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EEC215 – Circuits For Digital Communications

3 units – Fall Quarter

Lecture: 3 hours

Prerequisite: Prerequisite: EEC 150B and EEC 210 (may be taken concurrently); EEC 165, EEC 166 or EEC 265 recommended.

Grading: homework (50%), oral presentation (15%), and final exam (35%).

Catalog Description:

Analog, digital, and mixed-signal CMOS implementations of communication-circuit blocks: gain control, adaptive equalizers, sampling detectors, clock recovery.

Expanded Course Description:

Develop an understanding of the implementation options (analog vs. digital vs. mixed analog/digital) and trade-offs for the CMOS design of key signal-processing blocks for digital communication transceivers.

  1. Baseband digital data transmission, simple NRZ channel, bandwidth limitations, an ideal transmission channel.
  2. AGC loops (local feedback vs. decision-directed gain control), analog, digital, and mixed-signal approaches and trade-offs. The Least-Mean Square method for adjusting gain, ‘gear shifting.’
  3. Fixed equalizers, compromise equalization, adaptive equalizers (baud- and fractionally-spaced FIR equalizers), coefficient update equations, tap noise, training sequences, hardware implementations (analog, digital, and mixed-signal implementations of the equalizers and adaptive loops; direct and transposed FIR structures), DC cancellation tap. AGC and adaptive equalizer interaction.
  4. The Decision Feedback Equalizer (DFE), advantages and disadvantages, update equations, implementations, the RAM DFE.
  5. Partial response signaling, dicodes, the Viterbi detector, advantages, implementations.
  6. Clock recovery schemes, acquisition and tracking modes, decision directed approaches to timing recovery, effect of sampling jitter, analog, mixed-signal and digital approaches.
  7. A complete baseband receiver, showing all blocks. System examples: a 100 Mb/s ethernet transceiver, a disk-drive read channel, and a DSL transceiver.
  8. Echo cancellation, linearity requirements, implementations.


  1. Digital Baseband Transmission and Recording, J. Bergmans, Kluwer and selected journal papers
  2. Digital Communication, Lee and Messerschmitt, Kluwer
  3. Digital Communication, Proakis, Kluwer
  4. Discrete-Time Signal Processing, Oppenheim and Schafter, Prentice-Hall
  5. Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits, Gray and Meyer, Wiley
  6. Design of Analog Integrated Circuits and Systems, Laker and Sansen, McGraw-Hill
  7. Analog Integrated Circuit Design, Johns and Martin, Wiley
  8. Principles of Data Conversion System Design, Razavi, IEEE Press
  9. Theory and Practice of Modem Design, Bingham, Wiley

Instructors: Hurst, Spencer

Course overlap: 

This graduate course covers practical circuit-level implementations of functional blocks for baseband digital-communication receivers. It exposes the students to analog, digital and mixed-signal implementations, and the tradeoffs of each approach. Courses 112 and 211 cover some complementary analog-communication-circuit topics, such as mixers and classical phase-locked loops for AM and FM systems, without overlap.

Last revised: April 2000