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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.
When off-the-shelf won’t do: the step-by-step birth of a custom digital filter, Part 1
Kendall Castor-Perry  
7/30/2015   Post a comment
Some time back, I had to dig out some ancient filter design tools. I needed a special-purpose digital decimation filter for a “quite high quality” audio communication system.
Planet Analog Spotlight on Steve Sandler, CEO – Picotest
Steve Taranovich  
7/28/2015   Post a comment
Sandler has over 30 years of experience in the design and analysis of power conversion equipment for military and space applications.
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.
Is Google Eddystone going to replace Apple iBeacon or just invade your privacy?
Steve Taranovich  
7/27/2015   4 comments
Google is enhancing the IoT with a technology for companies to communicate with customers. The concept: You are in a shopping mall or on a local street and there are hordes of small Bluetooth radios broadcasting marketing messages to all the Android phones in the area (8 of 10 smartphones are Android).
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.
Visualizing the Values of Energy Storage
Shaw Lynds  
7/21/2015   1 comment
In the highly technical world of energy storage, it can difficult to develop an intuitive sense of how the engineering metrics translate to final user value.
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.
The Corporate State Machine…
Ken Coffman  
7/17/2015   1 comment
One of my quirks is analyzing business decisions as if they came from a state machine.
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.
Women In Engineering & "The Next MacGyver"
Paul Pickering  
7/15/2015   Post a comment
Increasing participation by women in the STEM fields has long been a goal of industry, government and academia, but progress has been slow.
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.
What’s All This Regenerative Braking Stuff?
Scott Deuty  
7/9/2015   2 comments
The late Bob Pease came up in a recent blog response so I decided it was time to pay a tribute to him.
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 2: Specifications and Capabilities
Dennis Feucht  
7/6/2015   Post a comment
The Floating Differential Source (FDS), introduced and explained in the previous article segment, was designed for use in manufacturing test of analog circuits
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.
Differential-Amplifier Common-Mode Rejection Measurements, Part 2: Differential Amplifier CM Principles
Dennis Feucht  
7/5/2015   Post a comment
The Innovatia Floating Differential Source (FDS) was designed to measure diff-amp differential and CM gains for voltage or current-input diff-amps.
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.
Signal Chain Basics (Part 102): How to Implement an Active, DC-Coupled Broadband Balun with a Fully-Differential Amplifier
Signal Chain Basics  
6/30/2015   1 comment
Single-ended signals are very common, but increasingly signal paths are being converted to differential signals as part of the signal chain. The benefits of differential signaling are particularly appealing with low supply voltage systems and for driving analog-to-digital converters (ADCs).
Residential Demand Response: Water Heaters Get Connected
Paul Pickering  
6/30/2015   Post a comment
If you spend any time at all looking at alternative energy sources such as wind power and solar energy, you'll quickly discover one inconvenient truth: alternative energy production is both highly unpredictable and uncorrelated to energy demand.
“Oh How I Miss My Neighborhood Radio Shack Store”
Ronald Quan  
6/26/2015   3 comments
When Radio Shack announced that they were closing stores, unfortunately the one in Cupertino (De Anza Blvd.) was one of them.
S3 Group Integrated Radio IC for the Iridium and Iridium NEXT network
Steve Taranovich  
6/25/2015   5 comments
In 2009, Time Magazine called the Iridium global satellite program a tech failure. Motorola backed it for global satellite phone usage and filed for bankruptcy in 1999 after spending $5B to build and launch the infrastructure of satellites
Slideshow: imec Innovations in Wireless
Steve Taranovich  
6/23/2015   Post a comment
An imec slideshow of some of the pretty amazing technical accomplishments they bring to the electronics world via semiconductor process technology research and development
EMI Noise, Part 6: Novel Components for Suppressing EMI
Edgardo Menendez  
6/23/2015   Post a comment
To summarize this blog series upon its completion, electromagnetic interference (EMI) — which consists of a source, a path, and a victim — is a problem in electrical and electronic systems.
Will wood chips replace silicon chips?
Analog Angle  
6/23/2015   4 comments
Researchers have developed ICs which use a wood-based substrate rather than silicon or gallium arsenide; do their potential environmental benefits really matter?
EMI Noise, Part 5: EMI Suppression for Harsh Environments
Edgardo Menendez  
6/22/2015   1 comment
Components utilized in harsh environment applications are typically subjected to excess mechanical stress, extremely hot or cold temperatures, the increased potential for electrostatic discharge, and/or high levels of radiation.
Converter Performance: Don’t be ENOB-headed About It!
Kendall Castor-Perry  
6/22/2015   1 comment
Without doubt, ENOB (Effective Number Of Bits) has become a “thing” in analog-to-digital converter discourse. But I don’t like it. And I’ll tell you why.
"A Dynamic Title Will Attract Your Targeted Audience"
Scott Deuty  
6/19/2015   2 comments
My written material must attract the reader therefore I am obligated to produce a dynamic title as well as an attractive opening statement.
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.
DAC BASICS, Part 5: Settling Down the Impact of the DAC
Bonnie Baker  
6/16/2015   Post a comment
The DAC’s settling time characteristics are consistent across both topologies of R-2R and string DAC
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.
NASA’s CubeSat Revolution is Coming to Deep Space
Steve Taranovich  
6/15/2015   Post a comment
In 2016 NASA will launch a mission to Mars atop the powerful Atlas V rocket. It will consist of a stationary lander called Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight).
Differential-Amplifier Common-Mode Rejection Measurements, Part 1: Differential Amplifier CM Principles
Dennis Feucht  
6/13/2015   4 comments
Differential amplifiers ideally amplify only the voltage difference across their input terminals
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
Accurate Circuit Verification of Integrated Power Switches
Neal Baltz  
6/6/2015   Post a comment
Following up with circuit verification is an important step to ensure design integrity through parasitic extraction and final simulations.
Signal Chain Basics (Part 101) ENOB Degradation Analysis Over Frequency Due to Jitter
Signal Chain Basics  
6/5/2015   3 comments
An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) sampling rate is determined by a clock signal that controls how often a voltage snapshot is taken for each conversion. However, clock signal timing isn’t perfect, having some type of jitter that becomes part of the overall ADC sampling rate jitter
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.
Application Notes are Helpful However Power Electronics Has Quirks that Require More In Depth Coverage
Scott Deuty  
6/2/2015   18 comments
In this blog I want to diverge from that topic. I am doing this because power electronics are physical circuits with quirks that result from the parasitics.
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.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>




latest blogs
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.
Some time back, I had to dig out some ancient filter design tools. I needed a special-purpose digital decimation filter for a “quite high quality” audio communication system.
Sandler has over 30 years of experience in the design and analysis of power conversion equipment for military and space applications.
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.
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