At Planet Analog, we've been tossing around some ideas for a contest that everyone can sink their teeth into. An idea that we all liked concerned favorite parts or favorite functionality.
If you had asked an electrical engineer 50 to 60 years ago, the favorite part might have been the #47 pilot lamp, the 12AX7, or the CK722.
If you had asked a digital designer 30 to 40 years ago, the favorite part might have been the 7400 quad NAND gate.
If you had asked an analog designer 30 to 40 years ago, the favorite part might have been the 741 op-amp.
More recently, you'd probably find engineers favoring parts like the LM301 or '324 op-amps, the NE555 timer, and the uA7805 3-terminal regulator (and you can substitute the prefix for your favorite manufacturer of these multi-sourced devices). Now, there are other parts that you favor. It's not that all your designs are structured around these simple building blocks, but when you need such functionality, they are the go-to part. You know the part, how it works, what its shortcomings are, what it costs, where you can buy it, etc. In short, you are comfortable with these devices.
Which devices are your favorites and why? Enter your comments below on which parts you favor. Almost anything is fair game, from the passive components to the complex multi-function ICs. (E.g., “My boss bought 1 million 10k resistors, so now I use that value wherever possible.”) Got a favorite power supply part or PLL? Favorite interface or data converter part? Tell us what previous parts you come back to in new designs. Tell us why you like them. Or tell us what concerns you about using a heretofore unused part.
Of course, there are the ones you like — and the ones you wish you had! Between automotive, consumer, wireless, and industrial, there is plenty of innovation afoot. So, what simple functionality should be available in an IC so that you could have a new, regularly used, favorite part?
We will be giving away $5 Starbucks cards to each of the first 100 entries — all you have to do is comment on this blog. And the best comment will win the grand prize of a $50 Amazon card.
For the complete Terms and Conditions governing this contest, please go here.