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Analog Circuits: An Uphill Battle for Electrical Engineers

Hi Guys,

I am back with a new subject related post and this time it won’t be me that will be guiding you but rather another GATE Topper, Arpit Srivastava (AIR-7, GATE-2014 EE). 
This time we’ll be dealing with the most daunting topic for Electrical Engineers “Analog Circuits” as rarely Electrical Engineers are interested in this topic. But still it is one of the most important subject for GATE exam and you must be fully prepared to tackle it. So let us see what Arpit has to say about Analog Electronics.
Electronic Circuits are generally divided into two categories i.e. Analog Electronics and Digital Electronics and hence Analog Electronics is not one of the core competencies of Electrical Engineers. Due to this fact most of the Electrical Engineers do not take this subject seriously and have a phobia about this subject. The main misconception associated with this subject is that it requires understanding of Electronic Devices which is a core subject for ECE guys but this subject only requires understanding of Network Analysis. So, if you are good at Network Analysis then you can be good at Analog Electronics as well.
Electrical engineers can leave Electronic Devices for gate but basic working principles of devices (Diode, BJT, MOSFET, JFET) are necessary. You need to know about various terminals and direction of current Flow and applied terminal voltage for different modes of operation. The following topics are included in Analog Circuits:
  • Diodes Circuits

    It is very important topic for Gate exam. You first have to study about the basics of Diode and its current voltage equation. If you practice problems based on Open Circuit and Short Circuit test problems well then you can easily determine the state of variious diodes in a multi-diode circuit. Then you can proceed to applications of diodes such as Clippers, Clampers, Rectifiers. The basic knowledge of rectifiers will help you in Power Electronics as well. You can practice various Diode circuits from kanodia book and any reference book. Thermal effect on Diode can be left as it is an unimportant topic.

Analog circuits
  •  Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)

    The basics about working of BJT should be studied in brief and not in much detail and you should focus more on finding the Q-point of DC analysis of the BJT. You should focus more on Common Emitter configuration and the biasing methods that you should study are Fixed Bias, Self Bias, and Voltage Divider Bias. After learning biasing, the concept of the amplifier is important. There are many models to solve amplifier problems. But remodel is simple to learn. In GATE exam they ask the question only from this model. Also, you may be asked about different components in the small signal model like Trans-conductance etc and these parameters can be directly from the DC Analysis. By practicing some question you can master it. BJT amplifier is more important than MOSFET.

  • Power Amplifier

    For Electrical GATE paper you need not worry about this topic and it can be left out. This has now been removed from ECE GATE syllabus as well and is only asked in ESE now.

 

  • MOSFET

    In MOSFET, you can learn about the basics of working of the device and then you can move onto the biasing techniques. The same biasing techniques as BJT are used here such as Fixed Bias, Self Bias and Voltage Divider Bias. The topic about MOSFET amplifier is not needed for GATE electrical and so if you get a command on problems based on Biasing then it will be sufficient.

  • Feedback Amplifier

    In GATE exam, detailed questions are not asked in this topic. But you should be aware of various topology and its effect on output and input impedances, gain, noise, distortion. Also, you must be able to identify the type of feedback by looking at the circuit which may be a BJT amplifier or an Op-Amp amplifier.

  • Operational amplifier

    The concept of Operational Amplifier starts with the differential amplifier and its various definition like CMRR, slew rate input biasing current etc. Out of these CMRR and slew rate is important. Most of the questions are asked from basic op-amp topology. You can solve them by just applying network theory and mostly centered around the concept of Virtual Ground. These are simple and mostly asked in gate exam. You should also be aware of various Filter Designs as well as they can be asked in Control Systems or Network Theory. Also, you should be clear with analysis of Schmitt Trigger as that is one of the most important ttopicsin GATE.

  • Oscillators and 555 Timer

    The various oscillators such as Hartley Oscillator, Colpitt Oscillator and the various Multi-vibrators using 555 Timer are not important from GATE perspective for EE syllabus.

Overall you can score 3 to 4 marks in this subject easily but just studying few topic. Diode and op amp circuit are most simple and important part of this ocean size subject. So guys Analog Electronics is not as daunting from inside as it looks from the outside.
About The Author:
Arpit Srivastava graduated from MITS Gwalior in 2014 in EE Stream and cleared GATE with AIR-7 in 2014. At present ,he is working in IOCL as an Operation Officer.
So if you guys wish to get in touch with him regarding your preparation do let us know. Also please share this article with your friends who are also fussing about Analog Electronics so that these misconceptions can be cleared soon.
Also ,guys, keep giving us your valuable feedback so that we can keep improving our products and keep helping you to crack GATE.

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