3 IoT-Based Myths about Analog Electronics Steve Taranovich 9/2/2015 Post a comment The hype surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) has been nothing short of monumental. The reality is that, by some estimates, only 4 percent of current IoT proposals will actually be of use once they come to fruition. Despite this disparity, the electronics industry is excited about those few products that will succeed and in turn be profitable
Feedback Circuits and Two-Port Blocks, Part 2: Feedback Circuit Misconceptions Dennis Feucht 9/1/2015 Post a comment Typical circuits textbooks tell us that there are four basic feedback topologies. The impression is given (if not stated) that a given feedback circuit will conform to one of these four topologies. This is misleading. One of the tasks of feedback analysis, it would seem, is to identify to which of the four basic topologies a given feedback circuit conforms. This article attempts to clarify and correct this misconception.
Orion in the belly of the “Beast” Steve Taranovich 8/25/2015 5 comments Just as in the biblical account of the prophet Jonah in the belly of the “Great Fish”, I witnessed today in the Yuma, AZ desert, Orion in the belly of a C-17 military aircraft, poised for a test of its parachutes at 35,000 feet
NASA’s new deputy administrator: Dava Newman from MIT Steve Taranovich 8/24/2015 1 comment I think it is a real plus to have an experienced MIT professor as the agency’s second-in-charge. Dava Newman seems like a good technological innovator and should bring fresh new energy and ideas to NASA. As the former Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics at MIT in Cambridge, she has expertise in multidisciplinary research that includes aerospace biomedical engineering.
Figure Of Merit Based Selection Criteria Is Not Always the Best Choice Brandt Braswell 8/24/2015 Post a comment The fact that you’re reading this has sparked interest and I am sure you are wondering what this means or you have picked a position to either defend your beliefs or want a different opinion. So, let me say that this topic and what I say applies to choices of circuit blocks and or architectures for many different applications from analog to digital.
Space Center Houston slideshow: STEM on steroids Steve Taranovich 8/23/2015 Post a comment I had the pleasure of visiting the Space Center after a visit to NASA Johnson Space Center for a behind-the-scenes view of Orion and the talented team at NASA behind the Deep Space endeavor. NASA is right next door to the Space Center Houston and fully supports their educational mission with loaner exhibits and technical support.
Developing Prototype Circuits from Home: Part 1, Introduction Scott Deuty 8/16/2015 7 comments The internet has made circuit development from home easier than ever before. This benefits engineers in a huge way by offering a venue for them to turn their ideas into physical working reality. Regardless of whether you are independent or employed by a company, there are many advantages to developing a prototype on your own.
Voltage References Can Bite You, Too Steve Taranovich 8/5/2015 5 comments There are three common unkindnesses which can cause your problem. Insufficient headroom, incorrect loading, and reversed output current. The first two are usually mentioned on the data sheet and should be easy to avoid, but the third is rarely mentioned and causes problems which may be hard to diagnose.
Structural Versus Behavioral Device Models Dennis Feucht 8/4/2015 Post a comment Newly-discovered physical principles are often the driving cause for the invention of new kinds of devices such as the transistor. It is one of the highlights in the history of electronics, and illustrates how device models develop in engineering and why they are often a key to technological advancement.
Good Day, Sunshine – The Amazing Solar Impulse 2 Paul Pickering 7/30/2015 1 comment Every now and then something new comes along that causes you to want to dig down and find out a little more information. Tearing my attention away from Caitlin Jenner for a moment, I thought I'd take a closer look at the remarkable Solar Impulse 2 – an airplane powered solely by solar energy.
Slideshow: Analog Aficionados unite at ESC Santa Clara Steve Taranovich 7/28/2015 3 comments When analog engineers get together, the discussion always turns technical with a touch of fun. Laptops open up, schematics are surveyed and discussed, good hearty laughter abounds, and fond reminiscing of analog icons no longer with us brings out old stories and some good memories.
To Extend Battery Life, Look at the Big Picture Steve Taranovich 7/28/2015 Post a comment It might seem counterintuitive that an active device solution consumes less power than a passive device. Every design engineer knows that a passive crystal resonator (XTAL) doesn’t draw power, so why use an oscillator in place of an XTAL in a power sensitive application? The answer becomes clear when total system power is considered.
The Toyota Prius: An Electrical Engineering Marvel Scott Deuty 7/26/2015 Post a comment The success of the Toyota Prius is a tribute to the career of Electrical Engineers. I was recently made aware of the achievements of the Prius through a wiki I wrote as well as from the feedback on my recent Planet Analog blog on regenerative braking. I learned some very interesting details about this car and how it puts a feather in the cap of Planet Analog readers and contributors. In this blog I share my findings with you.
Analog Design and the Age of Digital Corrections Brandt Braswell 7/20/2015 10 comments As the technologies continues to shrink the various layout affects continue to worsen. What once was not such an issue for integrated circuits is now problematic. LDE or Layout Dependent Effects are becoming worse as the technology continues to shrink. I am sure many of you have heard about well proximity affects and shallow trench isolation effects, but as the technology continues to shrink we are seeing more issues from pattern density in metal, poly, active, etc. having effects on final circuits.
Analog Devices Design Tools: ADIsimRF Part 1 Jonathan Harris 7/19/2015 4 comments The topic of this blog came up while at the IMS show and one of my colleagues mentioned that I should discuss the ADIsimRF tool as a part of the series. I thought this was a marvelous idea. I’ll have to precursor this discussion with the fact that I am actually an RF guy from my previous employment at an RF company which was my first position when I graduated from college.
"Ancient RF": crude but effective Analog Angle 7/19/2015 3 comments Those were the "good old days", or maybe not: some RF products of a few decades ago had much simpler designs and fairly basic requirements, but also fewer components and tools resources to use.
4-Wire Current-Loop Sensor Transmitters Precision Hub 7/17/2015 3 comments The 4-wire sensor transmitter is probably the least well-known of the current-loop sensor transmitter circuit types. These transmitters fit market needs for applications that require additional transmitter isolation options that aren’t possible with 2- and 3-wire transmitters.
Go active or stay passive? Analog Angle 7/13/2015 7 comments Passive circuit functions are seeing strong competition from active devices with comparable or better performance plus desirable gain, but passives can’t be ignored either as PIM – passive intermodulation – becomes a concern in high-performance, high-frequency RF design.
Visit to NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, a slideshow: Orion Steve Taranovich 7/10/2015 2 comments On July 7, Chuck Murray, Senior Technical Editor for Design News and myself, Steve Taranovich, Editor-in-chief, Planet Analog visited the behind-the-scenes operations of the Orion program at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. Orion, a new spacecraft that will carry man into a new era of space exploration.
SIGNAL CHAIN BASICS (Part 103): Integer Boundary Spurs Signal Chain Basics 7/9/2015 Post a comment The phase-locked loop (PLL) in Figure 1 works by starting with a stable input frequency (fOSC). It is divided down by R to get the phase detector frequency (fPD), then multiplied by N to get the voltage-controller oscillator (VCO) frequency (fVCO). Finally, it is divided down by D to get the output frequency (fOUT). The output divider, D, is typically an integer, but it is possible for the N divider to be fractional. Devices can exist with multipliers on the input path, effectively making R fractional.
The Ingenious Gentleman and the Mysterious Paddle Steve Taranovich 7/9/2015 3 comments In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to recall, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing.
BNO055: A Sensor for the Makers Community Divya Thukkaram 7/9/2015 Post a comment Anybody can create anything in the Maker Community, a concept that would be entirely impossible a decade ago. The world has changed dramatically in the past 10 years since the foundation of Arduino, an open source hardware and software company, in 2005.
The Floating Differential Source, Part 1 Dennis Feucht 7/5/2015 Post a comment A few years ago, I was working on the design of a data acquisition system (DAS) that would eventually need to be tested when manufactured. It had both high-side current sensing and floating diff-amp input channels. I could either recommend to the client that some expensive equipment be bought and configured for such testing or else design and build some prototypes of a Floating Differential Source (FDS) which would cost much less. I did the latter.
High speed converters have made many performance gains over the years, particularly in linearity, and therefore distortion. But to realize the performance, you need clean signal sources. Every once in a while I get an inquiry about having a clean setup, but still not meeting the distortion specifications
The hype surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) has been nothing short of monumental. The reality is that, by some estimates, only 4 percent of current IoT proposals will actually be of use once they come to fruition. Despite this disparity, the electronics industry is excited about those few products that will succeed and in turn be profitable
I spoke to John Palmour, Cree co-founder and CTO of its Power and RF business yesterday about the decision to put CREE’s Power and RF businesses under a new name. CREE announced in May that it would separate the businesses into a standalone company in anticipation of an upcoming IPO in 2016
Typical circuits textbooks tell us that there are four basic feedback topologies. The impression is given (if not stated) that a given feedback circuit will conform to one of these four topologies. This is misleading. One of the tasks of feedback analysis, it would seem, is to identify to which of the four basic topologies a given feedback circuit conforms. This article attempts to clarify and correct this misconception.
As you progress into developing a circuit from home, schematic capture is an important part of the process. However it requires a little forethought especially if you are planning to transfer the schematic to a board layout software.