Before I start sharing my words of wisdom (or caution :P) about the 5th semester, let me just start by summarizing our journey till now.
THE SMILEY RECAP OF ECE IN SECOND YEAR
When we started, there was so much excitement in all of us (at least for the most of us :P)!
When sessional feels more like an end sem,
Soon, you start getting existential crisis
And then as the mighty end sem arrives…
But you somehow clear 3rd Sem with great difficulty ( even the people with 9+ pointer would agree), thanks to Razavi , Hyatt , Uday Kumar and “The friend who sits infront of you” during the exams 😉
But this was just half of the story!
Enter 4th sem :
Then you realize we have a course in the guise of product placement. Where the syllabus feels like a huge product catalogue (Read : DSD)
I’m sure by the end of the semester, you realized “How easy stuff can become your worst nightmares!! 😛
Fourier is like Janice from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. His theorems = her laughs -_-
Antenna mai sona 😛
I always wondered how long did Balanis took to write the book. For some people like me an entire lifetime won’t be enough.
After the 4th sem ends, you realize all those talks by seniors that “even sems are always chill” is anything but true! But if you have managed to survive the 3rd sem, considered even worse, then you must have got passed through this one as well.
But all that is past, and now you are in your third year! Excited? I can almost hear lots of “Nah”.
But please just hang in there. The coming semesters are a lot more interesting , challenging and would require a lot of patience from your side to sail through it.
Before we start this journey, a few things I would like to share
- This is just my perspective, and how I faced my 5th semester, so it may be different/same with the one which you might have heard from your seniors. Although I have tried to generalize it.
- Your experience might be totally different then mine, as it depends on your initial interest towards the subject, your efforts throughout the semester and the faculties allotted.
- I would like to keep my identity anonymous. This is an experience of a person who considers that CGPA is just a number and doesn’t matter much as long as you have a strong conceptual understanding and grasp of the subject.
That being said I wouldn’t hesitate to disclose my identity if need be, and you can always drop response and questions in the comment section.
- Why am I doing this? Love for my juniors has always been unconditional, specially this bunch! Now that I’m in 7th sem I would like to help a few more before I leave the college.
Without wasting any more of your time (cause I’m sure you have wasted enough during this summer vacations already :P, atleast I did and without any regrets :P) let us begin this journey.
This post contains a brief description about the subjects, things to be taught, the do’s and dont’s, tips or tricks to ace it, books to refer , something for the labs and most importantly a study material attached at the end which will act as your survival kit.
All set? Let’s go!
Faculty : Vijay S R
ABOUT THE SUBJECT
The introductory classes will familiarize you with the terminologies to be used throughout the course. I know this sounds boring (it really is ) but have patience, cause the interesting stuff is worth the wait.
Let’s talk about the interesting stuff then. The rest of the course is a thorough study of 8051 and ARM7 organisation (mostly talking about the LPC2148). By thorough I mean you are going to perform a detailed postmortem report of both. Exciting, right? 😛
Here you are going to learn about the architecture,the GPIOs, functions of each pin, how to program them, what actually happens when you program and also how to play with the timers and interrupts to get a desired output.
I’m sure this would sound fun to people who might have already dealt with microcontrollers in their 1st and 2nd years. For those who haven’t ,with some efforts and by taking interest in the subject ,you will soon be on par with them.
Time for some facts!
- The Microcontrollers make up exams always see a huge turnnout. The only way to not end up among the masses over there, is by not giving up on the subject. Halfway through the course(I have seen a lot of people who left hope after the first sessionals!!! 😥 ), it might get tough. Sometimes you might even question yourself : what is the point in attending the lecture if I can’t understand anything. But you would thank me later for suggesting you to keep an open mind (and also for encouraging you to put some extra efforts to stay awake during the classes. Please do! )
- Be prepared for self study. I view the course divided in 3 sections – The intro, 8051 and ARM organisation. When I look back at the teaching hours spent on each section and compare it with the endsems paper, I can see why the make up exam turnout was so high. Most of the teaching hours will be spent on the first 2 sections as they are the basics and it takes time to familiarize with them.You wouldn’t expect questions from the 3rd section. But again, it is ECE.
(FYI: We even got many programming questions from the ARM organisation) Since the subject is related to the MC Lab, the programming questions for the exam would be unexpected and you would have to work your way through it (Needless to say, stay attentive during the labs!)
- This subject was called MPMC -Microprocessors and Microcontrollers for previous batches with 8085 being the microprocessor in limelight. So if you find some strange questions in the previous year paper, be wise and don’t break your head on them. Just wondering how the seniors managed to clear this subject •_•
- 8051 Microcontroller by Mazidi will be something which would help you a lot. Be it solved programs at the end or the conceptual understanding about the topics.
- For the ARM organisation, try to understand most of the concepts in the class. If you don’t, the slides circulated at the end will be more then enough (Slides are attached in the drive link at the end). Stick to the slides and ensure that you don’t miss out on any topic.
- Don’t forget to go through the programming questions in your lab manual( for both 8051 and ARM). Failing to do so might leave you clueless while facing them during the exams (which might accounts for maximum marks most of the time).
Faculty : Rajiv Mohan David
ABOUT THE SUBJECT
By now, you probably know that there will be a course related to signals that is put just to mess with your life and GPA. The abbreviation (AC) may look cool (my try at cracking a lame joke :P) but remember this is a 4 credit subject. Which means it has more impact on your GPA.
Of course, you wouldn’t care less about the course. But I think you should.
Keeping my “trying to scare the juniors” attitude aside, and on a much serious note , this will mark the start of your journey in the field of communication. The subject is very interesting and engrossing, trust me. You would sail through without much difficulty if you manage to pay enough attention in the class and getting the concepts clear and concise.
- Don’t forget to go through the assignments and previous year question papers before the exams for this subject particularly, as most of the time the questions are repetitive.
- Referring Simon Haykin over Ganesh Rao for this one was something which I was skeptical about . But in the end, everything turned out to be fine. It is upto you to decide which book you find more easy to understand.
- As usual the last few topics will be declared as self study and referring to the study material provided by the teachers would be sufficient.
VERY LARGE SCALE INTEGRATION (VLSI)
Faculty : Shounak De
ABOUT THE SUBJECT
Unlike its predecessor DSD, this course is not boring for most of the part.
You would get to know how gates/logics are represented using CMOS/NMOS. You would know how exactly a set of transistors are arranged in a 7408 (for eg.) for it to act as an AND gate.
More importantly the course focuses on how the MOS logics are manufactured. This would be the theory/boring part but it is quite fascinating to see how MOSFETs are made from scratch. After designing the smaller circuit you would learn how to integrate them to form a larger sub system such as a Barrel shifter or ALU.
- This won’t seem like a 4 credit subject but wait for the end sems and you would have tons of topics in front of you ready to be ratofied (“understood” for our English audience) and remembering them would be a pain in the ass if you don’t have regular notes to assist you. So golden rule for this subject – Maintain Notes.
- Halfway through the course you would feel there are way too many circuits to learn . A better approach would be to club it down. For the layout diagrams – Practice is the only solution. According to me using sketch pens is lame. Pencils would work just fine.
- Refer to the slides given by the teachers (mostly given before endsems/sessionals, but I have attached those given to me in the drive given below). There might be slides made by different teachers, going through your class slides and skimming through theirs will be more than enough.
- Pucknells Book for VLSI will be handy while designing circuits and drawing their layouts.
LINEAR AND DIGITAL CONTROL SYSTEM
Faculty : Suhas K
ABOUT THE SUBJECT
This is one of the scoring subjects in your 5th semester. Scoring does not mean the subject is easy. Knowing the basics and always remaining attentive in class would help a lot.
Introductory classes will help you understand how to design a system with given specifications, visualizing signal flowing in a system (don’t worry, this signal is nowhere related to SnS or DSP :P).
In the later stages you will be learning ways(/tests) to measure the system stability in Time and Frequency domain (here you would get a new word to be annoyed about ie. “Transfer Function” -_-‘ ).
Towards the end you will be dealing with the most important part, which is the sole reason why you have been studying the subject so far : controllers and compensators.
- Till the first sessional and a few assignments it would be a smooth sail. The real challenge lies towards the end when you will be dealing with the compensators, controllers and the stability tests by plotting graphs.
- Solve all the graph questions given in the class and keep them safe (this would reduce your efforts while studying for endsems).
- Again assignments will provide an insight on the types of questions which will appear in your Sessionals/Endsems.(Duh? That’s what they are for, right? :P)
- The problems solved in the class and assignments will be more than enough. If you still thrive for more , you can refer to Ganesh Rao(Control System).
COMPUTER ORGANIZATION AND ARCHITECTURE
Faculty : Kanthi
ABOUT THE SUBJECT
Unlike EEE who had this subject combined with DSD recently, ECE department decided to continue having it as a separate subject. The only good thing EEE has achieved 😛 (JK. I’m writing in a blog owned by a EEE guy 😛 )
I suppose it is for the betterment of the student as a in-depth knowledge in this field is something which differs us from EEE. Not sure whether the knowledge imparted on us was in-depth or not , but it sure was satisfactory.
At some point, you will get the feeling of déjà vu as it shares some concepts with the MC class (Micro Controllers, you dirty mind 😛 ). You would think who the heck asked for the same concepts to be taught twice. But understand that it’s just a small part. The course will take its own coarse after a while.
- Raffiquzzaman’s book for COA will be used as a common reference among teachers and it would be better if you do so too.This contains theory and a better explanations for concepts which would be dealt at a surface level during the class.
- Like VLSI, you will be required to remember the working and design of many structures such as different types of adders,multipliers etc. Preparing a Cheat sheet will be helpful for this subject.
- There may be slides circulated in other sections so keep your eyes and ears open. I have tried to compile here as much study materials as I could.
- Keep an open mind for design questions as those always require you to use the concepts learnt in the class.Such questions will have more weightage in the exams as they are challenging.
Faculty : Pramod Kumar
ABOUT THE SUBJECT
This can either be a really interesting subject or perhaps the most boring subject depending on the way it is taught and your initial inclination towards learning it.
It can be viewed as 80% theory and 20% numerical subject while you are taught.The endsems/sessionals managed to surprise us always. There were as many as 10 objective types at times (0.5 marks each obviously) in one paper and filled with numericals in the other. Be prepared for both possibilities.
- For people who are regular in the class they might finish revising the syllabus withing a few hours. Whereas for people who pay least attention and bunk too many classes, would have to run those extra mile at the end. Slides will help the latter bunch a lot.
- If you have RD teaching you , you probably have the best slides in ECE . If you don’t ,well get it from your friends whom he is teaching :P. A skimming through other class slides will be helpful too.
- A lot to rato-fying , so keeping a tab of concepts by maintaining a short note of topics would prove helpful as most of the people would give up writing notes in the class.
This would be a 2 credit lab. And like all other 2 credit labs, you would be required to present a Mini project at the end of the semester.
I didn’t find this lab boring. You get a hands-on on pure electronics stuff. Of course, you have to deal with programming also.
Initial labs will help you familiarize with programming 8051( using Keil software) to perform specific tasks. Soon after, you will be programming ARM7 kits too (the logic/problem statement being the same and a slight change in the syntax can be observed during those). Programming 8051 will be at an assembly language stage. To make you realize the efforts required to do so , soon you will also be writing the same programs in Embedded C.
The lab endsems would require you to write and simulate a single question (whether it is an 8051 or ARM programming depends on your luck).
- Not many tips. For starters, it would be better if you could/would write your own code or figure out the logic for the problems given in the lab instead of copying from others (again, whom am I kidding now? :P)
- For the mini project you would be required to design, construct and demonstrate a system using microcontroller kits such as Nuvoton,8051,Atmel etc. This is for giving you an heads up so you could find some good projects during your vacation.
Here you are going to simulate various combinational and sequential circuits using VHDL and in different modelling styles.You will also learn to implement digital circuits on FPGA/CPLDs. Later you will get to simulate gate level logic by designing your own layouts (as learnt in VLSI classes).
In short there is designing ,programming , simulations and implementation of different digital circuits.
End sem lab exams would require you to solve a single question which would be based on simulation on Xilinx/Cadence (on Linux) or a layout diagram for digital circuit.
- The software used is a version of Xilinx Design Suite, downloading or getting a copy on your laptop would be helpful.
- Even though it is a 1 credit lab you still have to submit a Mini project (by the semester end) based on the topics learnt in the lab.Get the software at the earliest and try finishing the project at the earliest. A moderately simple topic would do, as this would be evaluated out of 20.
Books which can be purchased (preferably Online):
M A Mazidi – The 8051 Microcontrollers and applications (MC)
Issue from Book Bank:
Simon Haykin- Introduction to Analog and Digital Circuits (AC)
Pucknell- Basic VLSI design (VLSI)
Or Raffiquzzaman – Computer Organisation and Architecture (COA) — More frequently used, might as well purchase it.
From the library:
Ganesh Rao/BC Kuo- Control Systems (LDCS)
THE DRIVE TO SURVIVE
To make your hunt for study materials a lot lot easier, I have compiled ’em all in this one drive link. Use it as much as you want to!
( I would have uploaded question papers from sessionals and endsems but most of them were crumbled and thrown in the bins on my way to room from the exam hall :P)
Click here for the drive link
This post got a little too long than usual. This was because I tried my best to remember and compile everything so that you won’t make the same mistakes which I did, as this is going to be a sem which you won’t forget easily.
And I want you to remember it for all the right reasons unlike your immediate seniors (my batch :P) who saw a drastic drop in their GPAs. Some even lost interest to continue to study anymore! And of course there were some who still managed to get a 9.5+ against all odds.
I hope this posts helps you in the way I wanted it to, and would be glad to see a much happier crowd at the end of the semester.
A token of appreciation for The Vikhyath Times for inspiring me to write this. After looking at the response and getting to know how helpful the Survival Guide for EEE was, it was about time an ECE senior would have done something to help his/her junior.
You can always drop response and questions in the comment section. Always Happy to help!
Have to say : this one is packed with lot more detail than my guides! Thank you for taking so much of time and energy and making this for the juniors!
Third year is a crucial one in many ways, majorly because the batch gets to handle our fests this time around. Academically though, things will just be tougher. And as I got to know now, this thing is universal. Irrespective of the branch.
It being our last year now (sad reacts only), the only way this post will improve/stay updated is when you will come forward and notify about the changes occurred. We want this to work for every batch that comes after us. And only through your inputs, we would be able to do so.
So hoping that you not only use this post well, but also help us update it in the latter time, let us sign off!
Like the facebook page if you haven’t already and read some of my posts too. For any queries and suggestions, leave it in the comments or ping me.
Thank you, and all the best for the semester ahead!