Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Students Present Final Projects and Compete for Prizes in EECS 413

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EECS 413: Monolithic Amplifier Circuits, a major design course taken by undergraduate students as well as graduate students, included a contest and cash prize for the best designs in the class, thanks to the sponsorship of Texas Instruments. This popular course taught by Prof. Michael Flynn offers an introduction to CMOS analog and mixed signal design. Two winning teams shared the prize money in this year's class, Fall 2009.

Joseph Parent, Aaron Rocca, David Chen, Co-winners (UG Group)

David Chen, Joseph Parent, and Aaron Rocca, all undergraduate electrical engineering majors, designed a "Low-noise Current to Voltage Differential Amplifier." This project accepts two currents as inputs, and outputs a voltage proportional to the difference in input currents. The gain is set externally, allowing for a large range of input currents.

Rocca described this as an atypical design of a widely used device that resulted in improved performance. The group believes that their method will result in less expensive fabrication because the chip doesn't have to be as precise to function well.

Nathan Roberts, Qiong Wu, and Zhengzheng Wu, all graduate students in electrical engineering, designed a Switching Buck Converter for their project, "Investigation of a CMOS Monolithic Buck Converter for USB Applications." The design work provided a solution to monolithically integrated power management units for USB controllers in the 130 technology node, which has potential applications in USB connected consumer electronics.

Nathan Roberts, Zhengzheng Wu, Qiong Wu

CoWinners (Grad Group)


"The class focused on practical analysis and intuition to solve problems and had two design projects that gave us real experience in analog design," said Roberts. He added: "the contest was fun because it really inspired people to come up with projects that pushed the limits of what we could achieve in a fairly short amount of time."


EECS 413 is a major design experience course for undergraduate students, or can be taken for regular credit by graduate students. This year designs were implemented in a commercial 0.13μm CMOS process, and are aided by a full suite of industrial-grade CAD tools from Cadence.

See last year's winning projects

Posted: December 23, 2009 by
Catharine June
EECS/ECE Communications Coordinator
cmsj@umich.edu or 734-936-2965