Customer Reviews: Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design)
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on January 2, 2008
I came across this book while searching for an introductory text to review my fundamentals. The book developed from an introductory course taught at MIT in electronic circuits. I like the coverage of topics in the book and the manner in which the authors have presented them. The best part is that the course webcast is freely available over the MIT's Open Course Ware initiative. I benefited most from listening to one of the authors lectures on the web and using this book as a text. End of chapter problems emphasize applications of the various abstractions the authors use which is very intuitive. There are zillions of circuit theory books in the market but all of them just deal with the concept and circuit techniques. This book develops the concept and encourages the reader to think about the various simplifications and assumptions that have been made in circuits and systems theory and their domains of existence. Again, the best way this book can be put to use is to listen to the accompanying webcast lectures and take the "virtual course" on MIT OCW website. Don't forget to leave a small donation if you like the contents of the course so institutions like MIT can continue to open up their resources to the general public.
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on April 4, 2009
If you have seen Agarwal lecture at MIT, you know the man is pretty darn good at what he does. This book, lived upto the standards. IT's like the bible of under-graduate electronics. I have read other books here and there. If you get this one with Art of can build yourself, any electronics gadget (almost any). I treasure this with all my life, although I am not a EE person!
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on March 18, 2012
Many have aspired, but few have succeeded providing a truly top-notch introduction to circuits. Agarwal and Lang, of MIT, hit a home run with this comprehensive introduction, tailor-made for students. The text links theory to everyday applications. So often in college level texts, authors dwell on theory but leave the reader starved for applications. How can I apply this stuff? Why do I need it? These questions are answered in "Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits."

The book clearly and concisely educates the reader not only in circuits, but in application of circuit theory to electronics, both analog and digital. The book is complete with solved exercises and answers to select chapter problems. I just can't praise this book enough.

One word of caution. There are substandard prints of this book available from sellers outside Amazon. I bought a second copy for a friend thinking it was an original run from the publisher. It wasn't in color, had publisher's pages missing from the front, had a couple pages stuck together, and didn't meet the high standards of binding from the publisher. I suggest you ask before you buy used copies from sellers other than Amazon.

Please hit the "I'd like to read this book on Kindle" button, if appropriate. There is a PDF version available from a competitor, but their e-reader required for download has received terrible reviews (crashes, poor performance, no book mark, etc.). It's the same price as the hard copy from Amazon.
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on April 30, 2014
The authors do a great job of explaining the foundational physics of why devices do what they do and then layering on the math. The book has some other shortcomings that I didn't like. But, as a beginner, I found myself getting lost in the math. There would be pages and pages of differential equations and I just couldn't bring myself to try to keep up with it all. And all that math becomes obsolete when the impedance method is explained. It's good to understand the foundations, but that's not what I was hoping to get from the book. I know the book isn't geared towards me, but I wanted to mention it just for anyone thinking of starting the MIT OpenCourseware in hopes of learning more about electronics than a basic robotics kit will teach you. If you're like me or want some basics before getting into this book, go to [link in comments]. It's a great site that'll teach the fundamentals you're looking for.

What really affected my review was that the book didn't seem to be organized very well, relying on a lot of work from the reader. Certain sections of the book, and later on figures referred to in the text, aren't included in the book; they're online. And many times the writer talks about a figure several pages or chapters away. And it's not just a mention, it's something that may or may not be important and you can't follow it unless you remember every little detail of the figure or finally give up and go find it.
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on June 23, 2012
The title, "Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits" is, above all, truth in advertising, and I mean that in a good way. I took the recent online version of the MIT 6.002 and this was the textbook. It starts with the basics: Ohm's Law, Kirchoff's Laws, works its way into RC, RL, and RLC circuits, time constants, Q factor, and of course the differential equations governing them. The good news is that it skips Laplace Transforms (which most of us forget ten minutes after graduation anyway) and nicely bridges the gap between differential equations used in the time diomain and solving circuits in the frequency domain using impedances (s = jw).

The text also delves into basic transistor level design using MOSFETs (CMOS), which are prevalent in digital design, and bipolar devices, which are still used in analog design. MOSFETs are covered starting with the Switched Resistor model and finally for all regions of operation. The text pulls everything together when you start calculating circuit on and off switching times, pulling together the material covered on RC circuits and MOSFETs plus calculating the energy consumed. (Yes, minimizing power consumption is a big thing in the world of chip design and the authors make you aware of it.) When you're done you'll be able to bias a transistor and calculate the circuits small and large signal gain.

The material assumes a basic knowledge of calculus, including some differential equations, along with some basic complex analysis. The course is available online from MIT as open courseware and is also available for download via iTunes University. The math isn't too ghastly and there are several Internet sites that provide tutorials on what's needed plus there's an Appendix in the text.

Disclaimer: I might be a slightly biased MIT alumni who is also a working EE.
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on April 25, 2014
This review applies to the Kindle edition. For content I'd give the book 5 stars; for device compatibility 2 stars; and for reading experience on Kindle devices and apps 1 star.

The book is well written and provides thorough and understandable explanations of the concepts presented. To completely follow some of the explanations and work some of the problems the reader should have college level calculus and linear equations.

Amazon lists a number of Kindle devices that will work with this book, but that includes the 7" Kindle Fires, and while it might technically display the book, remember this is a "print replica" book - the text does not flow to the screen size. Even in landscape mode you'll be zooming and horizontal panning constantly. In reality this is only usable on 9" devices and the laptop/desktop apps.

The book is a "print replica" - really just a PDF of the printed book. Some of the Kindle reader functions don't work (e.g. font size) and the text does not flow to the screen width. The book has many figures in the margin areas. The figures are not linked from their reference and can be one or more pages before or after their reference in the body. Of course once you find the figure you may have to go back and forth between the figure and the body text as the explanation progresses. The overall experience of studying from the Kindle edition is one of frustration and inconvenience.
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on June 11, 2012
This book reflects a very practical approach to teaching the foundations of analog and digital electronic circuits, one which makes the process of learning them so much more exciting. The theory, which is clearly explained, delivers a solid analytical backdrop to its practical real-world applications.

The authors demonstrate how one step of the analysis leads to another, why things are best done a certain way, and how you can avoid nasty gotchas.
Not only does the book explain how to solve a specific problem but it also shows how to find the most efficient route to the solution you are looking for. It says things like "we could just solve the whole network for each value of R3, but a simpler approach is to find..." (page 171) or "there are several ways to make the calculations, so it pays to examine the possibilities and choose the easiest route", then it goes on to explain what works and why.

While node analysis, Kirchhoff's Voltage Law (KVL) & Kirchhoff's Current Law (KCL) are the bread-&-butter tools in this book, you'll also dive into how not to bang your head against too many variables. It often proves to be a lot smarter to also use approaches like Thevenin (e.g. pages 157-167, 171-189, 433-435, etc.) and Norton (pages 167-171) to get to your solutions in a breeze without missing a beat.

Being pragmatic about the selection and presentation of the material clearly pays off in the amount of time you're required to invest in learning it. Before you know it, you'll be designing logic gates, calculating the frequency response of circuits, plotting resonant functions, designing filters, inverting operational amplifiers, and so on.

You'll learn how to make use of Maxwell laws such as Gauss' law, Faraday's law, Ampere's law, and the continuity equation useful for EECS by introducing the lumped matter discipline. It's amazing how Anant Agarwal & Jeffrey H. Lang manage to give readers real-world insights into what matters and what doesn't. For instance, you will learn how to set up and solve differential equations (including how to find the homogeneous, the particular and the complete solutions). But you'll also learn that often you can write the characteristic equation by inspection and solve it quickly and efficiently. This book is brilliant, spot-on and it'll save you a lot of time. It's an introduction to electrical engineering on steroids.
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on April 11, 2013
I took an online course through MIT on circuit analysis because it is a hobby of mine (I'm an engineer/full time nerd). The professor who taught the class wrote this book. The guy was very knowledgeable and funny. I had the eBook version of this but I can't stand reading eBook's for Textbooks. I bought this and have really enjoyed the knowledge gained from it. It teaches you about how circuits really work in the real world and what happens at failure etc. When I took physics in college it was all theoretical which is necessary but isn't as useful when building your own circuits. This touches on the theoretical backgrounds of the theories and then gets into what it actually means and does. It teaches you about the differences in analog and digital (I really enjoyed the section about digital signals). I recommend this book to hobbyists and academics alike. I initially bought a physics textbook to help me with my circuit design but it lacked in material. This was perfect and I still use it.
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on July 22, 2013
I agree with most of the positive reviews about this book. It is well written, comprehensive and understandable.

I especially want to add that this book works great on a Kindle Fire HD, or using a Kindle PC app. This is one of the few technical books I have purchased that looks as good on a Kindle as in print. Usually, Kindle tech books have tiny, unreadable equations and other poor quality graphics. This one is an exception: the equations read just fine, and the graphics are great.

Other Kindle authors should take note that it is possible to make good quality technical Kindle books. The formatting is mostly up to the author, not to Amazon.
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on March 19, 2012
The book is an amazing approach to physics and elecronics with the engineer'eyes.
Nice procedure is simplifiying theory in order to get instruments that allows to build real "hardware".
A good engineer's approach to complex math and physics world.
Not sure all students will appreciate the teaching style.
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