • Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs)
  • MOSFET large and small signal models
  • Single stage amplifier topologies (CS, CG,CD)
  • Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs)
  • BJT large and small signal models
  • Cascodes/Multi-stage amplifiers
  • Miller Approximation
  • Open Circuit Time Constant Analysis (OCTC)
  • Differential pairs
  • Op-amp Non-idealities
  • Feedback and stability
  • SPICE simulations
  • Amplifier design


Course Work

The main workload for the course falls on the weekly problem sets, so the time commitment should be evenly spread over the semester. Each lab usually comes with a pre-lab, which will require the use of a SPICE simulation tool. Some professors may use Cadence, a professional design tool which can have a steep learning curve. Depending on the professor, there may be one or two midterms.

Time Commitment

3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of discussion, and 3 hours of lab per week. Weekly problem sets should take around 5-8 hours to complete. Pre-labs should take approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the lab. With some versions that use Cadence pre-labs could take 7-8 hours. Lab reports may take an additional 1-2 hours.

Choosing the Course

When to take

Usually taken in sophomore or junior year, after completing EE16A/B. This class is a prerequisite for advanced circuits courses like EE140 and EE142. If you are planning to move on in the circuits career, make sure to take this class early on.

What's next?

Advanced circuits courses like EE140, which will expand the analysis of individual devices to the analysis and design of multi-stage transistor amplifiers.

Usefulness for Research or Internships

This course is a doorway to advanced circuit courses, which will then become valuable for research and internships that involve circuit analysis and design.

Additional Comments/Tips

As any other circuit course, form study groups with classmates. That will help you understand the materials faster and learn better. Keep up with the class, as the materials strongly build itself. If you are rusty about circuit analysis skills from EE16A/B, make sure to review them early on as the class assumes everyone is comfortable with nodal analysis, superposition, and Thevenin and Norton equivalent circuits, phasors and frequency response.

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Last Updated: Summer 2020