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I'm looking for a intermediate text that covers (discrete) amplifier circuit theory using BJTs and FETs and circuit elements such as current mirrors, differential stages, feedback theory, etc. My applications are wideband and the book should cover BJT charge control models. A chapter to two on device physics would be helpful.

I do not need to review Ohm's / Krichhoff's laws, passive componets, etc., and I already have books that cover digital.

I've seen a chapter from Donald Neaman online and this book seems ok. Can anyone recommend this text or another one?

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/8650 \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Jan 5 '12 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @markrages, thanks for the link but I'm looking for a text with more theory than Art of Electronics and the others \$\endgroup\$ – ThomasMcLeod Jan 5 '12 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking to design primarily with discretes? Most modern textbooks deal with integrated circuit devices; the concepts are basically the same but dealing with device specs might require some re-orientation. \$\endgroup\$ – mng Jan 7 '12 at 5:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mng, primarily with discretes because of our bandwidth requirements. But I also want a reference so I can understand analog IC internals / limitations. \$\endgroup\$ – ThomasMcLeod Jan 8 '12 at 17:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ ok, that's high enough that RF techniques will be helpful. I'm not aware of any single reference. You will want to study oscilloscope front ends, which work from DC up to hundreds of MHz. (You can find manuals for old Tek scopes online.) And you should memorize LT app note 47. linear.com/docs/4138 \$\endgroup\$ – markrages Jan 8 '12 at 22:19
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The book I learned from, and that I still see new hires bringing with them from school was Grey & Meyer (now Grey, et al.), Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits. This was the text in the main analog design course at Berkeley in the '90's, and I believe it's also used at numerous other institutions. It's got as much theory as they teach undergrads anywhere in the country. Of the topics you expressed specific interest in, this book does cover current mirrors, differential stages, and feedback theory. It also has a very quick chapter on device models of diodes, BJTs and MOSFETs. It doesn't go particularly deeply into device physics -- only enough to motivate the models.

On the other hand, its heavily aimed at future IC designers, and at CMOS op-amp designers, which implies a whole different set of design techniques than you'll use building analog circuits from discrete components or op-amp ICs.

For board-level circuit design, app notes from the various vendors are probably as good as any textbook. For example, TI's Op Amps for Everyone, or Analog's Op Amp Applications Handbook. Even if these guides will tend to recommend a particular vendor's products, they do provide a strong background in theory that applies to using any vendor's parts, and they do provide a good balance between theory and practical issues. You haven't stated what you mean by "wideband" applications, but op amps are available off the shelf with gain-bandwidth products above 1 GHz, so these op-amp-focused books may apply better than you think.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ At 100 MHz you should be able to find op amps suitable for most amplification and filtering functions. One thing you'll want to be sure to read up on is the differences between voltage-feedback and current-feedback op amps. For functions like oscillators, mixers, etc., you will want to look into specialized ICs; but unless you have very unique/unusual requirements, you're unlikely to find a problem where you'll need to build a complex circuit from discretes rather than use IC building blocks. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jan 9 '12 at 5:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been looking at the TI's OPA 846/847 series. These are non-unity-gain compensated voltage feedback opamps. They seem barely fast enough. I cannot use current feedback because of the precision issue. Any others I should consider? \$\endgroup\$ – ThomasMcLeod Jan 27 '12 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ OPA846 advertises 400 MHz bandwidth at gain of 10. Analog and National, at least, have comparable parts. You mentioned 100 MHz bandwidth, so OPA846 should work out. If you need gain > 40, you would need two stages. Consider opening a new question if you have a question about your specific design. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jan 27 '12 at 18:57
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As The Photon says, Gray and Meyer is the go-to reference for analog, but IMO it's a hard nut to crack if you're just starting out. You probably want an intermediate text, and any text that's used at a university with a respectable engineering program is a likely choice. The standard, which I have no experience with, is probably Sedra & Smith. The class I took used Howe & Sodini, which has mixed reviews, but I thought it was a reasonably good book at the time. It covers the basic analog building blocks and has some device physics, and though I have no direct experience with other texts in this category, they should all cover the same ground.

[A personal preference: Depending on your learning style, you may want to consider getting several books. By getting older editions (big-picture analog concepts don't really change) you can end up spending less money overall, and get multiple takes on the subject.]

Also consider using lecture materials from courses posted on the web, such as those at MIT (6.012, 6.301) and UC Berkeley (EE105, EE140, EE240).


Possible intermediate texts, culled from syllabi:

  • Howe and Sodini, Microelectronics: an Integrated Approach
  • Sedra and Smith, Microelectronic Circuits
  • Jaeger, Microelectronic Circuit Design
  • Horenstein, Microelectronic Circuits and Devices
  • Spencer and Ghausi, Introduction to Electronic Circuit Design
  • Razavi, Fundamentals of Microelectronics
  • Neamen, Microelectronics: Circuit Analysis and Design
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  • \$\begingroup\$ As a point of reference on your course website recommendations: At Berkeley 20ish years ago, EE105 would have been Howe & Sodini (I took the class from Howe; other instructors may have used Sedra & Smith), and EE140 would have been Grey & Meyer. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jan 28 '12 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have experience with Sedra and Smith and my opinion is there must be a more appropriate alternative if you want to just focus on board level design. It is definitely focused at IC designers and so goes into a lot of physics of semiconductors and process parameters which are not very helpful at the board level. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen May 2 at 17:39

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