Wise Warthog Logo

Review of Pease: Analog Circuits World Class Designs

Newnes, 2008, 472 pages. Edited by Bob Pease, with chapters by Bonnie Baker, Marc Thompson, Steve Winder and others.

Most of the reviews on Amazon have downgraded the book because several of the chapters have already been published elsewhere. And indeed, if you have already read Analog Circuit Design by Jim Williams, you will be disappointed to see that the chapters My Approach to Feedback Loop Design (Phil Perkins), How to Design Analog Circuits without a Computer or a Lot of Paper (Richard Burwen), Current-Feedback Amplifiers (Sergio Franco) and The Zoo Circuit (Jim Williams) have been copied from that book. But if you have not read it yet and you have to decide between the two books, I would choose Analog Circuits by Pease, because it offers more practical advice. Williams book does a wonderful job of showing the passion that he and other enthusiasts had for analog electronics, but not all of the chapters will be immediately useful for your own work. In any case, you can get the two chapters by Bob Pease for free: Whats all this Vbe Stuff Anyhow Part 1 and Part 2 and Whats all this Error Budget Stuff Anyhow.

The title "World Class Designs" is a bit misleading, what the chapters offer instead is some good advice for anybody with an intermediate knowledge of analog electronics. And no, Bob Pease was not boasting here, the book is just a part of the "World Class Design" series by Newnes (in case you are interested, you can search for the phrase on Amazon and you will find the other books on RF Front End, Power Sources and Supplies, Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Systems, FPGAs and Portable Electronics).

Marc Thompson has written three chapters of the book. In "Review of Feedback Systems" he first provides some historical facts about early feedback systems and then some feedback theory. More interesting are the following sections where Thompson uses Bode plots to discuss phase margin and gain margin and their relationship with the damping ratio, lead and lag networks are also mentioned. Then Thompson shows some interesting examples, among them a photodiode amplifier (including a discussion of the parasitic circuit elements) and a MOSFET current source. In "Basic Amplifier Topologies and a Case Study" Thompson discusses the different stages of an operational amplifier, and provides a quite detailed design example with PSPICE simulation results. Then he explains some of the parameters of real-world op amps and shows why a capacitive load can result in stability problems. This chapter is quite interesting if you already have a good knowledge of operational amplifiers (you might wish to take a look at my op amp books page first). His chapter "Review of Passive Components and a Case Study in PC Board Layout" provides very useful advice about the parasitic elements in resistors, capacitors and inductors. Then he discusses several PCB layout issues: Power supply bypassing, ground planes, trace widths and the inductance of a trace. As an example he discusses the layout for a high speed laser diode driver - delivering 2.5 A pulses with rise and fall times of less than 20ns.

Bonnie Baker has written five chapters of the book, and in all of them she offers good practical advice. In "Finding the Perfect Op-Amp for Your Perfect Circuit", she discusses a few fundamental op amp circuits. In the section Amplifier Design Pitfalls she lists some common problems in op amp circuits and how they can be avoided. In "Noise: The Three Categories - Device, Conducted and Emitted", Baker starts with an example where excessive noise plagued a circuit that consists of an instrumentation amplifier and a 12-bit A/D converter. The rest of the chapter is a good introduction to different kinds of noise, their origins and what you can do to reduce it. The next three chapters are about A/D converters. In "The Basics Behind Analog-to-Digital Converters" she first explains the fundamental parameters of A/D converters. Then she discusses the SAR (Successive Approximation Register) converter. The last topic in the chapter is a good explanation of the Delta-Sigma converter and its applications. In "The Right ADC for the Right Application" Baker discusses several kinds of sensors (for temperature, pressure, measuring light with a photodiode and finally Hall effect sensors) and shows what signal conditioning circuits and A/D converters are most suitable for them. "Working the Analog Problem From the Digital Domain" shows you several low-cost solutions for D/A and A/D conversions if you already have a microcontroller available in your system, using PWM (pulse width modulators), timers and comparators.

Steve Winder has written four chapters on analog filters: Lowpass, Highpass, Bandpass and Bandstop filters. Passive filters and active filters like Sallen-Key and Cauer are discussed and their formulae presented.

You should also take a look at some recommendations for other books on practical analog electronics. And if you are interested to read more by Bob Pease, you can get a lot of it for free on my page Columns and Application Notes by Bob Pease.

Wise Warthog Site Overview:

General: Forums, Tips on how to seek Advice

Practical Electronics: Books and Other General Resources, Troubleshooting, Introductions to Oscilloscopes, Breadboarding and Prototyping

Foundations: Basic Linear Circuit Analysis, Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits, Introductions to Analog IC Design, Circuit Simulation with SPICE

Devices: General Op Amp Resources, Op Amp Applications, Resistors, Capacitors, Diodes, Bipolar Junction Transistors

Application Notes: Analog Devices Seminar Notes, Columns and App Notes by Bob Pease, App Notes by Jim Williams, E-books and App Notes from Texas Instruments

Mathematics: Complex Numbers, Calculus, Mathematics for Physics and Engineering

Wise Warthog - Learning Resources
for Analog Electronics and more