ECE 615 Mixed Signal IC Design

Spring 2016Boise State University

Previous year’s course page is here: s10 (Delta-Sigma ADC Design), f13 (with videos)


Instructor       : Vishal Saxena

Time               : Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00 to 7:15 PM

Course dates  : Tuesday, Jan 12 to Thursday, Apr 28

Location         : MEC 309

Office Hours  : Tuesday and Thursday, 4:00 to 5:00 PM

Holidays         : March 22 & 24, Spring break from instruction.


Lecture notes and accompanying material are here.

Assignments and projects can be found here.

Current grades are here.

MATLAB examples are posted here.

Course content – Data Conversion and spectral estimation fundamentals, Delta-Sigma modulator (DSM) architectures, decimation filters, discrete-time as well continuous-time (CT) DSM design, Cascaded DSMs, Bandpass and Complex DSMs, Flash ADCs and DACs employed in the DSMs, DAC mismatch error shaping, effects of excess-loop delay and clock jitter in CT-DSMs, tuning techniques for CT-DSMs.


Prerequisites – Background in Analog IC Design (ECE 511) and Digital Signal Processing (first half of standard textbook). Basic knowledge of circuit simulation using Spice/Spectre and Matlab scripting.

                          For Switched-Capacitor and fully-differential circuits refer to advanced Analog IC Design (ECE 614).                                                                                                                                       


Textbook – Understanding Delta-Sigma Converters – Richard Schreier and Gabor Temes, Wiley-IEEE Press, 2005.

The course will require the use of Matlab Delta-Sigma Toolbox by R. Schreier available for download online. The toolbox manual is here with a single page summary.

The complete reference list for delta-sigma modulators is available here.


Note: 600-level courses are designed for PhD students and involve certain amount of research, simulation tools and literature-review component. Before signing up for these courses, please ensure that you have sufficient background and time for the course work and are confident with the material covered in the pre-requisites.


CAD software information

The course will require extensive use of Cadence Design System in Linux environment. Set up your account to remotely use Cadence using the wiki.


The course Google group is ( and the email address is  


Workload (Grading) 

·         Homeworks (25%): Weekly assignments incorporating Matlab as well as Spectre based design and simulation.

·         Project1 (25%): High-level Delta-sigma modulator design

·         Mid-Term Exam (25%)

·         Project2 (25%): Continuous-time Delta-sigma ADC design



·         Use of laptop in the class is encouraged for simulations while internet surfing is not.

·         Late work will not be accepted.

·         While collaboration in homeworks and projects is encouraged but blatantly copying stuff (plagiarism) is not allowed.

·         Cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic F grade in the course (so do your own homework and projects!). Students should review Section 18/18A/18B of the Boise State University Student Code of Conduct ( for more detailed information regarding academic dishonesty.