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 2 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.
Overcoming the Necessary Evil of Writing Equations Scott Deuty 7/2/2015 10 comments As an engineer, eventually you will have to insert an equation into your written work or presentation. This can be a struggle as equation editors are not always the friendliest. However, there is good news. The equation editor in Word has improved immensely (I am using version 2010 here). In this blog we look at how to insert an equation into a Word document. As a bonus, there is information on how to insert an equation into a web page with an html code generator website.
Yes, There is Such a Thing as First Harmonic Distortion Kendall Castor-Perry 6/30/2015 9 comments Wait a minute. Let’s see if I understand this. (Here I’m channeling you, the puzzled reader, after you’ve grabbed me in the coffee break of a Filter Wizard lecture morning). The frequency of the nth harmonic of a sinusoid is n times that of the fundamental. The nth harmonic distortion is defined as the ratio of the amplitude of the nth harmonic to the amplitude of the fundamental. So the 1st harmonic distortion is… the ratio of the amplitude of the fundamental to the amplitude of the fundamental and that’s… unity. I. Do. Not. Understand.
Courses We’ve Taken: Useful, and Not Analog Angle 6/18/2015 4 comments The value of engineering-related courses varies considerably, and often the ones on the periphery of the core subjects turn out to be the most useful—even if that isn’t apparent at first.
The Annual Embedded Development Survey for Planet Analog engineers Steve Taranovich 6/15/2015 2 comments Given that many of Planet Analog’s readers are also involved in embedded development, we bring you the Embedded Market study so that you will be aware of embedded developer concerns in this ever-evolving market as well as recent changes in processor size, latest choices for operating systems and more.
Mystery Spur Explained: Don’t Blame the DDC! Steve Taranovich 6/12/2015 1 comment I recently witnessed some “strange” behavior while evaluating the output spectrum one of your high-speed ADCs that incorporates a digital down converter (DDC) function. Can you explain the existence of a mystery spur?
Is Your Smartphone Tainted? The Struggle Against Conflict Minerals Paul Pickering 6/11/2015 2 comments If you've seen the movie “Blood Diamond", you'll be acquainted with some of the issues surrounding raw materials from conflict areas. There is ample evidence that in a conflict zone, access of both sides to valuable commodities can prolong conflicts and lead to further suffering among the civilian population, the Democratic Republic of the Congo being the best-known current example
Power Integrity: Noise Steve Taranovich 6/9/2015 Post a comment Power Integrity ensures that the power supply delivers the proper voltage and current to the load(s) on a circuit board or in an IC.
Puzzling Opto Circuit Steve Taranovich 6/8/2015 14 comments Ray Koosha, EE at SAFT America, Inc. and one of our Analog Aficionados community, sent us this circuit he found on the internet with the following comments
IMS2015 Demo Details Jonathan Harris 6/3/2015 Post a comment One of the questions that appeared on one of the IMS blog posts was about the details of the demonstration I had set up at the Analog Devices booth.
Optimal Step-Motor Control Dennis Feucht 6/1/2015 Post a comment A previous article on step-motors berated open-loop stepping and the desperate methods used to avoid missed steps and acceleration limitations. This article outlines a path to simple step-motor control that avoids all these historic step-motor problems by using closed-loop phase control of the motor.
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.
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.
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.