Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


6.003 (corequisite), 8.02, 18.03


The TA's will conduct several one-hour tutorial sessions each week for small groups of students.

Required Text

Howe, R. T., and C. G. Sodini. Microelectronics: An Integrated Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996. ISBN: 0135885183.

Reference Texts

Fonstad, C. G. Microelectronic Devices and Circuits. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN: 0070214964.

Sedra, A. S., and K. C. Smith. Microelectronic Circuits. 4th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN: 0195116631.

Pierret, R. F. Semiconductor Device Fundamentals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995. ISBN: 0201543931.


Brought as appropriate to lecture and recitations.


All the items below will enter into the computation of the final grade.


There will be two evening quizzes. No homework is due on those weeks. To compensate for the evening exams, there will be no formal recitation sessions on those days either. The instructors will be available in their offices to entertain your questions. Quizzes are open book and a calculator is required.

Final Exam

To be scheduled by the Registrar during final exam week. Open book, calculator required.


There will be ten problem sets that will be handed out on Fridays. The homework is due at recitation the following Friday and is acceptable until 1 PM. This is a firm deadline. There are a couple of exceptions to this weekly cycle. No late homework will be accepted. Only the lecturer can handle exceptions to this rule.

Circuit Design Project

There is also one circuit design project. It will require the use of SPICE, a professional circuit CAD tool. A design project turned in late will not be accepted.

The course grade will be established in consideration of the following weight factors:

Activities Percentages
Quiz 1 15%
Quiz 2 15%
Final Exam 25%
Homework 25%
Design Project 20%

The final letter grade will also take into consideration non-numerical assessments of your command of the subject matter as evaluated by the lecturer, instructors, and TA's.

Policy for Academic Conduct

All assignments in 6.012 are prepared with the aim of complementing lectures and recitations and are designed to reinforce key material. Working on the problem sets and the design project is extremely effective in assuring your command of the course material.

To encourage you to do these assignments in a timely manner, a significant fraction of the final grade will be based on your performance in these exercises. This brings up important ethical questions to the foreground.

Our judgment is that the primary learning purpose of homework and design problems is best served by allowing and encouraging collaboration with fellow students. After all, modern engineering is almost exclusively a team effort. However, fairness requires us to be able to assess your own contribution. This also provides you with feedback that helps you learn better. Towards this goal, below are the rules for academic conduct in 6.012 this semester:

  • You are allowed and encouraged to work with fellow students on homeworks and in the design project.
  • Collaborations must be acknowledged in writing in the assignment by all parties.
  • 6.012 assignments are not group projects to be divided among several participants. You must work out the entire assignment.
  • The written material that you hand out must be your own work.

All assignments will be new this year. However, studying from "bibles" and other material from previous editions of 6.012 will most likely help you to learn better and is encouraged. Note, however, that the flavor and emphasis of the course changes with the lecturer.

The policy of academic conduct outlined above is intended to help you make the most out of 6.012 by freely working with your classmates using any material that you find useful. If you have any doubts as to what constitutes ethical or unethical behavior, please contact any member of the staff. Violations to this policy will be brought to MIT's Committee on Discipline.

Course Objectives

In 6.012 students will learn to do the following:

  • A: Semiconductor Physics - Explain and apply basic concepts of semiconductor physics relevant to devices
  • B: Semiconductor Devices - Describe, explain, and analyze the operation of important semiconductor devices in terms of their physical structure
  • C: Physics-based Models - Explain, describe, and use physics-based device and circuit models for semiconductor devices of varying levels of complexity, select models appropriate to a specific need, and apply those models to analyze multi-component circuits
  • D: Circuit Analysis - Analyze and design microelectronic circuits for linear amplifier and digital applications
  • E: Design - Confront integrated device and/or circuit design problems, identify the design issues, and develop solutions

Measurable Course Outcomes

A student completing 6.012 will be able to:

  1. Explain and apply the semiconductor concepts of drift, diffusion, donors and acceptors, majority and minority carriers, excess carriers, low level injection, minority carrier lifetime, quasi-neutrality, and quasi-statics;
  2. Explain the underlying physics and principles of operation of p-n junction diodes, metaloxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors, bipolar junction transistors (BJTs), and MOS field effect transistors (MOSFETs), and describe and apply simple large signal circuit models for these devices which include charge storage elements;
  3. Create an incremental (small signal) linear equivalent circuit (LEC) model for a multiterminal non-linear electronic device knowing its large signal characteristics, and understand and apply standard LEC models for p-n diodes, BJTs, and MOSFETs, including capacitances;
  4. Determine parameter values for large signal and incremental LEC models for p-n diodes, BJTs, and MOSFETs based on knowledge of the device structure and dimensions, and of the bias condition;
  5. Explain how devices and integrated circuits are fabricated and describe discuss modern trends in the microelectronics industry;
  6. Explain, compare, and contrast the input, output, and gain characteristics of single-transistor, differential, and common two-transistor linear amplifier building block stages;
  7. Use large signal and incremental LEC device models to analyze analog electronic circuits of moderate complexity, including circuits with multiple stages, nonlinear and active loads, and current source bias circuits;
  8. Determine the frequency range of simple electronic circuits and understand the high frequency limitations of BJTs and MOSFETs;
  9. Explain the operation and features of common MOS logic inverter stages;
  10. Calculate the transfer characteristics of a CMOS inverter and explain how device dimensions and parameters impact them and inverter switching speed;
  11. Understand the limitations of the various device models, identify the appropriate model for a given problem or situation, and justify the selection; and
  12. Design simple devices and circuits to meet stated operating specifications.