Instructor Information

John Penn

Willie Thompson II

Course Information

Course Description

This course is for advanced students who have a background in microwave circuit analysis and design techniques and are familiar with modern microwave computer-aided engineering tools. The course covers the monolithic implementation of microwave circuits on GaAs, or other III/V, substrates, including instruction on processing, masks, simulation, layout, design rule checking, packaging, and testing. The first part of the course includes information and assignments on the analysis and design of MMIC chips. The second part consists of projects in which a chip is designed, reviewed, and evaluated in an engineering environment, resulting in a design that would be ready for submission to a foundry for fabrication.


EN.525.775 RF and Microwave Circuits II.

Course Goal

Complete a successful design of a Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) ready to submit for fabrication.

Course Objectives

  • Learn the limitations and advantages of MMIC Designs.
  • Understand the MMIC Fabrication Process and how it affects or impacts the design process.
  • Design MMIC circuits and amplifiers using lumped elements using Qorvo's (formerly TriQuint) foundry design library.
  • Complete an actual MMIC design as part of a class system project¬†that would be ready to¬†submit for fabrication.

When This Course is Typically Offered

This course is offered in the fall at the Dorsey Center.


  • Intro to MMIC
  • Processing and Layers
  • Pass. MMIC Elements and Models
  • Act. MMIC Elements and Models I
  • Act. MMIC Elements and Models II
  • Biasing, Amplifiers Continued
  • Mid-Term
  • Design Exmp. and Discuss Projects
  • Projects Electrical Design Review
  • Packaging, Testing, and Projects
  • Project Layout Design Review
  • Design Rule Checking of Projects
  • Final Design Submission
  • Final Report Submission

Student Assessment Criteria

Homework 30%
Midterm 30%
Project 40%

Computer and Technical Requirements

525.775 Microwave Circuit Analysis II. Students should be familiar with ADS or MWO CAD tool.

Participation Expectations

Students complete a crash course in MMIC design during the first half of the course with weekly lectures and homeworks. Then students begin a MMIC design, individually or in pairs, and progress through a series of in class presentations/design reviews.


Textbook information for this course is available online through the MBS Direct Virtual Bookstore.

Course Notes

There are notes for this course.

Final Words from the Instructor

This is an excellent opportunity to design an actual MMIC, have it fabricated, and learn from the measured results of the probe tested circuit. TriQuint Semiconductor has been an excellent supporter for this course since 1989 in providing free fabrication services that normally are quite expensive. Agilent EEsof has provided software support since our first offering in 1989.  AWR also provides software to students in recent years in addition to Agilent.  In 2015, TriQuint merged with RFMD to form Qorvo.  Fabrication of student MMIC designs is currently uncertain, since the merger.

Term Specific Course Website

(Last Modified: 11/21/2016 08:12:58 AM)