Dr. Middlebrook's Website
  This Ardem Associates website
  features works by

  Dr. R. David Middlebrook,
  Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering,
  California Institute of Technology


For the past several months, as a result of health issues, it has not been possible for me to reply to messages sent to me or to messages posted to the D-OA discussion group. I continue to enjoy reading and thinking about the development and application of design-oriented analysis.

I was most pleased, when, starting in January, someone previously unknown to me began answering questions posted to the D-OA group. I could see in the answers, a high level of understanding, possessed by a very few people. I contacted this person, Garrett Neaves, after he posted a message announcing the implementation of a GFT simulation in LTspice by a nulling technique similar to what Intusoft had implemented several years earlier in their ICAP4 SPICE simulator. Garrett referenced his newly created website where he provided the LTspice schematics and documentation. He explained that he expected that GFT simulation can be implemented in any modern SPICE. I agree.

I invited him to meet with me at the Applied Power Electronics Conference, health permitting. Fortunately, my health did permit me to travel to APEC which was being held in Palm Springs. Besides being able to meet with Garrett, I was very pleased to accept the honor of being recognized as a founder of this conference on its 25th anniversary and to visit with longtime friends and colleagues. My discussions with Garrett at our meetings in Palm Springs were very interesting and productive. Our meetings included discussion of his plan for applying D-OA to a specific RF feedback amplifier. Please see his website for more information on his plans for this circuit.

D-OA includes many powerful tools including the Extra Element Theorem and the General Feedback Theorem which have not yet reached anywhere near their full potential in engineering education or practice. I am very happy that most of the people who have taken my courses have expressed feelings of inspiration. Garrett has been able to go with this inspiration to actively work to achieve the potential of D-OA in engineering practice. I am excited for the future and hope that you will work with Garrett in whatever way you can to apply these techniques to make your work more enjoyable and productive.

Garrett can be contacted through his website at http://sites.google.com/site/garrettneaves/design-oriented-analysis

Dr. R. David Middlebrook


The course I developed at Caltech, and in later years as a three-day course for analog engineers in industry, arose from a recognition that much of what we are taught in academia does not translate well into real-world practical applications. Many graduates “fall off a cliff” upon beginning their first job, and discover two unexpected facts: design is the reverse of analysis, and the analysis goes into paralysis when attempted upon even slightly more complicated problems.

My courses came to be called “Technical Therapy,” because they were directed at those who had already been indoctrinated by the conventional approach, and who therefore had to regress, even all the way back to high school, in order to accept the fact that much of what they were taught is not well suited to real-world analysis and design. Then, they are receptive to the “Design-Oriented Analysis (D-OA)” divide-and-conquer approach, in which the Kirchhoff loop or node equations are solved sequentially, rather than simultaneously.

Some three thousand students and working analog engineers have taken these courses over the last forty years. The most frequent comment was, and still is, “Why wasn’t I taught this in school?

With the benefits of the D-OA approach thus confirmed, it follows that it would be more efficient to implement the D-OA approach in a first-level linear circuits course, rather than have to replace the conventional approach later via technical therapy.

Two professors, Don Peter at Seattle Pacific U and Arthur Witulski, then at the U of Arizona Tucson, pressed me to conduct an Analog Workshop for instructors to consider the question “Could, and Should, the D-OA approach be adopted in a first-level circuits course?” The outcome was unanimously positive, as was that of a second workshop conducted a year later.

Spearheaded by Marcelo Simoes, a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, Don Peter and Art Witulski submitted to NSF a proposal for development of a D-OA-based first-level course, which was turned down. A modified version, Proposal for development of a D-OA-based first-level electronic circuits course, is offered [Click here] as a template for any individual or group who may wish to pursue development of such a new first-level course.

The most recent activity to promote such a course is the formation of a Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Design-Oriented_Analysis_D-OA. The Moderator is John Spencer, of Hewlett Packard: “It is time to develop a first-level circuits course based on the D-OA paradigm. Join the members of this group to discuss the application of the D-OA paradigm, and help spread this approach to as many instructors and engineers as possible.” Among the Files accessible to Group Members are the Final reports of the two Analog Workshops, and the above-mentioned Proposal for development of a D-OA-based first-level electronic circuits course.

Finally, I arrive at the main purpose of this Message, which is to announce that the complete PowerPoint files of the latest version of my New Structured Analog Design Course are available for free download from this website at http://www.RDMiddlebrook.com/D_OA_Rules&Tools/index.asp.

The purpose is to make the D-OA approach available to instructors who may be inspired to incorporate it into their teaching, at any level.


Dr. Middlebrook's career-enhancing course Structured Analog Design is now updated to include the General Feedback Theorem (GFT), which is the culmination of the Design-Oriented Analysis techniques previously developed.

Participants in the New Structured Analog Design Course will receive both the Technical Therapy DVD and the Owner's Manual described below.

The new 3-day Structured Analog Design course is available in-house at your company by special arrangement. Call Teagan at Ardem Associates (951) 679-7543.

Click here for a complete descriptive brochure (PDF download).

Prof. Don Peter, Seattle Pacific University:

“A number of years ago I had the opportunity to hear Caltech Professor Dr. R. David Middlebrook make a presentation at an IEEE Frontiers In Education (FIE) conference which has had a major impact on how I think about and teach electronics analysis and design. He introduced a novel and effective way of thinking about how to formulate circuit analysis so that it could be done more efficiently, more coherently, and more practically so as to make it maximally useful for the purposes of design. Not only did he introduce this new paradigm, which he dubbed “Design-Oriented Analysis”, but he also brought with it an impressive set of practical techniques and circuit theorems that served to flesh out his ideas for application to real-world design problems.“ MORE…
for Analog Circuit Designers
Technical Therapy DVD

Middlebrook’s Structured Analog Design Course has been presented numerous times in the U.S. and in foreign countries for many years. It is a "Technical Therapy" course for analog circuit designers. It shows you how the value of the methods you learned in college can be multiplied manyfold by translating them into Design-Oriented Analysis techniques that really work to speed up your everyday design projects by teaching you how to do your design while using little math.

Technical Theripy Manual cover Technical Theripy Manual pages

The DVD package contains a minimally edited version of a 19 hour live presentation by Dr. Middlebrook of Structured Analog Design, Part 1, the course notes in color in Acrobat format, and a printed Owner's Manual that contains a Contents list with detailed annotations and marker times for easy random access to the DVD, plus a summary of Design-Oriented Analysis techniques.

"I believe that this is a timeless classic that will serve analog engineers for many decades to come. This is an archive of one of the most important courses ever offered in the analog field, presented with Dr. Middlebrook's unique style. It presents techniques I use almost every day in my work." - Ray Ridley, President, Ridley Engineering, commenting on a prepublication version of the DVD

Who can benefit from the Technical Therapy Course?
How to convince your boss that the company also can benefit from the Technical Therapy Course
What is Design-Oriented Analysis (D-OA)?
Participant Testimonials
Owner’s Manual Contents Page
Technical Therapy?? What it’s all about


For further information, or to order the Technical Therapy DVD, just fill in our Response Form, or call Ardem Associates and ask for Teagan at (951) 679-7543.

for Design-Oriented Feedback Analysis
The GFT: A Final Solution CD

The General Feedback Theorem (GFT) is the culmination of Dr. Middlebrook's longstanding efforts to develop a framework for expressing the important features of a feedback system, such as loop gain, directly in terms of recognizable physical paths in the circuit model. The conventional "bottom up" approach attempts to identify distinct blocks from the circuit model, which usually involves guesswork and approximation because the blocks are not really separable. In contrast, the GFT is a "top down" approach in which a natural block diagram is part of the answer.

The CD contains a 3 hour live first-time presentation by Dr. Middlebrook.

What is the GFT?
Where did the GFT come from?


For further information, or to order The GFT: A Final Solution CD, just fill in our Response Form, or call Ardem Associates and ask for Teagan at (951) 679-7543.

To access the GFT for Design Simulation:
Intusoft has implemented the GFT into their downloadable ICAP/4 demo CD. In addition to this complete toolset for schematic entry, SPICE simulation and design verification, the product includes GFT Templates. The templates calculate all the GFT constituent transfer functions generated by a user-specified test signal injection configuration. This forms a powerful and fast tool for use in “Design-Oriented Analysis."

"Analog design is often viewed as a difficult to learn mysterious art. Dr. Middlebrook's Structured Analog Design course, on the Technical Therapy DVD, dispels this mystery in a straightforward practical and intuitive way. The course material is a must know for designers of all skill levels from beginners to experts. The tips and techniques are useful for almost any field of analog design and are so fundamental as to be never out of date. The CD on the General Feedback Theorem presents a powerful but easy to apply approach to control loop design which is not available anywhere else."  - Rudy Severns, President, Springtime Enterprises

for Analog Circuit Designers
Real World Design CD

Get a preview of the Technical Therapy Course!  It emphasizes the motivation for design engineers to learn the techniques of Design-Oriented Analysis, and will give you a clear overview of not only the techniques taught, but why they needed to be developed.

Suggest that your boss watch the CD, too: he will see how you can increase your own productivity, and he will also get some good ideas on how to improve communication with his design team and increase the effectiveness of design reviews.

The CD is a longer (43%) and more detailed version of Chapter 1 of the Technical Therapy DVD.

This CD, formerly available on VHS videotape, contains a 2 1/2 hour live presentation by Dr. Middlebrook, recorded at the International Analog Applications Conference, Santa Clara, California, on September 30, 1992.


 For further information, or to order the Real World Design CD, just fill in our Response Form, or call Ardem Associates and ask for Teagan at (951) 679-7543.

Biography                              Publications


Design-Oriented Analysis Rules and Tools
Click here for the complete PowerPoint slides of Middlebrook’s New Structured Analog Design Course.

The GFT Owner’s Manual
A concise description of the General Feedback Theorem, and what it can do.

Walks you through examples of how to run simulations using the GFT Templates contained In the Intusoft I CAP/4 Circuit Simulator software.

Download: GFTManual

The GFT: A Final Solution for Feedback Systems
A new addition to methods of Design-Oriented Analysis.

Shows how nonidealities ignored in the conventional single-loop model can be incorporated in an extra term in the formula, which predicts a drastically different step response from a high-frequency IC feedback amplifier example.
Although this paper first appeared on this website, it was published verbatim in the April 2006 issue of the IEEE Microwave Magazine.

Download: GFTFinalSolution



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Message from Dr. Middlebrook  Top
Middlebrook's Course is Back!  Home
Technical Therapy Data DVD ROM             Who is Dr. Middlebrook?
       Who can benefit from the Technical Therapy Course?       
 How to convince your boss…   
 What is Design-Oriented Analysis (D-OA)?   Free Downloads
 Participant Testimonials      
Design-Oriented Analysis Rules and Tools
 Owner’s Manual Contents Page      
The GFT Owner's Manual
 Technical Therapy?? What It’s All About      The GFT: A Final Solution for Feedback Systems
The GFT: A Final Solution Data CD ROM Related Topics
 What is the GFT?   Links
 Where did the GFT come from?  Response Form
Real World Design Data CD ROM    

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