General Information Edit

The senior level course deals extensively with microwave circuits. For anyone interested in careers in the RF industry, this course is a must take. It does a fairly solid job of exposing you to many of the concepts in the field. It takes a more low level approach to microwave networks.

Prerequisites Edit

ECE 3030 and ECE 3150. Some of the early course is physics based, but nothing ever as intensive as 3030. Microwave transistors (MOSFET, GaN HEMT) are touched upon, but not to the point that 3150 knowledge is critical. Circuits and filters are everywhere in this course, however, so 3150 is definitely useful.

Topics Covered Edit

The course leans heavy on application and theory and not so much on devices. A large chunk of the course is devoted to developing the distributed circuit and EM model of a transmission line, touching on smith charts, impedance matching, stubs, and microstrip/stripline models and along the way. Impedance matching is developed a fair amount, handling impedance transformers, Kuroda’s equivalents, series and parallel stubs, even double stubs. The course then focuses on microwave networks, approaching things from a fairly mathematical point of view, it touches on S/Y/Z/H/ABCD Parameters and signal flow graphs. Some time is spent on network analyzer theory of operation, and de-mbedding. A small signal parasitic model of a transistor is investigated and the de-embedding process is demonstrated in excruciating detail. Amplifier gain, matching, and stability is touched on. The final big chunk of the course deals with microwave filters (SAW, periodic structures, constant-k) and resonators (BAW). Circuit models (Mason model) are considered in depth, physical models are sometimes ignored.

Workload Edit

Depending on who is teaching this can vary widely. Expect 4-6 written assignments, and 2-4 labs. The homework in the past has come directly from Pozars Microwave Engineering text, so they are fairly challenging, but solutions are readily available online as a guide. The labs are all completed "in lab", so they do not take that long ignoring time for writing up a report. The final project in the class was to write a paper on a microwave topic of your choosing, which takes a fair amount of time, given a fair amount of research is required.

Again, this is very dependent on who is teaching.

Advice Edit

  • FA17: Taught by Prof. James Shealy. The lectures are well structured with organized notes. 2 labs turned into take home portion of the midterm and final. Workload is fairly light with problem set every other week. Mean grade was not reported.

Related Courses Edit

ECE 4880, RF Systems. This course touches on some of the same problems but from a systems persepective, and not so much a low level circuit and device point of view. To see many of the applications of microwave circutis, take this clss.

ECE 4870, Radar, more applications to microwave circutis. This class does not really focus on radar implamentation at at a hardware level though.

ECE 5790, Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits. This class provides a much better foundation in high frequency circuit design. ECE 4330 is an almost necessary foundation to really get the most out of ECE 5790.