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Circuit Technology Thread

In the hierarchy of electronics, spanning from devices to systems, functional stand-alone collections of circuits are known as systems. Thus, circuit design is the core element and skill needed to take individual electronic devices (elements that do some rudimentary function on current and voltage) and supply functionality to create systems. Systems are analogous to the human body. The circuits are analogous to the heart and the devices analogous to the heart muscle cells, i.e. the core building block of the entire system/body. But unlike the human body, we have control over how these devices are arranged and interact via circuit design, creating new functionality or improving on prior performance. 

The Circuits Technology thread prepares you for a career designing and manufacturing both nano-scale (small circuits written collectively onto a tiny “chip”) and component level (typically large pre-packaged devices soldered together on a board) complex circuitry to perform some desired function such as computation, sensing, control, communications, and amplification, among countless other functions. Unlike other threads that focus exclusively on one electronics functionality, this thread provides the detailed understanding of design and circuit operation applicable to a wide range of applications.  It is the most broadly applicable and marketable of all the circuit application threads.

Pretty much every industry uses circuit technology.  A sample of related career paths include:

  • Computer chip design (Intel, AMD, HP, IBM, Apple, etc.)
  • Power electronics industries  (Seimens, International Rectifier, Vishay Intertechnology (Siliconix), Infineon Technologies, Fairchild Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Linear Technology, Motorola, Microchip Technology, Philips Semiconductors, Toshiba, Maxim Integrated Products, Dallas Semiconductor, National Semiconductor, Power Integrations, IXYS, Microsemi, etc.)
  • Aerospace, drone and aircraft development (SpaceX, JPL. NASA, Boeing, for example, but many others)
  • Automotive industry including power, control, and convenience development for driverless cars (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Tesla, Waymo, Uber, etc.)
  • Industrial machinery and factory automation
  • 5G and 6G development (Verizon, Qualcomm, etc.)
  • Government labs (USGS, FCC, NIST, NOAA, and NWS, plus DoD and other classified national security work)
  • Robotics including medical robotics (Boston Dynamics, iRobot, Raytheon, Amazon Robotics, Accuray)
  • Energy sector (Geophysical prospecting, SmartGrid sensing)
  • Smart cities (Huge number of smaller companies in this area)


Circuit Technology


ECE 3400 - Analog Electronics
ECE 4452 - Integrated Circuit Fabrication

Pick 1 of Circuit Technology

ECE 4043 - Analog Electronics Lab
ECE 4415 - RF Engineering I
ECE 4420 - Digital Integrated Circuits
ECE 4430 - Analog Integrated Circuits
ECE 4435 - Operational Amplifier Design
ECE 4502 - Optical Fiber Communications
ECE 4370 - Antenna Engineering
ECE 4391 - Electromagnetic Compatibility
ECE 3000/4000 Elective

Last revised July 9, 2020