35148 - Electronics for analogic signal processing (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student has competence in the design of analog electronic modules and systems for signal synthesis and processing. Specifically: - He knows how to design different types of signal synthesis modules, including sinusoidal oscillators, relaxation oscillators, generators for some classes of spread spectrum waveforms and aperiodic waveforms, crystal oscillators, timers, etc; - He is able to design signal processing blocks based both on continuous and discrete time approaches. Particularly, he can design switched capacitors and switched current circuits; - He has basic knowledge on how to encode information in low depth formats, suitable for: switched mode power converters operating with a high energy efficiency; as an intermediate representation in data conversion; or in frequency synthesis systems such as fractional PLLs.

Course contents

  • Introduction to signal synthesis and processing by analog circuits
  • Design of signal synthesis circuits
    • Tools for the analysis and design of quasi-sinusoidal oscillators
    • Quartz oscillators
    • Relaxation oscillators
      • Astable multivibrators
      • Monostable multivibrators and timers
    • Circuits for the synthesis of aperiodic and chaotic waveforms
  • Introduction to Phase-Locked-Loops
  • Design of resistorless signal processing circuits
    • gm-C architectures
    • Discrete time analog circuits
      • Basic design principles
      • Switched capacitor circuits
      • Switched current circuits
    • Methods for the synthesis of analog discrete-time circuits from continuous time prototypes
  • Modulation techniques in the synthesis of low depth discrete-valued signals
    • PWM and PDM modulations
    • Delta-Sigma modulation
    • Applications to the coding of analog waveforms
    • Applications to actuation and high efficiency power conversion
    • Application to fractional PLLs


The main reference material that the students should consider is their own notes taken during the lectures. In fact, the course discusses and summarizes different topics, and consequently it is not possible to give reference to a single didactic textbook.

However, during the course the teacher shall suggest:

  • books useful to the students willing to go in depth on specific topics;
  • articles recently appeared on international scientific journals.
Furthermore, the teacher shall directly provide teaching material via the AMS Campus site, including:
  • PDF files with the slides used during the lectures (each of these files shall be provided only after the corresponding lecture;
  • sample code for all the simulations/experiments made during the lectures;
  • documentation related to the seminars included in the course;
  • articles and other material useful to further expand knowledge on topics related to the course.

Teaching methods

The course consists in:

  • theory lectures;
  • computer demos
  • exercises resolved by the teacher.

During the course, the students are invited to conceive a little project (with the help of the instructor) and to develop it using formal design methods, simulation, and possibly even prototyping and lab measurements. The students are then expected to write a little essay on the project. This activity is optional.

The course is typically taught in Italian, but can be taught in English upon request or in case non Italian students are attending.

Assessment methods

Assessment is practiced by means of an oral final exam.

The purpose of the exam is to verify both the understanding of the theoretical aspects of the course and the acquired ability to use them to solve practical problems. Accordingly, the exam is made of three questions. Two of them are focused on theory, while one of them, characterized by a more application-oriented nature, requires the solution of an analysis or design problem to be sketched.

Should the number of students in the course exceed 25, the final oral exam might be replaced by a written test.

Up to 15 students willing to do so can replace the application-oriented question in the exam with the discussion of a small essay written by them on a topic of the course.

Teaching tools

During the course, the following teaching aids will be used:

  • Personal computer and simulation/assisted-design software to demonstrate the fundamental concepts
    • Circuit level simulators (Spice-like: LT Spice)
    • System level simulators (Matlab/Simulink-like: Scilab/Xcos; Python based: scipy)
    • Design assistants (Python based: scipy, pydsm)
  • Video projector and slides

Office hours

See the website of Sergio Callegari