datasheets.com EBN.com EDN.com EETimes.com Embedded.com PlanetAnalog.com TechOnline.com   UBM Tech
UBM Tech
Home    Bloggers    Blogs    Article Archives    Messages    About Us   
Tw  |  Fb  |  In  |  Rss
Maxim Integrated - Integration Nation
Analog Angle

Getting Over My New Integration Fears

Bill Schweber
Brad Albing
Brad Albing
4/19/2013 9:56:39 AM
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Software for Analog guys
Steve - that describes my work + learning curve too. I've seen how digital power can make a supply that has excellent response to changing loads, so now I'm a believer.

50%
50%
JeffL_2
JeffL_2
4/16/2013 12:20:28 PM
User Rank
Newbie
About application-specific solutions
It's interesting to me what inspires the development of some of these application solutions. For example the DC arc detect, I happened to have some background in the problem, the driver in financing the search for answers was largely the FAA's dissatisfaction with the ability of circuit breakers on commercial airplanes to prevent fires in flight on circuits which happened to contain wires with Kapton insulation, which I understand was only installed on aircraft for a brief time back in the 80's before the problem was identified, but once the wiring was in the field it was next to impossible to even locate the problem circuits let alone come up with a cost-effective way to rewire them. Of course now that an answer is available I'm sure it will find other markets, but in fact it's largely a response to what was basically a design error in the first place, which ought to serve as a reminder that as simple an issue as specifying the insulation on a piece of wire can have long-lasting ramifications.

50%
50%
DEREK.KOONCE
DEREK.KOONCE
4/15/2013 1:28:59 PM
User Rank
Master
Re: This IS the Analog equivalent to an FPGA
Well put Scott. I have seen development of the Chinese going from cheap piece-part to the need of integration. Especially when one adds that the cost of numerous piece parts, plus stocking, plus ordering man-power cost, plus receiving man-power cost, plus labor to load in the different parts, etc. All versus a single higher cost ASIC device, especially when a little bit of software can do what a lot of board real-estate can do.

I need to open up the programming books and get back into programming to do some product development.

50%
50%
eafpres1
eafpres1
4/12/2013 9:16:32 PM
User Rank
Blogger
Re: This IS the Analog equivalent to an FPGA
Hi guys--this isn't pure analog, but I read two articles recently that made me realize how valuable a software configurable part could be.  One was about companies figuring out how to best use TV White Space Spectrum.  A leading company is Neul, and there was an EE Times blub on them:

Neul article

The key line for me was "Currently, Neul has a few hundred FPGA versions of its designs, mainly being used for rural broadband trials in the U.S."

The other article had to do with a company called Tabula introducing and FPGA with 3D architecture which gives it enough power to handle 100 Gb/s networking. 

Tabula article

Basically, these FPGA designs are allowing approaches to be fielded without huge up-front costs.  If more of that becomes available, either analog or digital, it is good for everyone.  Then the designs that are more optimal can go to custom parts, the market gets what it wants faster, and the companies get to market at lower investment.

50%
50%
Bill_Jaffa
Bill_Jaffa
4/12/2013 6:40:07 PM
User Rank
Blogger
Re: This IS the Analog equivalent to an FPGA
You're right--but only sometimes, IMO. Your comment about the iphone is correct, of course. But I am thinking of data acquisition in medical, industrial, motion control, power measurement, temperature,  strain, optical, RF, and other transducer-based instrumentation applications.

Yes, the engineering challenge is to figure out what's good enough, but when you have a tough or very specific sensor input, the right op amp and ADC make it work, work right, work consistently, and accurately. Sure, you may be able to compensate with additonal clever circuitry and maybe even software calibraton and tricks, but those often make you presume and assume a lot about the situation and the real world.

The engneer has to balance many factors, sure, it's all about tradeoffs (power, performance, price) and constraints. But a good engineer also knows when insisting on the right IC for another 50 cents or $1 can make things work properly and consistently.

50%
50%
Bill_Jaffa
Bill_Jaffa
4/12/2013 3:16:14 PM
User Rank
Blogger
Re: This IS the Analog equivalent to an FPGA
I understand how that would be a good idea "on paper". But how does it play out in relaity? Many designs need a complciated mix of analog parts: a low-bias input for a sensor, a higher-drive op amp for a load, some mix of A/D speeds and resolutions, and so on, That's why most ofthe analog venodrs have so many parts in their roster--different parts of the same application need widely differing performance in speed, input characteristics, output, bandwidth, distortion, linearity, AC specs, and DC specs. It's a jungle!

50%
50%
steve.taranovich
steve.taranovich
4/12/2013 9:34:36 AM
User Rank
Blogger
Software for Analog guys
I'm with you Bill---I'm an analog guy for 40 years, but I have seen the power of software integration into the Digital Power realm. At first I was a skeptical analog "weenie". Later, I came to see the magic that software could bring to power management, like adaptive load capabilites that tremendously improve efficiency is a power system with a time-varying load.

The digital and software integration nowadays is very analog-user friendly with GUIs that do all the software "magic" for us analog types.

Can't teach an old dog new tricks? Not so----woof I say----software is not so formidable anymore---the software guys and gals, with their propeller beanies, have made it very easy to accept. And as a bonus, they have improved and added to our design bag of tricks.

50%
50%
More Blogs from Analog Angle
Did you ever wonder how "they" did that, especially when we can only think of doing it the new way with our advanced technologies?
Noise in its many manifestations is ever-present in electronic circuit and systems designs. Engineers must understand the specific types of noise they are dealing with before they can effectively suppress and overcome it, via both analog and algorithmic techniques.
Most EEs don't think about vacuum electron devices, yet they still play a vital role in technology. Will GaN's progress accelerate their end?
The diversity of sensing problems and possible solutions is always expanding, bolstered by sensitive, low-noise analog front-end circuitry.
Many user-facing components from years ago are no longer widely used; they had their time and role but things have changed, along with our demands.
flash poll
educational resources
sponsored content by Maxim Integrated
follow Planet Analog on Twitter
Planet Analog Twitter Feed
like us on facebook
Planet Analog
About Us     Contact Us     Help     Register     Twitter     Facebook     RSS