The Analog Brain Brian Bailey 5/24/2013 7 comments The human brain is a very effective and efficacious computer. The way it attains this efficacy differs from the digital computer.
PIC (& Software) 1, Op-Amps 0 Doug Grant 5/24/2013 10 comments General purpose voltage references, quad op-amps, and quad comparators are almost as cheap as dirt. Is it possible that a microcontroller plus software could compete economically?
Did You Say 'Programmable Analog'? Analog Angle 5/23/2013 10 comments As technology evolves, the definition of "programmable" analog/mixed-signal ICs has evolved as well; most users find the change to be a very good thing, despite any limitations it may impose.
Operations per Joule Brian Bailey 5/20/2013 17 comments Analog computers use far less power than digital ones. They are also less accurate and less capable of producing repeatable results. Still, since they're often good enough, perhaps more attention should be paid to the analog versions.
When Are You Done With Verification? Brian Bailey 5/17/2013 6 comments What metrics should be established to verify analog performance in general and integrated analog performance in particular? How much testing is not enough and how much is too much?
When the Going Gets Tough... Brian Bailey 5/16/2013 5 comments Pushing devices to smaller geometry produces some good consequences. But those come with other aspects that are less desirable. For integrated analog, there are significant challenges.
Crack Open One of These Books, Part 2 Brad Albing 5/16/2013 10 comments Following up on Bill Schweber's blog on technical books and Part 1 of this blog, we take a closer look at some important books that are an excellent source of information.
Cupcake IC'ing Reid Wender 5/10/2013 9 comments With the right perks, an engineer's job can be fun. If the perks involve food, some engineers would probably work for free.
The Cutting Edge May Be Moving Brian Bailey 5/9/2013 9 comments The challenges of product design are pushing leading-edge high technology down into lower-cost commodity products. As this process continues, integrated analog will play an important role in helping to take some of the cost out and improve reliability.
Smallest, Fastest, Lowest Power… Brian Bailey 5/9/2013 5 comments Unless someone finds a way to make the perfect op-amp, PLL, or power supply, we will continue to be subjected to the onslaught of marketing telling us that their product is better than anyone else's.
What Are the Limits to Integration? Dennis Feucht 5/8/2013 7 comments Are there any more general fundamental limits to electronics integration? How much smaller can processes get, and what are the consequences? Will this be the limiting factor for integrated analog?
Where Art Thou Analog IP? Brian Bailey 4/22/2013 9 comments Analog IP is available, though certainly not to the extent that digital IP is. Designers have fewer choices regarding multiple sources of the IP they need.
Design Margins in Analog & Digital William Murray 4/19/2013 14 comments Design margin can sometimes be a vague concept. It's best to analyze a design carefully and sometimes you must be especially cautious with systems where safety is paramount.
How the Analog Challenge Has Changed Analog Angle 4/16/2013 2 comments Today's analog designs are easier than those of the past, due to greatly improved and more highly integrated components; now the design focus is on system-level issues of overall performance meeting power, cost, and time-to-market objectives.
The techniques that are used to great advantage to integrate much digital functionality work far less well when attempting to integrate analog technology. Exciting new research opens the door to new ways of integrating analog building blocks for optimum performance.