Course Grading

Grade Computation

Course Grading Policy : Your grade will be determined using the following scheme:

 Projects (4)  95%
 Short Assignments  5%

Grades will be assigned on a curve; however, I will guarantee the following grades if you reach the following percentages: 89% for an A, 79% for a B, 60% for a C, and 50% for a D. Rarely does the line for a C or D move as a result of a curve; the curve for an A and B vary significantly between classes.

Textbook : none . There will be some reference materials available for those who feel more comfortable with a text. The material we need will be available on this site through on-line materials. I expect most in the class appreciate not having to buy yet another expensive textbook as well at this point.

Projects : (4 this semester). Projects are both analysis (earlier projects) as well as design (later projects), and can be based on experimental work, on experimentally measured results , on simulation (SPICE), and / or analysis.

IC Design Tools used throughout the semester : This course is an IC design course, focusing on the details of IC design. The impact of device parasitics on the overall system design is critical. You will be using Cadence design tools for this course. Cadence Tools will be used throughout this semester, both for simulation and for layout. I will not be teaching these tools as part of the classr. Many of you in this class have already had exposure to these tools, and there are many tutorials, etc, to come up to speed on these tools.

Simulation Model : You will be building up your simulation model in your first project, and potentially improving it throughout the semester. You must use the EKV model (for MOSFETs) available in SPICE; other models will not be acceptable. Other models will often give incorrect results. If you use another model you will get no credit for that part of the assignment; this policy is firm, so don't test whether you will get away with an option.

Working in groups of two: You will work on your projects in groups of two. To forms these groups, I give you two options. First, you can choose grouping on your own. Second, I can choose a partner for you. You may change partners between projects, but not during an individual project. I will probably change partner groups before spring break somepoint, at least once.

If you choose to go alone, I will not make any concessions, but if your partner drops in the middle of a project, then I will take into account

You may discuss the questions in large groups, but each group must independently perform and write-up the required work.

I reserve the right to increase the number in a group if I see a need. Any such points will be clearly communicated during class.

Each Student has a Laptop : Remember GT policy is that everyone has a laptop of a given capability. You will need it throughout this semester.

Project Analysis will be done in MATLAB or equivalent (e.g. Scilab) type language for data analysis and plots (not excel). We do not need to see your MATLAB code, unless explicitly asked for. I don't need to see Cadence schematics. Circuits are required to be drawn in something other than Cadence for your writeup. You may send me additional .pdf file showing me the cadence schematics, where that is helpful. Only Cadence schematics will get no credit.

Project submission Here are some details about the project submission:

For the projects, we will require the following proceedure that we will use to grade these projects:

  • Deadlines are hard : You need to complete all required items for the project, which will include analysis, experimental measurements, some system level modeling, and data analysis. Projects handed in after this deadline will not be accepted.
  • Project Writeup : You will have one writeup, which must be word-processed, two-column IEEE format with data figures integrated into the text. You may not have your data figures added to the end of the writeup. You will submit the writeup as a .pdf file, and only as a .pdf file. You should integrate data and analysis together on your submitted plots. For example, if you perform a curve fit, I expect the curve fit and the data to be on the same graph, where the data points would be in point markers (e.g. "o"), and the curve fit would be a straight line. The plots need to be MATLAB style plots (MATLAB, scilab, python MATLAB), and not other non-technical forms (e.g. Excel). Do not submit your MATLAB code to generate the plot. Your writeup is limited to 9 pages including references and figures. Submit only one writeup per group of two individuals. Make sure both names are on the document.
  • Extensions on due dates: will not be granted unless there is a very compelling reason (e.g., a medical problem by a majority of the team). To get an extension, you must talk with me before the due date.

Short Assignments : There will be a few short assignments throughout the semester. One purpose of these assignments is making sure everyone is mastering the material due to group projects. One purpose of these in-class assignments is to verify everyone will have completed the video watching and/or reading assignments before the class they are assigned. The questions could be a wide range of things, including working out an example problem in class, answering some simple objective questions, etc, and could happen anytime during class. Obviously, this approach means you want to be at the start of every class. Part of this item will help evaluate general class participation as part of your grade.