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Office:
Atwater Kent Laboratories, 305
Phone: +1-508-831-5567
Fax: +1-508-831-5491
mcneill@wpi.edu

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John A. McNeill

My favorite course to teach is ECE3204, Microelectronics II. This course is right on the boundary between analog signals in the physical world and digital processing and storage of information. It's a great course for students who want to know "how things work." I use a digital audio system as the theme for the course, following the audio signal as it travels through the system. We start from an analog source such as a microphone or guitar pickup, through filtering, sampling, and analog-to-digital conversion; then, after storage and processing in the digital domain, conversion back to analog form and power amplification to drive headphones or a speaker.

Before joining WPI, I spent almost 10 years in the electronics industry, so I bring an additional, more applied perspective to my teaching. A student who becomes excited about a "real world" application of a concept and wants to take this energy to the next level might need a better explanation, a new resource, or a different approach. This is when I feel I can really make a difference in the student’s education, when he or she is ready to really take off.

My research and project advising interests are focused on university-industry collaboration through the New England Center for Analog and Mixed Signal Design (NECAMSID) and emphasizes design of cutting-edge mixed (analog + digital) integrated circuits and systems. Both graduate and undergraduate students work in the Center. To me, this is central to WPI's mission of educating excellent engineers who are equipped with the necessary tools to not only do their job on day one, but also advance into leadership and innovation positions in their field.

Finally, when students ask me for advice on what kind of problems to pursue, I advise them to follow what they are passionate about. In my experience, success is a combination of luck, timing, and preparation. You can't do much about the luck, but if you are working in an area that interests you and you're prepared for an opportunity when things break your way, good things happen!

Research Interests

  • analog microelectronics
  • high-speed imaging and mixed signal circuit characterization

Education

  • BA, Dartmouth College, 1983
  • MS, University of Rochester, 1991
  • PhD, Boston University, 1994

Featured Publications

  • J. McNeill, R. Majidi, J. Gong, " 'Split ADC' Background Linearization of VCO-Based ADCs," IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I, accepted for publication, August 2014.  
  • J. McNeill, R. Majidi, J. Gong, and C. Liu, "Lookup-Table-Based Background Linearization for VCO-Based ADCs," IEEE 2014 Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC2014), San Jose, September 2014.  
  • J. McNeill, J. Gong, and R. Majidi, "Design of a Sub-Picosecond-Jitter Delay-Lock-Loop for Interleaved ADC Sample Clock Synthesis" 2013 IEEE Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems (MWSCAS2013), Columbus, OH, August, 2013.  
  • J. McNeill, C. David, M. C. W. Coln, Ka Yan Chan, and C. Brenneman, "Split ADC Background Self-Calibration of a 16-b Successive Approximation ADC in 180nm CMOS," 2013 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC2013), Minneapolis, MN, May 2013.  
  • R. Majidi, A. Crasso, and J. McNeill,"Digital Background Calibration of Redundant Split-Flash ADC in 45nm CMOS," IEEE 2012 International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS2012), Seoul, South Korea, May 2012.

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Labs and Centers

NECAMSID Lab

Professional Highlights

  • 1995 Joseph S. Satin Distinguished Fellow in Electrical Engineering.
  • 1997 NSF Award for Faculty Early CAREER Development.
  • 1998 Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Electrical Engineering Professor Award.
  • IEEE
 
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