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Analog Circuits and Embedded System for Sensors

Course Code: 
NE 223
August - December

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is driven by confluence of high performance sensors, powerful computation power of microcontrollers and wireless technology. The performance of sensors is not only governed by inherent characteristics of sensor such as sensitivity, linearity and response time but also the front end interfacing analog circuit and backend processing in digital domain. The goal of this course is to explore the electronics that needs to be incorporated to create sensor systems and to learn the trade-offs in design of circuits to maximize performance subject to real life design constraints.

The course has both a theory (2 credits) and a hands-on lab (1 credit) element to it. The course starts out with introduction to basic circuit elements and smaller circuit building blocks with emphasis on reading and understand the datasheets for components to make the appropriate choice to pick for the circuit at hand.  Digital IOs and some basics of digital logic will be explored thereafter leading eventually to programming with Arduino microcontroller. In the end, the course takes a closer look at building systems.

The lab portion of the course will serve to explore trade-offs in circuit design as well as give a practical feel for dealing with noise in circuits and building systems. Circuit simulation will also be emphasized in the lab course in conjunction with back of the envelop calculations to make sense of the simulations. There will be also be a final project wherein the students get an opportunity to build a sensor system in its entirety and learn planned system design, tracking down sources of noise and learning to define interfaces cleanly for smooth integration in the end.

The course content is as follows:

Basic Circuit Analysis and Passive Components; Introduction to semiconductor devices and circuits involving Diodes, BJT, MOSFET and JFET; Opamp circuits: Transimpedance amplifier, Instrumentation amplifier, Comparator, Precision DMM application; Tradeoffs between power, noise, settling time and cost; Survey of sensors and their datasheets; Active Filters and RF Oscillators; Introduction to digital logic, State Machines, Digital IO; Microcontroller programming; Communication protocols for sensor interfacing; System building

Instructors: Saurabh A. Chandorkar and Krishna Prasad