MESSAGE FROM Dr. MIDDLEBROOK (April 7, 2010)
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
Dr. R. David Middlebrook
MESSAGE FROM Dr. MIDDLEBROOK (June 2007)
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
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
The purpose is to make the D-OA approach available to instructors
who may be inspired to incorporate it into their teaching, at any
COURSE is back!
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)
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
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
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
|"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
What is Design-Oriented Analysis (D-OA)?
Owners Manual Contents Page
Technical Therapy?? What its 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
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
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
Get a preview of the
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.
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.
Who is Dr. MIDDLEBROOK?
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.
The GFT: A Final Solution for Feedback
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
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