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Experiments In High Frequency Circuit Design

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.492.1 - 6.492.8

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Paper Authors

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Earl Owen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1547

Experiments in High Frequency Circuit Design

Earl F. Owen Brigham Young University


Circuit design at high frequency involves some unique and challenging problems. In the Electronics Engineering Technology program at BYU students complete an experiment in the design and test of transistor amplifiers at frequencies above 1 GHz. The objective of the experiment is to give students the background they need to be familiar with the problems and methods of high frequency circuits they will encounter in industry. Special computer-aided design and analysis programs have been developed to demonstrate concepts of high frequency design. This paper will detail some of the topics students need to understand in design and test of high frequency circuits, and describe the computer programs that are used to assist them. These programs are patterned after standard commercial design and analysis programs, but are simplified to be adaptable to the learning environment rather than the professional. The computer programs contain graphics and animation to assist with teaching and learning objectives, while also providing the computer-assisted circuit design and simulation necessary at high frequencies. Topics learned include definition of s parameters, circuit design using s parameters and the Smith chart, impedance matching for gain and stability using s parameter design techniques, and microstrip circuit design and layout. In the process students also learn about the network analyzer and how to use this instrument to measure s parameters and analyze circuit performance.


In the Electronics Engineering Technology program at Brigham Young University students complete an experiment in amplifier design and test at frequencies of 1 GHz and above. The experiment is designed to introduce them to the distinctive methods and problems of high frequency circuit design and operation. Prior to introducing the principles of high frequency circuit design, students must have first completed the appropriate prerequisites, including basic principles of RF circuits, impedance matching, and transmission line theory including the use of the Smith chart. The microwave amplifier experiment includes the design steps necessary to extend circuit design and analysis from RF into microwave frequency range.

Before beginning their amplifier design, students must learn about s parameters and the s parameter equivalent circuit used in circuit design and analysis at high frequency. Once they understand these concepts, they can measure the s parameters for a high frequency transistor using an s parameter test set. This introduces them to the network analyzer and the role this instrument plays in microwave circuit design and analysis. The measured s parameters are used to

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Owen, E. (2001, June), Experiments In High Frequency Circuit Design Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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