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EEC222 – RF IC Design

3 units – Winter Quarter

Lecture: 3 hours

Prerequisite: EEC 132C, EEC 210

Grading: Letter; three projects (60%), final exam (40%).

Catalog Description:

Radio frequency (RF) solid-state devices, RF device modeling and design rules; nonlinear RF circuit design techniques; use of nonlinear computer-aided (CAD) tools; RF power amplifier design.

Expanded Course Description:

Students will gain the fundamentals of RF IC design and be familiarized with RF IC design rules and nonlinear computer-aided design tools.

  1. Overview of high-frequency integrated circuits
    1. On-chip passive devices: resistors, capacitors and inductors
    2. High-frequency/high-speed device physics and figures of merit
  2. Solid-state device modeling and design rules
    1. Review of small-signal model and extraction techniques
    2. Large-signal model
    3. Examples of nonlinear models
    4. Examples of RF IC design rules and processes
  3. Nonlinear RF circuit design analysis
    1. Harmonic balance analysis
    2. Large-signal, single-tone problems
    3. Solution algorithms
    4. Selecting the number of harmonics and time samples
    5. Generalized harmonic balance analysis
    6. Circuit envelop analysis
  4. RF power amplifier design
    1. Classes of power amplifiers
    2. Review of linear power amplifier design techniques
    3. Gain match and power match, matching circuits for power amplifiers
    4. Introduction to load-pull measurements
    5. Conventional high-efficiency amplifiers
    6. Nonlinear effects in RF power amplifiers
    7. Efficiency enhancements and linearization techniques


  1. Stephen A. Maas, Nonlinear Microwave Circuits, IEEE Press, New York, 1997.
  2. Steve C. Cripps, RF Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications, Artech House, Massachusetts, 1999.
  3. Thomas H. Lee, The Design of CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, 1998.

Instructor: Pham

Course Overlap:

This graduate course covers practical RF circuit-level implementations of functional blocks for RF front-ends, especially transmitters. It exposes the students to RF IC design, nonlinear design techniques, RF power amplifier design, and the transmitter side of a RF front-end. Course 228 and 211 cover noise analysis and some complementary RF circuits such as low-noise amplifiers and receivers without overlap.

Last revised: March 2004