MILPITAS, Calif.--In the summer of 2011, a lone semiconductor
startup went "old school," as my colleague Dylan McGrath
put it. That's when he wrote about Touchstone Semiconductor getting
$12 million in venture funding, poised to make a splash in--of all
To some, it may have seemed like watching a car crash in slow
motion, with the brake-less vehicle careening toward a stand of huge
trees, the occupants blissfully unaware of their fate. These were former analog veterans starting a small company to take
business from huge, entrenched players in the analog space. For one of
those analog veterans,
CEO Brett Fox, it was quite the opposite. In fact, it's been an exhilarating ride so far.
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To date, the company has rolled 35 products into the marketplace and
will finish calendar 2012 after adding another 25 to its portfolio.
"We got a lot coming," he said, including new analog comparators and
amplifiers. The company also is entering the ADC market place and
adding to other product lines. Next year, DACs and power management
devices. In a July interview with our reporter Ismini Scouras, Fox
said his company would go after "
in the signal path."
"Suddenly, we start looking like a full-fledged, catalog,
broad-based analog supplier...in essentially three years a time. Not
bad," he said in an interview at Touchstone offices here, a stone's
throw from Interstate 880 and a warm stroll down the street from
Linear Technology. In 2010 there were six designers in the company,
today Touchstone has twice as many, averaging 20 years' experience
and roughly 10 patents apiece. Fox and company are pulling in people
from Maxim and Linear, adding one new designer a quarter.
I asked him about competition, the nature of innovation, and venture
capital investment. Perhaps not surprisingly, Maxim, his alma mater,
Fortunately for circuit designers, a new tool is available that can simplify the process of identifying the ESD suppression device best suited to an application, which makes it far easier to incorporate circuit protection earlier in the board planning process. The Littelfuse iDesign™ Online Simulation and Product Selection Tool
. I received a very good reader question from my last blog post regarding the various parameters that are reported by the tool. Let’s take a look at an example and explore the parameters that are returned. In this example we will look at the AD9643-250.
Managing system thermal performance is critical in today’s electronic systems if you are to maximize performance and the user experience. As systems grow more powerful, and in many cases smaller in size, managing the thermal profile has become an ever-increasing challenge. Monitoring the current provides a leading indicator to potential thermal issues.
In blog number 3, we are going to divert a little from our normal trend of evaluating power supply design and simulation tools. Instead, we are going to look into power management tools that are online.