Topic outline

  • Basic information about content, assessment criteria, et cetera:     

    Course in SISU

    IMPORTANT: This year, all the lectures/exercise sessions are done online via Zoom!!!


    • Prof. Kari Halonen

    •  Omar Numan (CAD TA, main TA) []

    • Dipesh Monga (Paper exercises TA) []

    •  Kazybek Adam (Paper exercises TA) []

    Course books:

    • D. Johns, K. Martin: Analog Integrated Circuit Design

    • P. Allen, D. Holberg: CMOS Analog Circuit Design (available online through:

  • This schedule is provisional. Students will be informed about possible changes via the course's Announcements.

    This year, all activities are held on Zoom. The link to the Zoom page is found here

    Most of the activities below belong to these four main categories:

    – Lecture: Conventional lectures given by Prof. Halonen. A lecture quiz follows each lecture.

    – CAD session: Assistants will be present to help you with CAD problems during these sessions.

    – Exercise Introduction: A new paper exercise will be published. An assistant introduces the exercise and gives tips for solving it.

    – Exercise solution: An assistant presents the solution of a paper exercise.

    – For schedule of Assistance weekly hours, visit Paper Exercises Section

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Tuesday 10.1.2023:

    8:15-8:30 Course Introduction

    8:30-10:45 Lecture 0: Introduction, CMOS technology and layout

    11:00-12:00 Exercises introduction + CAD introduction 


    Friday 13.1.2023:

    8:15-10:00 Lecture 1: MOS transistor models

    10:15-11:00 Lecture 1: MOS transistor models (cont'd)

    11:15-12:00 Exercise 1: MOS transistor model, Intro + a short CAD tutorial.


    Tuesday 17.1.2023:

    8:15-10:30 Lecture 2: Single-stage amplifiers

    10:45-11:15 Exercise 2: Single-stage amplifier, Intro

    11:15-12:00 CAD 1a: Amplifier analysis

    Students are advised to try to complete CAD1a before the next CAD session.

    Friday 20.1.2023:
    8:15-10:00 Lecture 3: Differential amplifier and current sources

    10:15 - 10:30 Exercise 1: MOS transistor model, Solution

    10:30-12:00 CAD 1b: Amplifier analysis


    Tuesday 24.1.2023:

    8:15-8:45 Lecture 3: Differential amplifier and current sources (cont'd)

    8:15-10:30 Lecture 4: Two-stage amplifiers

    10:45-11:15 Exercise 3: Differential amplifier, Intro

    11:15-12:00 CAD 1c: Amplifier analysis


    Friday 27.1.2023:

    8:15- 10:00 Lecture 4: Two-stage amplifiers (cont'd) + Operational amplifier design example

    10:15-10:45 Exercise 2: Single-stage amplifier, Solution

    10:45-11:00 Exercise 4: Operational amplifier, Intro

    11:00-12:00  CAD 1a -1c 

    Tuesday 31.1.2023:

    8:15-10:00 Lecture 5a: OTA amplifiers

    10:15-10:30 Exercise 3: Differential amplifier, Solution

    10:30-12:00 CAD 1d: Amplifier analysis


    Friday 03.2.2023:

    8:15-10:00 Lecture 5b: Common-mode feedback and advanced amplifiers

    10:15-10:30 Exercise 4: Operational amplifier, Solution

    10:30-10:45 Exercise 5: Cascode amplifier, Intro

    10:45-11:00 CAD 2 (project work): Introduction

    11:00-12:00 CAD 1d: Amplifier analysis

    Tuesday 07.2.2023:

    8:15-10:00 Lecture 6: Noise and PSRR

    10:15-10:45 Exercise 6: Noise, Intro

    10:45-12:00 CAD 2 (project work)


    Friday 10.2.2023:

    8:15-9:00 Lecture 7: Comparators

    9:15-9:45 Exercise 5: Cascode amplifier, Solution

    9:45-10:15 Exercise 7: Comparator, Intro

    10:15-11:15 CAD 2 (project work): Layout drawing tutorial

    11:15-12:00 CAD 2 (project work)


    Tuesday 14.2.2023:

    8:15-10:00 Lecture 8: Multipliers, Conclusion

    10:15-10:45 Exercise 6: Noise, solution

    11:00-12:00 CAD 2 (project work)


    Friday 17.2.2023:

    10:15-10:45 Exercise 7: Comparator, Solution

    11:00-12:00 CAD 2 (project work)

  • Lecture examination guide:

    • There is an examination (quiz) after each lecture.
    • The lecture examination question will be published by 14:00 on the day of the corresponding lecture.
    • You have time to answer the questions until 23:45 on the day of the related lecture. 
    • A good lecture examination answer is precise, concise, and covers the essential aspects. The suggested length is about five sentences.
    • Answer using your own words, not your partners, as these are individual assignments.
    • The lecture examinations will be graded 0-2.
    • Note that the submission interface is a bit misleading. *Finishing* an attempt only saves it. Remember to *submit* your "finished" attempt as well.



    0: Introduction, CMOS technology, and layout
    1: MOS transistor models
    2: Single-stage amplifiers
    3: Differential amplifier and current sources
    4: Two-stage amplifiers
    5a: OTA amplifiers
    5b: Common-mode feedback and advanced amplifiers
    6: Noise and PSRR
    7: Comparator
    8: Multipliers, Conclusion

  • Guidelines:
    • You may naturally collaborate in solving the exercises, but students must write their answers and justifications in their own words. Copy-paste errors are a big minus.
    • Name your file like this: surname_firstname_exercise_X.pdf   (e.g. einstein_albert_exercise_3.pdf, X = ordinal of the exercise)
    • The only accepted file format is pdf. Submit only a single file. The maximum allowed file size is 5 MB.
    • MATLAB or any other code is not considered a derivation or justification.
    • Take care of the clarity of your submission. Any unreadable or otherwise unclear parts of the submission are interpreted as erroneous.


    • Each paper exercise is graded gradually from 0.0 to 2.0 points (grades can be in decimal numbers, e.g. 1.3, 1.45, etc.) .
    • 7 paper exercises -> maximum total score from paper exercises is 7 * 2.0 = 14.0 points
    • Late return: 1 point will be reduced from the above points (minimum is still 0)
    • Re-submission before the deadline will not reduce your points


    • Attend exercise introduction sessions
    • There will be weekly assistant hours, to help with the excercise which will be announced later in course Announcements.
    • No paper exercise assistance is provided through email or any other communication channel. There will be no reply from assistants when questions related to exercise help are asked by email or any other communication channel other than forum.
    • If you have any question after assistant hours, post your question in the discussion forum and consult the questions made by other students in that forum. Note that assistants answer your posted questions in forum ONLY with a (significant) delay.
    • No paper exercise assistance is provided in person outside the assistant hours.

    Futher assistance:
    • Weekly paper exercise assistant hours: Room 2193 (old room) --> 2188 (new room, next to 2193) (TUAS building)
    • Alternatively, post your question in the General Discussion forum

    Topics and Exercise Assistant Timings :
    Note : Only the excersises mentioned in accordance their date will be discussed.
    Timing : 15-16

    1: MOS transistor model - 18 January 2023 , 15:00-16:00

    2:  Single-stage amplifier-23 January 2023 , 15:00-16:00

    3: Differential amplifier - 30 January 2023 , 15:00-16:00

    4: Operational amplifier - 02 Feburary 2023 , 15:00-16:00

    5: Cascode amplifier - 06 Feburary 2023 , 15:00-16:00

    6: Noise -09 Feburary 2023 , 15:00-16:00

    7: Comparator - 15 Feburary 2023 , 15:00-16:00


  • General information

    This course includes computer-aided design (CAD) exercises. While most of the CAD work is done independently, we also provide some online sessions where there will be an assistant helping you. You can complete all the exercises from your personal computers. You don't have to use Aalto computers. All you need is to follow the steps below to get you all set for the CAD exercises.  

    Use the course's Discussion forum to ask questions off-session, or join this Telegram group to ask questions there: This group is for CAD-related discussions. 

    Step 1: Before starting with the CAD exercises.

    The CAD exercises will be performed on a remote computer governed by the Electronic Circuit Design (ECD) group. The computer that is dedicated to student usage is named Vspace. It is accessible while connected to an Aalto network. Also, an ECD group computer account is required to access Vspace. Therefore, you need to apply for a personal account before you can begin with the CAD exercises! If you acquired an ECD account earlier, you might have to reactivate it.

    • To get the account, take the following steps.

    1. Connect to the Aalto server Via the Cisco AnyConnenct VPN client. Skip this step, If you are using a computer connected to an Aalto network (eduroam). To connect to the Aalto server, first download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client from Aalto download. The steps for establishing a remote connection to Aalto networks are shown Here. Note: Always when working on CAD exercises, you need to be connected to Aalto Network using this step.
    2. Apply for a user account at Do not mind the possible insecure connection warning. The correct job title is "Student," and the application type is "Apply for a Computer user account.”
    3. After receiving a notification by email that your account is ready, meet Mr. Artturi Kaila in room 2187 (TUAS building) to get your account activated. You will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement form. After that, you will receive a temporary password with the activated user account.

    Step 2: Start an X session (graphical session) in Vspace.

    • First, you need to download remote desktop software. The recommended software is X2Go or VMware. I prefer VMware as it's easier to set up.

    • To Install X2Go and start an X session in vspace, please do the following:
    1. go to
    2. Download the latest X2Goclient for your operating system.
    3. Follow the hints for X2Go installation. For OS X, XQuartz is also required.
    4. Open X2Go Client
    5. Open Session -> New Session menu item.
    6. Type a unique session name into the Session name text box (for example, vspace).
    7. Set the following settings in the Session tab: Host: "”, Login: your ecdl user name (usually NOT your Aalto username), and SSH Port: "22”. Make sure the Session type is XFCE.
    8. Click Ok, and a new white session box named vspace appears in the window.
    9. Click on the session box and type in your password. Click  Ok to start a session.
    10. You should be logged in to vspace and ready to start the exercises. You may resize the window or go full-screen (recommended) by pressing [Alt+Ctrl+F]. Use the same key combination to exit full-screen mode when needed.


    • To Install VMware, please do the following: (I use this)
    1. go to 
    2. Download the VMware Horizon client, and open it.
    3. Use the Server name:
    4. Log in using your Aalto username and password.
    5. Select the virtual desktop you like, e.g., Ubuntu for Linux. 
    6. More information can be found here.

    Step 3: Start Virtuoso

    • After you download, set up the remote desktop software, and you are connecting to Aalto Network. Do the following:
    1. Follow the steps in "Instructions to start Virtuoso."
    2. Only for the first time you need to change the temporary password via ssh. Log in to vspace via ssh by typing 'ssh' in a terminal. Use your temporary password to log in. You are automatically addressed to change your password when you log in the first time (if you are not, type 'passwd'). After changing your password, type 'exit' to quit the ssh session. This is also mentioned in "Instructions to start Virtuoso."
    3. Now you can log in with the new password and start working on the CAD exercises.
    4. After you start virtuoso, follow the rest of the steps from the "CAD 1a: Amplifier Analysis" document.  


    Always remember: Don't close the remote desktop window from the upper right corner when you finish your exercises. This way, your software stays open for the next session (the session remains unterminated). However, always close all CAD software when you are not actively using it. An open piece of software reserves a license, and a limited number of CAD software licenses exist. In other words: don't reserve a CAD license unnecessarily, possibly preventing other students from using CAD software.

  • This year all the lectures/exercise sessions are done online via Zoom!!!

    The meeting passcode: BICD23