Suppose I'm an experienced analog designer, e.g., RF, power electronics, ADC.
How does choosing a circuit topology fit into the overall workflow for a typical work assignment? I imagine my manager will be responsible for a larger system, like a whole RF to digital pipeline, and will ask me to do a specific component like a power converter or an oscillator. I imagine the workflow for my oscillator is something like,
1) Using some amount of intuition and experience, choose a circuit topology given the requirements.
2) Perform calculations to estimate critical component values, using scripts to optimize.
3) Repeat 1 and 2 if a given circuit topology wasn't a good choice.
4) Tape-out or some other form of pre-fabrication, etc. etc.
In practice, how does #1 play out? Do designers generally have a bunch memorized and ready off the top of their heads, with one or two go-to's to try first? How often do they need to learn new topologies, or develop new ones entirely? When multiple topologies might work, what metrics might be used to consider which to choose first? What resources or references do they use to look for new topologies when familiar ones don't meet their requirements? How might this work-flow vary between RF, power, low-frequency, embedded vs IC, etc.? Examples or case-studies would be really appreciated.
I ask in part where, coming from a mostly coursework background, usually topology is fixed and "design" just involves analyzing circuits to choose their parameters. The open-endedness of "build an oscillator with given specs", when there's dozens of feasible oscillators out in the wild, sounds overwhelming, so I want to understand the heuristics and thinking that are used to deal with this.