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The University of Nottingham

Malaysia Campus



Time allowed THREE Hours

Candidates may complete the front cover of their answer book and sign their desk card but
must NOT write anything else until the start of the examination period is announced

Answer FOUR questions each in Section A and Section B, and

ONE question in Section C

Only silent, self contained calculators with a Single-Line Display or Dual-Line Display are
permitted in this examination.

Dictionaries are not allowed with one exception. Those whose first language is not English
may use a standard translation dictionary to translate between that language and English
provided that neither language is the subject of this examination. Subject specific translation
dictionaries are not permitted.

No electronic devices capable of storing and retrieving text, including electronic dictionaries,
may be used.

DO NOT turn examination paper over until instructed to do so


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Answer any FOUR questions from this section.

(You are advised to spend about 75 minutes on this section)

1. (a) Show the states of the transistors for different inputs shown in Figure Q1.
Give the function of the CMOS circuit.
[5 marks]



B Q5

Q3 Q4

Figure Q1

(b) Explain how static hazards occur in a digital circuit and how it can be eliminated in
the design by giving a suitable circuit as an example.
[5 marks]

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2. (a) A simple logic circuit is required to light an LED (via an active low logic signal) if a
driver attempts to start a car whilst in the seat with the seat-belt undone.
Sensors connected to the seat and belt give a logical high if the seat is occupied
and the belt fastened.

Write out the appropriate truth table and draw the circuit implementing this truth
table using only NAND gates.
[5 marks]

(b) A combinational circuit response is as shown in figure Q2. Describe the function of
this circuit in the form of a Boolean equation, a truth table and a circuit diagram.
[5 marks]

Figure Q2

3. (a) Write a complete VHDL program to implement the following logic expression:

AB + AC + AB
[5 marks]

(b) A toggle (T) flip flop has a single control input (T). When T=0, the flip flop is in
the no change state, similar to a JK flip flop with J=K=0. When T=1, the flip flop
is in the toggle mode, similar to a JK flip flop with J=K=1. Write a VHDL program
which will implement the above logic.
[5 marks]

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4. (a) Explain the logic operations of the following basic cell structure of SRAM shown in
the figure Q4a below.
[5 marks]


T1 T2


T3 T4


_ ____________
Column Column

Figure Q4a

(b) Explain the operations of the basic DRAM structure shown in Figure Q4b below.
[5 marks]

Figure Q4b

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5. There are two inputs to a sequential circuit and one output. Let X1 and X2 be two bit
streams and let Z be the output.

Let the two bit binary number at the nth clock cycle Yn be represented by

Yn = X1X2

Design a circuit so that if the decimal number represented by Yn is greater than its
value at the previous clock cycle, then the output =1, otherwise the output = 0.

For example, let X1 and X2 be represented by

X1 : 0 1 1 1 1 0 0
X2 : 0 1 0 0 1 0 0

During the first clock cycle, Y1 = X1X2 = 00 representing decimal 0; by default we will
let the output be Z=0. During the second clock cycle, Y2 = X1X2 =11 representing
decimal 3; this is an increase from the previous decimal value hence the output Z = 1.

During the third clock cycle, Y3 = 10 representing decimal 2; this is a decrease from
the previous decimal value, hence the output is 0. Use Mealy or Moore design to
implement the above algorithm.
[10 marks]

6. It is required to implement the following logic function:

( A + B).(C + D)

(a) Implement the above logic function using NOR, NAND and NOT gates.
[4 marks]

(b) Draw a CMOS transistor circuit to implement the above logic function.
[6 marks]

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Answer any 4 questions in this section (TOTAL 40 marks)

(You are advised to spend about 75 minutes on this section)

7. (a) Referring to Figure Q7a, identify three problems pertaining to the comparator.
Troubleshoot and enunciate the possible causes corresponding to the problems.
[3 marks]

Figure Q7a

(b) A comparator with a variable reference circuit is shown in Figure Q7b. What
could be the problem in the circuit referring to the waveform shown?
[3 marks]

Figure Q7b

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(c) Figures Q7 c & d show simplified schematics of a smoke detector circuit

constructed using a comparator. Explain how this circuit works.
[4 marks]

Figure Q7c: Schematic Diagram

Figure Q7d: Detector Diagram

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8. (a) The open-loop comparator circuit in Figure Q8a may exhibit the “chatter effect”
in response to noise in the system in which vn is considered to be a noise source
in series with the signal source v1. With a neat circuit diagram, show how this
chatter effect can be eliminated. [Note: Figures Q8b&c illustrate input signal and
output signal showing the chatter effect].
[3 marks]

Figure Q8

(b) Explain the operation of the circuit you proposed in question 8(a).
[2 marks]

(c) Figure Q8c is a circuit employing an op-amp to produce an approximate square

wave output having a frequency of 500 Hz. Assume that V0(max)=14.5 V and
V0(min)=0.5 V. Also assume that the forward bias of the transistors in the op-
amp, Vbe ≈ 0.5 V.

Figure Q8c

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i) The switching occurs at I- = I+. Find the switching voltages for capacitor,
Vc max and Vc min.
[2 marks]

ii) Sketch the waveform for the voltage across the capacitor, Vc.
[3 marks]

9. A Wien bridge oscillator is shown in figure Q9.

Figure Q9

(a) What are the conditions for the Wien bridge oscillator to sustain oscillation? What
is the start-up condition for the Wien bridge oscillator?
[4 marks]

(b) Design a Wien-bridge circuit to oscillate at a frequency fo= 1 kHz. Note that only
resistors 1 kΩ and 2 kΩ are available and there is no restriction on capacitor
[3 marks]

(c) Modify the Wien bridge circuit in question 9(a) in order for the oscillation to self-
start. Draw the circuit diagram.
[3 marks]

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10. A MOSFET amplifier is depicted in figure Q10. The gm and rd of the MOSFET are 5 mS
and 40 kΩ respectively.

(a) Draw the small signal ac equivalent circuits of the MOSFET amplifier for low
frequencies. Derive the voltage gain in term of frequency, ω=2πf.
[4 marks]

(b) The high frequency characteristics of the MOSFET are determined by the gate-
drain capacitance Cgd, the gate-source capacitance Cgs, the drain-source
capacitance Cds. Draw the equivalent circuit for high frequencies.
[3 marks]

Figure Q10

(c) Consider an n-channel MOSFET with parameters VTH (threshold voltage) = 1 V,

  µ n C ox = 20 µA/V2, and W/L=40. Assume the drain current is ID = 1 mA.
[3 marks]

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11. (a) Why should not the gate-source junction of a JFET be forward biased?
[1 mark]

(b) What is the primary advantage that FETs have over BJT?
[2 marks]

(c) A JFET is a voltage-controlled device. Since the JFET has no gate current, there
is no beta rating for the device. Hence, the output current (ID) can be defined in
terms of the circuit input voltage as follows:

 V 
I D = I DSS 1 − GS 
 V 
 GS ( off ) 

Where I DSS = the shorted gate drain current rating of the device
VGS = the gate-source voltage
VGS (off ) = the gate-source cut-off voltage.

The above equation is valid when VGS ≤ VGS (off ) . Explain what will happen if
this condition is not fulfilled.
[3 marks]

(d) Determine the value of drain current for the circuit shown in Figure 11d.
[4 marks]

Figure Q11d

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Answer ONE question in this section (Total 20 marks)

(You are advised to spend about 30 minutes on this section)

12. (a) Distinguish between metals and semiconductors at 0 K on the basis of band
theory of solids.
[2 marks]

(b) Enunciate what happens when the temperature rises above 0 K in a

[2 marks]

(c) The lattice constant of silicon is 0.54 nm. Calculate the number of silicon atoms
in a cubic centimetre.
[2 marks]

(d) A sample of intrinsic is silicon having 1 cm long by (1 mm) x (1 mm) area has
an electron mobility is 0.1 m2V-1s-1. Prove that at room temperature and/or at
any reasonable temperature, silicon would conduct electricity very poorly.
[3 marks]

(e) Comment on the conductivity expression σ p ≅ N a qµ p in the context of a p-type

[2 marks]

(f) Find the probability of an electron state being occupied at a temperature of 300
K if its energy is

i) 0.2 eV above the Fermi level

ii) 0.2 eV below the Fermi level

[3 marks]

(g) Which of the following statements is correct? In a common-emitter amplifier

circuit, the output appears across:

i) emitter and base

ii) base and collector

iii) emitter and collector

[2 marks]

(h) Given that the current through a diode under reverse bias of 0.3 V at 20o C is 1
µA, calculate the current when there is a

i) forward bias of 0.25 V

ii) reverse bias of 0.05 V.

[2 marks]

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13. (a) An ingot of germanium is formed from a melt containing 100 g of germanium and
5.0 µg of indium (relative atomic mass 114.76). The volume of the ingot is 1.83 x
10-5 m3. A specimen with dimensions, 2 cm x 1 mm x 1 mm is cut from the ingot;
calculate its resistance before and after exposure to a flash of light containing 1.8 x
1013 photons, assuming that each photon produces an electron-hole pair. The hole
2 -1 -1 2 -1 -1
and electron mobilities are 0.19 m V s and 0.39 m V s respectively.
[7 marks]

(b) In a p-type GaAs sample, electrons are injected from a contact. If the minority
carrier mobility is 0.4 m2V-1s-1 at 300 K, calculate the diffusion length for the
electrons. The recombination time is 0.6 ns.
[5 marks]

(c) A silicon crystal is made n-type by introducing ND donor levels per m3. The donor
energy level and the Fermi level, EF coincide at 0.1 eV below the bottom of the
conduction band, EC.

i) Calculate the electron, hole and donor densities for the crystal. Sufficient
acceptors, NA m-3, are now added to make EF drop to 0.2 eV below EC.
[6 marks]

ii) Calculate NA.

[2 marks]

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Data sheet and Formula Sheet for Section C

All devices are operating at 300 K, unless specified otherwise

Plank’s Constant: h = 6.626 x 10-34 Js

Boltzmann’s Constant: k = 1.38 x 10-23 J K-1 = 8.62 x 10-5 eV/K
Electron Charge: q = 1.602 x 10-19 C
Mass of electron, m0 = 9.11x10-31
Dielectric constant of free space: εo = 8.854 x 10-12 F/m
Velocity of light in vacuum: c = 2.99 x 108 m/s
Thermal velocity kT/q = 0.026 V
One electron volt = 1.6 x 10-19 J
Rydberg constant, RH = 2.18 x 10-18 J

Useful materials constants:

For silicon:
Band Gap = 1.1 eV
Intrinsic carrier concentration at 300K, ni = 1.6x1016 m-3
Electron mobility, µn = 0.14 m2V-1s-1
Hole mobility, µp = 0.05 m2V-1s-1
Effective mass of electron, mn = 0.3m0
Effective mass of hole, mp = 0.5m0
The relative permittivity of Silicon, ε r = 11.8
Density = 2400 kg m-3

For hydrogen:
− 13.6
Energy level at level n, E n = eV
Useful Equations:

 qD p p no qDn p po   qV 
J=  +  exp − 1
 L p Ln   kT  1
F (E) =
1 + e ( E − E F ) / kT

 − ( E F − EV )   − ( EC − E F ) 
p = N V exp   and n = N C exp 
 kT   kT 
dp( x) dn( x)
J P ( x) = qµ P p ( x) E − qD P and J n ( x) = qµ n n( x) E + qDn
dx dx

3 3
 2πm n kT  2
 E − Ec   2πm p kT  2
 E − EF 
n=2  2  exp F , p=2  2  exp v 
 h   kT   h   kT 