Electronic Circuit Engineering

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Electronic Circuit Engineering


(Russian, skhemotekhnika), an area of science and technology that deals with problems of the design and study of circuits of electronic devices used in, for example, radio engineering, communications, computer technology, and automation. The principal tasks of electronic circuit engineering are the determination of the structures of electronic circuits that perform certain functions and the calculation of the parameters of the circuit elements. The term “electronic circuit engineering” came into use in the USSR in the 1960’s, when multipurpose standardized circuits were developed.

On the basis of an electronic circuit, the corresponding device (system component) is developed. The device must operate reliably for a specified time under the conditions actually encountered in use. The factors that must be taken into account here include the variation in the element parameters, the aging of the elements, the influence of the environment, and the effects of disturbances. Consequently, in designing circuits it is necessary to calculate not only the nominal values of the element parameters but also the tolerances for the values. In addition, the reliability of the device must be provided for—that is, the stable operation of the circuit under external disturbances must be ensured. Finally, means must be provided for checking that the device is in good working order.

Electronic devices may be made from discrete electronic and electrical elements—such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, and transistors—or from integrated circuits. Electronic circuits consisting of one or more integrated circuits are dealt with in micro-circuit engineering, which is the branch of microelectronics that is concerned with the designing of integrated circuits. In addition to the design and calculation of electronic circuits, microcircuit engineering deals with the problem of developing the structure, or topology, of integrated circuits on the basis of the electronic circuits. The principal stages in this development are as follows: the calculation of the geometric dimensions of the integrated circuit elements, the reasonable arrangement of the elements on the surface or within the substrate of the integrated circuit, and the determination of the optimal connections between the elements. Here, possible criteria that may be used for optimality include minimal conductor length, minimal number of crossovers, and minimal interference between conductors. The creation of a new integrated circuit is a complicated problem requiring the joint efforts of microcircuitry specialists, physicists, production engineers, and designers and the use of integrated experimental and theoretical methods, including the computer simulation of the circuit and its operating conditions.

The theoretical basis of electronic circuit engineering (including microcircuitry) is provided by the theory of linear and nonlinear electric circuits, electrodynamics, mathematical programming, automata theory, and so on. The use of computers in the designing of new electronic circuits is very promising (seeENGINEERING DESIGN). With the development of microelectronics, large-scale integrated circuits (LSI) are being created that constitute functional devices representing entire systems. Accordingly, electronic circuit engineering is in a number of respects merging with systems engineering.


Aleksenko, A. G. Osnovy mikroskhemotekhniki. Moscow, 1971.
Pospelov, D. A. Logicheskie melody analiza i sinleza skhem, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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