The Precision Hub is a multi-author blog from Texas Instruments that provides precision analog tips, tricks, and design techniques. Its authors bring a unique level of application knowledge about precision amplifiers, data converters, and other analog, along with a commitment to helping you work through some of the toughest analog challenges today.
Planet Analog Editor in Chief, Brad Albing, has worked as a design engineer for more than 30 years and as a field applications engineer for more than four years. He has extensive experience doing analog circuit design and working with many customers to solve a variety of design and manufacturing problems.
With a penchant for writing, Brad has had articles published in and been a contributing editor for the leading electronics industry publications. He also enjoys teaching and mentoring the next generation of analog engineers, while satisfying his curiosity about new developments in analog technology.
Brad's business card once said, "Analog design wizardry performed while you wait. Ask about our specials on pole and zero incantations." In his spare time he enjoys bike riding through the Cuyahoga Valley and tinkering in his lab with analog circuits and guitar electronics, accompanied by his cat, Merlin.
Bill Schweber is an electronics engineer who has written three textbooks on electronic communications systems, as well as hundreds of technical articles, opinion columns, and product features. In past roles, he worked as a technical website manager for multiple EE Times sites and as both Executive Editor and Analog Editor at EDN. At Analog Devices, he was in marketing communications; as a result, he has been on both sides of the technical PR function, presenting company products, stories, and messages to the media and also as the recipient of these. Prior to the marcom role at Analog, Bill was associate editor of its respected technical journal, and also worked in its product marketing and applications engineering groups. Before those roles, he was at Instron Corp., doing hands-on analog- and power-circuit design and systems integration for materials-testing machine controls. He has BSEE from Columbia University and an MSEE from the University of Massachusetts, is a Registered Professional Engineer, and holds an Advanced Class amateur radio license. Bill has also planned, written, and presented online courses on a variety of engineering topics, including MOSFET basics, ADC selection, and driving LEDs.
David Andeen is the Strategic Segment Manager for energy at Maxim Integrated Products. He joined Maxim in 2005 in the sales department and assumed responsibility for the energy segment in 2011. He holds a PhD in Materials Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Damian Anzaldo is the Wireless Communications Segment Manager at Maxim Integrated. He has published articles and circuit ideas on topics ranging from power and battery management to precision data conversion and wireless communications. Damian holds a BSEET from Temple University and ASET from Penn State University.
Dr. Bruce Archambeault is an IBM Distinguished Engineer in Research Triangle Park, N.C. He received his BSEE degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1977 and his MSEE degree from Northeastern University in 1981. He received his PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 1997. His doctoral research was in the area of computational electromagnetics applied to real-world EMC problems. Dr. Archambeault has authored or co-authored a number of papers in computational electromagnetics, mostly applied to real-world EMC applications. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the IEEE EMC Society and a past Board of Directors member for the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES). He currently serves as the chair for the Technical Activities Committee and Vice President for conferences of the EMC Society. He has served as a past IEEE/EMCS Distinguished Lecturer and Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility. He is the author of PCB Design for Real-World EMI Control and the lead author of EMI/EMC Computational Modeling Handbook.
Brian Bailey is an independent consultant working in the fields of electronic system level (ESL) methodologies and functional verification. Prior to this he was the chief technologist for verification at Mentor Graphics where he worked on simulation, emulation, hardware/software co-simulation, and mixed-signal simulation. He is the editor for the EETimes EDA Designline and a contributing editor to EDN. He has published seven books, the last of which was on the subject of mixed-signal design methodologies, given talks around the world, chairs international standards committees (is he crazy?), and sits on the technical advisory board for several EDA companies. Brian graduated from Brunel University in England with a first class honours [sic] degree in electrical and electronic engineering (yes - he is a Brit, so of course he is crazy). He may also be found at Brian Bailey Consulting (http://www.brianbailey.us/).
In Bonnie's first life she was a musician and a music educator in the greater Tucson area. She taught high school choirs, bands, and orchestras, creating great, heartfelt music. She enjoyed creating exciting music with the masses, but technology tugged at her. She went back to school to get a University of Arizona EE Masters. In 1986, her second life started at Burr-Brown, Tucson. From there, she went to Phoenix-based Microchip as their analog guru. She is now working for Texas Instruments. During her career, Bonnie has written more than 370 technical magazine articles, app notes, seminar sessions, data sheets, and a few patents. She also created the book A Baker's Dozen: Real Analog Solutions for the Digital Designer and co-authored two books with Bob Pease (Circuit Design: Know It All and Analog Circuits: World Class Designs). Besides writing for Planet Analog, she also writes for EDN.com.
Steve Barraclough is a 30 year veteran of the semiconductor industry, operating first as an Integrated Circuit design engineer and manager in the fields of high performance DSP, Microprocessor and ASIC design, and latterly specialising in Product Marketing and Business Development for Wireless Communications and Mobile Multimedia consumer products. Steve is currently the Senior Director of Product Management at Bosch Sensortec GmbH, responsible for Sensor product definition and product management.
Siamak Bastami is the Director of Product Management in the Analog and Power Division at IDT. He drives business strategy for IDT's power management product line with primary responsibilities including strategic and product marketing, business development, and management of customer relationships and partnerships.
Blaine Bateman is President of EAF LLC, a consultancy in strategy, market analysis, technology due diligence, and related areas, and has over 20 years of international experience. He graduated in ChE with special honors from the University of Colorado (CU), later receiving a Professional Certificate in Quality Management also from CU, a Certificate in Integrated Strategic Planning from Caltech, a Certificate with Distinction in Game Theory from Stanford (MOOC), and completing a Professional Course in Strategy Development at Washington University in St. Louis. Following 10 years in government research and management (Deputy Director, National Measurement Laboratory (US DoC NIST), and Chief of Chemical Engineering Division of NIST), he worked at several startups, then 13 years with Laird Technologies, a global specialty electronics firm. Prior to forming EAF, Blaine was VP of Strategic Markets, VP of Strategic Business Dev., and Global VP of Marketing with Laird. He has experience in electronics, automotive, wireless, instruments, and cryogenics. His skills include strategy, business development, engineering, product development, quality management, operations, and RF technology. Over his career, he has received 18 patents in chemical instruments, antennas, and RF design.
Ian Beavers is an Applications Engineer for the high-speed converters team at Analog Devices Inc. in Greensboro, N.C. He has worked for the company since 1999. He has over 15 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. He earned a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Vincent Biancomano started out as a technical aide at Bell Labs in the late 1960s working on the Bellboy pager and early speech recognition systems. With experience in electrical engineering and meteorology, he has served at every editorial level during more than 35 years in the electronics trade journal business for Electronics, Electronic Design, EE Times, Energy Efficiency & Technology, Fiberoptic Product News, and various IEEE magazines, much of the time covering circuit design and power management. He's a member of IEEE, the American Meteorological Society, and the National Weather Association.
Jason has nearly 13 years of experience in the electronics industry. After graduating from Vincennes University in 2000 as a mechanical design and computer aided drafter, he began his career at Panasonic Home Appliances Co. of America. After a couple years doing mechanical design, he chose the path of least resistance and headed into the electrical engineering field. He continued his education and received degrees in both electronics and project management. He later became Panasonic's lead electrical design engineer and received several patents from his various designs. Jason also worked with purchasing, R&D, and sourcing and developed suppliers all over the world, including Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, and the US. After 11 years of designing, he decided to jump over the fence to electronic sales and became a sales engineer for Rathsburg Associates Inc. He uses his past experiences of long nights in the lab inhaling solder fumes and blowing up boards to let engineers realize that he is not just a sales guy, but someone who knows where the engineers have been, where they are now, and where they want to go.
Brandt Braswellreceived the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, in 2003 and the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA, in 1991. From 1991 to 1995 he was a Design Engineer in the Custom Linear ASIC Division of National Semiconductor, Santa Clara, CA, USA. Since 1995, he has been with Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector), Tempe, AZ, USA, working in various design engineering roles from product development to research. He is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff and focuses on the development of data converters, with an emphasis on delta-sigma conversion.
As well as being The Filter Wizard, Kendall Castor-Perry is a skilled circuit designer, product engineer, and all-around analog expert. He's a widely published communicator of theory and method in many electronics disciplines. His fascination with electronics and audio dates back to boyhood. He spent 21 years designing filters, precision instrumentation, signal processing equipment, and music systems. Then he spent 11 years selling and designing analog semiconductors. He's created advanced products to chase signals across many domains, extract the information from them, and do something useful with it. These days, Kendall is with Cypress doing system architecture, product definition, and strategic application analysis for their precision analog and mixed-signal devices. And also, of course, supporting customers with all sorts of analog and digital filter designs. He's also educating and mentoring a new generation in the ways of analog and systems thinking. Striving to improve the world one dB at a time!
Willie Chan is Senior Product Marketing Engineer for µModule Power Products at Linear Technology Corp. He holds a BSEE from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has 11 years of experience in the marketing of power management products and embedded memories.
Clint Cole is President of Digilent. He worked at Hewlett-Packard, Physio-Control, and Heartstream. He co-founded Heartstream in 1991 and served as lead engineer until Hewlett-Packard purchased the company in 1997. Mr. Cole co-founded Digilent in 2000, where he serves as President and senior engineer. He is also on the faculty at Washington State University, where he teaches many different engineering courses.
Brian Coppa, PhD, has authored many pending US patents, international peer-reviewed journal articles, and industry analysis publications concerning electronic materials and devices and green technology, which have received numerous citations and garnered a myriad of invited presentations across the US. His past articles have been cited in USA Today, Huffington Post, Business Week, and leading trade journals. Over the past decade, Dr. Coppa has worked as a technical professional in the microelectronics industry for Micron and ASM America, and he held a key leadership position in a startup company specializing in superconductor devices. He consults on a wide array of topics involving alternative energy and microelectronic applications as a leading Council Member for Gerson Lehrman Group Inc.
George Diniz is a Product Line Manager in High Speed Digital to Analog Converters at Analog Devices in Greensboro, N.C. He leads a team responsible for the development of JESD204B receive and transmit interface cores, which are integrated into High Speed Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog converter products. He has 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and has held various roles in design engineering and product line management. Before joining Analog Devices, George was a design engineer at IBM, where he was engaged in mixed-signal design of custom SRAM macros and PLL and DLL functions for PowerPC processors. He has an MSEE from North Carolina State University and a BEE from Manhattan College. For recreation, he enjoys outdoor activities, restoring automobiles, and running.
Parker Dorris is a senior applications engineer supporting Silicon Labs' microcontroller product line. He joined Silicon Labs in 2003 when the company acquired Cygnal Integrated Products. Mr. Dorris specializes in the areas of human interface and USB embedded system design. He holds a BSEE from the University of Texas at Austin.
Brian Dotson has been designing circuitry since he was 10 years old. By the age of 14, he knew he wanted to be an engineer. After graduating from Auburn University, he acquired more education working on a communications project for the US Marine Corps. He continued to work on a variety of contracts in the military-related audio/visual arena, before being placed on a project for NASA, working in the internal A/V group for the International Space Station for five years. Brian did consulting work for Kustom Home Sound/NuVo before joining the NuVo Technologies family in 2003. He has also applied his interest in audio by developing professional studio recording gear and working on a MIDI-based studio of his own for recording his guitar. This work helped fine-tune and train his ear for sound, picking up the intricacies of how it is both produced and reproduced.
John Dunn is an independent contractor and a consultant at Ambertec P.E. P.C. He holds a BSEE from The Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and an MSEE from New York University. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York, a senior member of IEEE, and a member and past Chairman of The IEEE Consultants Network of Long Island. John has had more than 45 years of design experience in services to over a dozen military and industrial corporations in multiple electronic disciplines, including analog (low noise audio, power audio, temperature measurement, electrocardiogram recordings, etc.), power supplies (low voltage to 100 Amperes and high voltage to 100,000 Volts), HF/ VHF/ UHF equipment, uP development and debugging, test instrument design, and test program development. He is also the founder of the LinkedIn group Analog Developments and has lectured adult classes in mathematics and electronics theory.
Michael Dunn has been messing with electronics almost as long as he's been walking, and got his first scope around age 15. Things have gone downhill since then. The scopes now vie with wine racks, harpsichords, calculators, and 19th century pianos for space. Over the years, he's designed for the automotive, medical, industrial, communications, and consumer industries, as both freelancer and employee, working with analog, digital, micros, and software. Since 2000, he's run the TekScopes Yahoogroup, now with over 5,000 members.
Scott Elder, a senior analog IC design consultant, is a 28-year veteran of analog IC design and the named inventor on 16 patents, all in the fields of precision analog signal processing, power management, RF CMOS, and LED drivers. A proud University of Florida EE Gator and US Army veteran, he has lived in three of the four corners of the US, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the Netherlands. While always on the lookout for new challenges, the inquisitive Scott enjoys working on analog design problems others say can't be solved, mentoring the next generation, and refining design methods to render probe stations obsolete.
Mike Everett joined Maxwell Technologies in 2002 and was appointed chief technical officer in 2005. Over a 25-year engineering career, Mike has been responsible for all levels of new product development, primarily focused on systems engineering and now the research and development of new technology.
Scott Ferguson is the former Editor in Chief of eWeek, where he oversaw the day-to-day operation of eWeek.com, as well as eWeek Magazine, until the print publication stopped in 2012 and eWeek converted into an all-digital publication with tablet and smartphone editions. He worked for more than six years at eWeek, starting as a staff writer covering microprocessors, PCs, servers, virtualization, and the channel. Scott also worked in a number of editorial positions, including as managing editor, while helping to shape the publication¹s core coverage of enterprise applications, mobility, and cloud computing. Before starting at eWeek in 2006, he worked for the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, N.J., where he covered law enforcement, the courts, and municipal government for four years. He also worked at the Herald News of Woodland Park, N.J., where he covered a number of different beats. Scott has degrees in journalism and history from William Paterson University.
Dennis Feucht started working at Tektronix at age 17 on measurement instrument calibration and design, and later, in Tektronix Labs, on advanced instrument concepts and artificial intelligence. After Tektronix, he acquired experience in the design of motor drives, power converters, ophthalmic surgical and ultrasonic imaging instruments, automotive electronics and engine thermodynamic modeling, rocket propulsion and astrionics, and robotics. He has his own laboratory, Innovatia, on a jungle hilltop in Belize, where he continues to do electronics research, technical writing, and helps others with product development. He wrote a four-volume book-set published by www.scitechpub.com on analog circuit design, has recently completed a book on transistor amplifier design, and is working on a book on power electronics. He also mentors local Mayan youth who are interested in learning electronics and jungle homesteading, and studies history, the social order, and wider issues.
Mark is Senior Principal MTS in Maxim Integrated's Communications and Automotive Solutions group where he works on strategic initiatives. He has worked for over 30 years in analog design as well as engineering management, marketing, and other parts of the electronics business, from consumer electronics to millimeter-wave instrumentation and, of course, mixed signal semiconductors. He is a hoopy cool frood who really knows where his towel is.
Bob Frostholm is Director of Marketing and Sales at analog ASIC company JVD Inc. in Silicon Valley. He has held semiconductor marketing, sales, and CEO positions at established and startup analog semiconductor companies for over 40 years. In the early 70s, he was one of the original marketers behind the ubiquitous 555 timer chip. After 12 years with Signetics-Philips, Fairchild, and National Semiconductor, he co-founded his first startup in 1984, Scottish-based Integrated Power (later acquired by Seagate). He subsequently joined Sprague's semiconductor operations in Massachusetts and helped orchestrate its spinoff from the capacitor business and ultimate acquisition by Japan-based Sanken Electric, creating what is now known as Allegro Microsystems. Bob later became Vice President of Marketing at Siliconix, and then Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SEEQ Technology where he facilitated its success in networking ICs that lead to SEEQs acquisition by LSI Logic. He was then recruited to become President and CEO of Power X Networks, USA. He subsequently held multiple executive level marketing and sales roles for several analog IC startups before joining JVD in 2011.
Chris Gammell is an analog system engineer living and working in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been blogging since 2008 and has a regular online radio show about electronics called The Amp Hour. You can see more about his past writings and current projects at ChrisGammell.com.
Doug Grant is an independent consultant specializing in semiconductor and wireless technologies. He has logged over 30 years in the semiconductor industry, mostly at Analog Devices, where he worked in engineering, marketing, and product line management for a wide range of analog, mixed-signal, RF and wireless products, and started two business units within the company. He has authored too many articles and conference papers to count and holds two patents. Doug received his first ham radio license from the FCC in 1967 and has logged around 500,000 two-way contacts with other radio hams in every country in the world. RF and wireless are in his DNA. His typical consulting projects include business/marketing plan creation and review, writing, and advising startup companies on product and marketing strategies.
Sureena was first introduced to TI through TI's Analog Design Contest as a participating student. That exposure gave her the opportunity to join TI as an applications engineer intern for point-of-load power products. She holds a Bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering and a Master's degree in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University. Upon graduation, she joined TI and has been there since. During her personal time, Sureena enjoys such creative endeavors as oil painting, pottery, glass blowing, ball room dancing, theatre, and ballet.
Jonathan Harris is a product applications engineer in the high-speed converter group at Analog Devices in Greensboro, N.C. He has over seven years of experience as an applications engineer supporting products in the RF industry. Jonathan received his MSEE from Auburn University and his BSEE from UNC-Charlotte. In his spare time he enjoys mobile audio, nitro R/C, college football, and spending time with his two children.
Barry Harvey has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. He holds 15 patents and has published 29 magazine articles and technical symposium papers. He has been employed with Intersil Corporation since its merger with Elantec in 2002, and also has worked at Siliconix, AMD, and PMI, now a division of Analog Devices. Barry holds an MSEE from Stanford University.
Mitchell Heins, Business Developer Manager for the Deep Submicron Division of Mentor Graphics, has worked in the semiconductor and EDA industries for over 30 years. He joined Mentor Graphics in 2010 through the acquisition of Pyxis Technology, an EDA company selling routing tools for the custom IC design market, where he was CEO. Previous to Pyxis, Heins held management positions at HPL Technologies, Petersen Advanced Lithography, Cadence Design Systems, Ambit Design Systems, Si2, and Texas Instruments. He holds a BS degree in computer science from the University of Nebraska.
Paul Illegems is a Principal IC Design Engineer at Cactus Semiconductor Inc. He started his career with Philips Semiconductors in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. At Philips he worked in various groups on analog products in the areas of telecommunication and digital audio and led many IC design projects. In 1995 he moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to continue working for Philips on the analog design of IEEE 1394 products. In 2002 Paul joined SMSC to work on analog circuits, mainly in the area of power management, but also on mitigation of ESD and latch-up issues. Recently, he joined Cactus Semiconductor Inc. His interests are in the area of power management and analog design. He is the first named inventor on 14 patents in the area of analog IC design. He is a member of the IEEE and holds an MSEE degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.
Joshua Israelsohn, JAS Technical Media's Director of Editorial, Training, and Media Services, manages the company's Technical Communication practice. He holds an SBEE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has experience in assembled-product and integrated-circuit design. Mr. Israelsohn served six years as Technical Editor at EDN Worldwide for analog and power design, analog and power ICs, communications physical layer, and MEMS/MOEMS. He is the author of more than 300 articles and his writings have been cited as references in six patents. He is a member of the IEEE's Solid State Circuits and Power Electronics Societies.
I have been designing mostly high voltage power supplies for Travelling Wave Tubes and Cathode Ray Tubes for a long time. On occasion, I have also designed low voltage supplies. I also designed microwave amplifiers using these TWTs for a variety of applications, such as satellite communications, RADAR and Electronic Counter Measures. Sometimes these systems get fairly complicated and I started using microcprocessors in HV supplies to help with control and monitoring in the late 1980's, which was considered by many to be a stupid idea at the time. How times change!
Of course, the march of microcontrollers has not stopped since and they are now pervasive. Just a week ago I used a small Silabs 8051 uC to generate a stable 80kHz clock because it required fewer components and was smaller than a 555.
I started my career in France in the late 1970's and I moved to the USA in 1985. If you read my comments, you may spot the occasional French word!
I consider myself more of an analog guy gone astray with software, but I think that significant exposure to both worlds has served me and my customers well. My analog experience gives me a solid skepticism of the infallibility of digital systems, yet it is obvious that digital systems have allowed precision analog to shine for what it is best for.
I always welcome a healthy debate about the relative merits of both, and how to approach the difference in a way that improves the end product.
Born and raised in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Aubrey Kagan completed his electrical engineering degree at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and obtained an MBA at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He immediately started working in electronics and was fortunate enough to be around as microprocessors made their first inroads into industry. He was initially involved with designing controllers for industry and mines, with projects encompassing coffee packaging machines, railroad communication controllers, hydrological data monitors, automatic calorimeters, and diamond sorters. The isolation of South Africa (geographically, economically, and later politically) allowed him to gain a wide range of experiences with many aspects of the industry, including analog and digital circuit design, the use of PCs (including the use of spreadsheets) to gather data, and the early use of CAD.
Aubrey now lives in Canada. Here he originally worked on the specifications for the Canadarm 2 (the remote control arm on the International Space Station), but he is now involved with far less grandiose projects. He is Engineering Manager at Emphatec, a Toronto-based design house of industrial control interfaces, signal conditioners, and switch-mode power supplies. Aside from brief forays into the i80960, i8096, and IM6100, all of his experience has been on 8-bit micros – including Intel (8048, 8051, 8080, 8085), RCA (1802), Zilog (Z80, Z8), PIC (16Cxxx), Scenix (SX18), TI (TMS7000, MSP430 – 16 bits!), and Cypress (PSoC). His specialty lies in blending the linear with the digital hardware and then processing in software.
Aubrey has written several technical articles for Circuit Cellar and has contributed several design ideas to EDN and Electronic Design as well as an application note for Cypress Microsystems. He has also made a few contributions to Max Maxfield's "How It Was" series and Max/Brian Bailey's "Travel Nightmare" series. He is the author of Excel by Example: A Microsoft Excel Cookbook for Electronics Engineers.
Andrew Kelly is an IC/Systems Architect at Cactus Semiconductor Inc. in Chandler, Ariz. Prior to joining Cactus Semiconductor he was a Senior Principal IC Design Engineer at Medtronic Inc. in Tempe, Ariz. In his 25-year career, he has defined and designed full custom mixed-signal ICs for a wide range of hand-held and implantable medical devices such as glucose meters, hearing aids, neuro-stimulators, drug infusion systems, EEG sensors, orthopedic sensors, and cardiac pacemakers. Andrew has a BSEE from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Derek Koonce owns and operates DDK Interactive Consulting Services, providing services for analog design and product marketing. He also works for Aerometals, designing instrumentation circuits for helicopters and repairing aging military electronics by creating new circuitry using modern components. His 12-plus years in the semiconductor industry began as a senior applications engineer with Supertex. He advanced to a market development manager with Vishay-Siliconix and Chief Technical Officer of Monolithic Microsystems. His customers included flat panel, printer, computers, and power supply industries. Prior to his semiconductor career he was a development engineer for Loral Electro-Optical Systems in the field of power supplies, flash lamp drivers, CCDs, analog instrumentation, and magnetics. He earned his BSEE from California State University at Northridge.
Thomas Kugelstadt is a senior systems engineer with Texas Instruments. He is responsible for defining new, high-performance analog products and developing complete system solutions for industrial interfaces with robust transient protection. He is a Graduate Engineer from the Frankfurt University of Applied Science.
Kerry Lacanette defines products for Maxim's Precision Management and Control business unit, with emphasis on temperature sensors, sensor interfaces, and fan controllers. He has written or contributed to dozens of technical articles, application notes, conference papers, and design handbooks on a variety of analog and mixed-signal topics. He received his BSEE and MSEE from UC Santa Barbara.
Alex Lidow is CEO of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC). Prior to founding EPC, he was CEO of International Rectifier Corp. A co-inventor of the HEXFET power MOSFET, Dr. Lidow holds many patents in power semiconductor technology and has authored numerous publications on related subjects. He most recently co-authored, GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion, the first textbook on GaN FET technology and applications. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Caltech in 1975 and his PhD from Stanford in 1977.
Victor Lorenzo, a senior digital and analog development engineer, has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of teaching, desktop and embedded software development, biomedical engineering, industrial automation, and development of secure access control and fare collection systems. He holds an electronic engineering degree and an MSc in telecommunications from the Central University of Las Villas (Santa Clara, Cuba), where he was a researcher and professor in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering for nine years. He is currently providing hardware and firmware design and project management services for a consultancy he co-founded in Barcelona.
Erin Mannas is a Marketing Manager at Maxim Integrated. Before joining Maxim, she enjoyed various sales, marketing, and FAE roles at Texas Instruments, Burr Brown, and Insight Electronics. Erin holds an MSEE from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Patrick Mannion has been in the electronics industry for so many years that he's earned the title of "veteran." Starting in engineering, he went on a world tour in 1989 and landed in New York, and hasn't left since. And why would he? He's been traveling, writing, participating, and generally having fun within the electronics industry ever since. His various roles range from editor to content director to his current title of brand director for EDN, Test & Measurement World, and Planet Analog. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim McCune is President of Integrated Wave Technologies (IWT), the sister company of Linear Integrated Systems Inc. Both companies were founded by Silicon Valley pioneer John Hall. McCune managed a series of electronics development projects IWT conducted for DARPA and other US government agencies and was awarded a patent, Autonomous Integrated Headset and Sound Processing System for Tactical Applications. A defense and wire service journalist in Washington during the 1980s and 1990s, he enjoys talking with analog enthusiasts, writing about the elegant world of non-digital electronics, and listening to his McIntosh MC275.
James McDonald is the Co-Founder and President of Cactus Semiconductor Inc., formerly known as Cactus Custom Analog Design. He has over 30 years of semiconductor design and electronics industry experience with companies such as Medtronic, Intel, Motorola, and BBN. Prior to starting Cactus Semiconductor, James was the Design Manager of Medtronic's Semiconductor Group. He has an MSEE degree from Boston University and a BSEE from Arizona State University.
Miguel Mendoza is Micrel's Product Marketing Manager for the high-performance analog and high-speed mixed signal business group. He is responsible for the company's product development, promotion, and project management of MOSFET drivers, LED drivers, and switching regulators.
Bruce D. Moore is a consulting analog engineer for Alert Solutions Co., doing new product definition and application circuit development for amplifier and power-supply ICs. He has worked in analog IC design, application, and marketing positions at Fairchild Semiconductor, Raytheon Semiconductor, and Maxim Integrated Products. His areas of interest include precision op-amps, semi-custom and standard-cell design, and power management ICs for portable equipment such as notebook computers and cellphones. Moore graduated with a BSEET from Heald Engineering College, San Francisco, in 1977. His spare-time interests include military history, miniature bull terriers, and skiing.
Henrik Morkner was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and attended SJSU and Stanford in California. He holds a BSEE (1984) and an MSEE (1989). He has performed MMIC design and R&D management roles at Hewlett-Packard, Agilent, and Avago. Henrik is presently the Director of Engineering at the MACOM Design Center in Santa Clara, Calif. He has published over 30 papers and is named in nine US patents in microwave. He has extensive experience with design through production of successful MMIC designs from DC to over 80GHz in instruments, handsets, WiFi, and P2P radios.
William Murray has over 25 years of experience as an electrical engineer and product designer across the aerospace, wireless, telecom, semiconductor, printing, and medical device sectors. Among other projects, he is currently working on a method to make long car trips more comfortable for people with back pain through Lake Geneva Research, a non-profit bio-medical research startup. He has a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
James Niemann has been an analog design engineer at Keithley Instruments in Cleveland from 1988 to the present. He is currently a principle design engineer responsible for general R&D as well as the design of new products. He has designed numerous high-precision instruments that measure and source voltage and current over a dynamic range spanning single nanovolts through hundreds of volts, and from single femto-amps to 50A. He has an application specialty in solar photovoltaic measurements, electrochemical measurements, and low-level precision measurements of voltage and current for any application. James has various published articles as well as issued patents.
Maithil Pachchigar is an applications engineer in ADI's Precision Converters business unit in Wilmington, Mass. He joined ADI in 2010 and supports the precision ADC product portfolio and customers in the industrial, instrumentation, medical, and energy segments. Having worked in the semiconductor industry since 2005, Maithil has published several technical articles. He received an MSEE from San Jose State University in 2006 and an MBA from Silicon Valley University in 2010.
Matthias Poppel is a distinguished electronics industry expert. He brings a respected 15-year career with success in developing highly profitable products and new markets. Prior to EnOcean, Matthias was EMEA Director Embedded Processing Marketing and Applications at Texas Instruments (TI). His responsibilities covered the full TI Embedded Processing portfolio, from microcontrollers and microprocessors to wireless transceivers. Prior to this, Matthias held the position of General Manager of TI's C2000 Controller product line where he was a key contributor in re-orienting the business. Over the years, Matthias held several management positions in Sales, Marketing, and Product Management at TI's Semiconductor Group. Matthias holds an engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and a MBA.
Ronald Quan has a BSEE degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the book, Build Your Own Transistor Radios. Currently, he holds at least 77 United States patents in the areas of analog video processing, low noise amplifier design, low distortion voltage controlled amplifiers, wide band crystal voltage controlled oscillators, video monitors, audio and video IQ modulation, and audio test equipment. His designs include a wideband FM demodulator for an HDTV recorder at Sony and a low power bar code reader integrated circuit at Hewlett Packard. In 2010 and 2012 he presented papers in amplifier distortion to the Audio Engineering Society's Conferences held in San Francisco.
After attending GMI (now Kettering University) and the University of Michigan, Paul Rako worked as a design engineer in Detroit. He worked at GMC on trucks, buses, and motor-homes, and at Ford in the light truck division. He moved to Silicon Valley where a stint at a military contractor gave him an appreciation for high-reliability design and mil-spec documentation. He then started his own business and did engineering consulting for 20 years. Specializing in analog and embedded systems design, he next worked in two startups, mercanti systems and oqo. After that dose of startup excitement he joined National Semiconductor as an application engineer. After five years with National he spent five years at EDN as the analog editor. He then returned to industry, working for a year at Analog Devices. He is now back to consulting and doing free-lance work. Paul's interests include politics, philosophy, motorcycles, and making music and videos. He has six Harley Sportsters, a studio full of musical instruments, a complete laboratory, and a 10,000-pound milling machine at his Domicile of the Future in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Charles Razzell received his undergraduate electronics engineering degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in June 1981. Since then, he has been involved in advanced development projects, usually with a focus on highly integrated transceiver designs. During the 1980s his technical work was mainly in the analog and RF design fields, including the design and layout of one of the earliest fully integrated paging receiver ICs for Philips. His involvement in digital radio technology began in the early 1990s with TErrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), where he was involved in making a system proposal on behalf of Philips and made further contributions to the Physical Layer specification of that ETSI standard. At Maxim Integrated he is an Executive Director with responsibility for product definition, applications, and product engineering. He has 18 US patents.
Chris Reynolds holds a B.Sc. in physics from Birmingham University, U.K. and has more than 30 years' experience working with passive component technologies in both an R&D and applications engineering capacity.
Robert L. Chao founded Advanced Linear Devices, Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. in 1985 and has been a leading authority in the analog semiconductor industry for more than 30 years. Before that, he was founder of Supertex, where he was instrumental in inventing the analog circuitry that enabled the home smoke detector.
Keith Sabine is Product Manager, Analog Solutions, at Pulsic. He has 35 years of experience in the semiconductor and EDA industries, starting out as a bipolar designer at Fairchild Semiconductor before moving into CMOS process development and characterization at Plessey Semiconductors. His EDA career has seen tenures at Cadence, Simplex, Apache, and now Pulsic. Keith has a BSc in Electronic Engineering from the University of Bristol, UK, and a PhD in Semiconductor Physics from the University of Southampton, UK.
Sachin Gupta, Senior Applications Engineer, Cypress Semiconductor Sachin Gupta is a Senior Applications Engineer with Cypress Semiconductor. He holds a Bachelor's degree in electronics and communications from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi. He has been working on different SoC products and specializes in capacitive sensing and embedded applications. He is also expert in board layout reviews for good analog performance and EMC/EMI issues. He loves working on different types of analog and digital circuits, as well as synthesizable codes.
Akshay Phatak, Applications Engineer, Cypress Semiconductor Akshay Phatak is an Applications Engineer with Cypress Semiconductor. He holds a Bachelor's degree in electronics and telecommunications from the College of Engineering, Pune, India. He likes to work on mixed-signal embedded systems.
Paolo Scalisi has worked at STMicroelectronics, Italy, for the last five years as test engineer on voltage regulators and DC-DC switching converters. These power management ICs are used for consumer applications such as AMOLED panel supplies. Starting from the end of 2010, Paolo joined the Power Devices team as product engineer, responsible for high reliability and radiation-hardened MOSFETs, IGBTs, and BJTs for aerospace applications. Recently he has been working on the new technologies, SiC and GaN.
Tamara Schmitz is a Senior Principal Applications Engineer and Global Technical Training Coordinator at Intersil Corp., where she has been employed since mid-2007. She holds a BSEE and MSEE in electrical engineering and PhD in RF CMOS circuit design from Stanford University. From August 1997 until August 2002 she was a lecturer in electrical engineering at Stanford; from August 2002 until August 2007, she served as assistant professor of electrical engineering at San Jose State University. Among Tamara's interests are traveling, woodworking, dog training, playing guitar and accordion, and following major league baseball and college football. She is always ready for the next adventure, whether it is an African safari or a new application circuit.
Jack Shandle is founder and principal of e-Contentworks, an editorial consultancy focused on producing high-value content on high-tech subjects. A graduate EE with an additional MA in journalism, he has been writing about electronics topics for more than two decades. He is the former editor of Electronic Design and ChipCenter, both of which covered all aspects of electronics geared for engineers. Over the past decade, has explored the gamut of technologies from GaAs semiconductors to MEMS to EDA. After forming his company in 2001, Jack has provided a spectrum of content including articles, news release, whitepapers, training courses, and brochures to companies as diverse as Vitesse, Applied Materials, Freescale Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Most of his work has been ghostwriting for semiconductor companies and contract engagements with major industry publications. He lives and works in San Francisco.
Len Sherman is a Senior Scientist at Maxim Integrated where he has defined dozens of power and battery management ICs, primarily for portable and handheld devices. He has been with Maxim since 1985. Before that he provided applications support for linear products at National Semiconductor and built analog instrumentation at MIT. When not trying to cram square centimeters of analog circuitry into square millimeters of silicon, Len struggles with his machine tool addiction and turns nice blocks of metal into piles of swarf in his garage.
With more than 28 years in the high-speed signal path component business, spanning IC design roles with the earliest current feedback amplifiers, roadmap definition, PLM for the BurrBrown high-speed amplifier products, and market development/applications manager roles through TI and Intersil, Michael continues to focus on high-performance ADC interface solutions, DSL/PLC line driver design and optimization, and online op-amp tools development. In a career spanning five different major IC vendors, he has introduced 100 industry-leading amplifier products (setting many of the now-standard practices in high-speed amplifier characterization curves), publishing more than 35 application notes and over 60 contributed articles. Sharing several fundamental patents on high-speed amplifiers, Michael continues to present leading-edge new techniques and solutions in worldwide seminars.
Steve Taranovich is a senior technical editor at EDN with 40 years of experience in the electronics industry. Steve received his MSEE from Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York, and his BEEE from New York University, Bronx, New York. He is also chairman of the Educational Activities Committee for IEEE Long Island. His expertise is in analog with a diverse embedded processing education as it relates to analog design from his years at Burr-Brown and Texas Instruments. Steve was a circuit design engineer for his first 16 years in electronics. He then served as one of the first field application engineers with Burr-Brown Corp and also became one of their first global account managers, traveling to Europe, India and China.
Tom Terlizzi is VP at GM Systems, a management and technology consulting firm, providing business and strategic plans, marketing and sales strategies, and product development support. He has designed and developed power management systems, single-board computers, microelectronic circuits, hybrids, COB modules, ICs, RF modules, for over 30 years for military, aerospace, telecom, and consumer markets, serving as a VP/GM, Director of Marketing, Chief Engineer, and Operations/Engineering Manager at Aeroflex, Norden/UTC, G.I. Microelectronics, and Grumman Aerospace. He spearheaded acquisitions and mergers of several high-tech companies and ISO9000/military quality certifications. He received a BEE from CCNY and an MSEE from NYU-Poly and has published several articles, papers, and tutorials at international conferences, edited books on electronic packaging, consulted for the DoD on advanced electronic packaging, and taught electronics at the US Army Signal School.
Martin Tomasz is a seasoned analog, radio, and mixed-signal engineer with 22 years of experience in circuit and systems design. As senior scientist at Touchstone Semiconductor, he has 17 patents to his credit. Prior to joining Touchstone Semiconductor, Martin spent two seasons in Antarctica with the US Antarctic Program, working with scientific monitoring devices designed to work in extreme environments.
Allard van der Horst is Director of Applications at Maxim Integrated Products. He joined Maxim in September 2010 through the acquisition of Phyworks where he held the position of CTO. His current interests include signal integrity solutions, next-generation PON, collaborations, and standards development. Allard has 20 years' experience in the industry and holds an MSc in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Twente (Netherlands).
Jorge Vega is a Senior High Speed Characterization Engineer for Qualcomm, where he delves into the area of signal integrity and jitter. Previously he spent eight years at Texas Instruments working on analog and digital designs, primarily on high-performance amplifiers and linear-voltage regulators. He has authored several articles on harmonic distortion and noise in amplifiers.
Alan Walsh is an applications engineer at Analog Devices. He joined ADI in 1999 and works in the Precision Converters Applications Group in Wilmington, Mass. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in electronic engineering from University College Dublin.
Mr. Wank is a 20-year veteran of the power semiconductor industry, having served companies that created more than $10-Billion in acquisition value. Before founding infiniRel, Bert held product development, strategic marketing and applications engineering positions with companies including Burr-Brown, Texas Instruments, and austriamicrosystems, innovating 14 power IC product lines that have created more than $100MM in revenues. In 2012, he served on the Board of Directors of Pancon Corporation, a global manufacturer of film capacitors, and currently volunteers as the Metro Director DFW for the Cleantech Open. Bert holds an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird and a B.S.E.E. in Control Systems Engineering from Germany.
Professor Weitzen received his BS, MS, and PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As part of his work as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMass-Lowell, he is introducing hands-on learning within the ECE program at University of Massachusetts Lowell. The goals of the program for second-semester ECE students are to excite the students about ECE through hands-on activities, to close the gaps between students who have hands-on experience and those who do not, and to stress problem solving, programming, and analytical skills required for success in the ECE curriculum. Through his work with graduate student Erin Webster and other UMass-Lowell professors, he is able to bring real-world engineering design problems to life for freshman and sophomore students using the Analog Discovery Design Kit.
Reid Wender thinks mixed-signal chip design should be fast and affordable for everyone. As VP of Marketing and Technical Sales at Triad Semiconductor, he promotes the virtues of configurable array technology and the democratization of IC development. His first integrated circuit project was a CGA graphics controller redesign while a co-op student at IBM. He spent the late 80s developing video ASICs for analog televisions at Philips. He had a ton of fun developing a "Universal Library" methodology that enabled the rapid prototyping of video algorithms in FPGAs. This methodology was successfully used at Philips, TI, Motorola, and RCA/Thomson. Later, he led development teams in HDTV, MPEG set-top boxes, and the creation of family room products that combined PC, TV, and Internet capabilities. He has more than 25 years of experience in the design and delivery of custom ASIC and SOC solutions. He has held design, management, and VP of Engineering positions at Philips, ASIC International, and QuVIS. A child of the FPGA-era, Wender longs to bring an FPGA-like business model to analog and mixed signal chip design. He has a BSEE from the University of Tennessee. When he is not traveling the world talking about Triad's ViaASIC technology, he enjoys God's blessings of a wonderful family in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Hugh Wright is Maxim's Director of Marketing for Small and Medium Business. He has worked for several semiconductor companies in analog product marketing roles including National Semiconductor, Power Integrations, Exar, and Maxim Integrated. He has a BSEE from UC Santa Barbara and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
Peter Zawistowski is a freelance technical consultant in the communications field, specializing in video engineering and satellite communications. As a writer and columnist, he has produced more than 75 published technical articles. His commentary ranges from new satellite technologies to "tin whiskers" and safety around AC power generators. He has worked on diverse projects, including a KU & C band receive/transmit system for international use to video and transmission engineering at space shuttle launches. Peter has also worked video and audio at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Broadcasting live medical surgery is a specialty he enjoys immensely. With a list of clients such as ABC News, ABSAT, MCI Telecommunications, NBC NewsChannel, C-SPAN, EBU Medical Productions, and Wolf Coach, he is allowed to get out once in a while. He has a forthcoming book on project management and the broadcaster.
There are many applications for one or two transistors. These include voltage and current amplification. Described here, in part 1 of a series, is an easy to understand way of visualizing the operation of a bipolar transistor in its linear operating region.
Since last year, everybody is dreaming and talking about the Internet of Things, including myself. But that's not enough. We have reached the point where we need to go ahead and put the plans into actions.