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Content posted in October 2015
Inside Out, Terminator 2 and the perils of filter design
Kendall Castor-Perry  
10/29/2015   Post a comment
One of our forthcoming products has some analogue filtering in it (shhh, supposed to be a big secret) and naturally I’ve been on the hook for topologies, algorithms, equations and all that good stuff.
Developing Prototype Circuits from Home: Part 5, Grounds, References, and Returns
Scott Deuty  
10/29/2015   Post a comment
In this fifth segment, the subject of grounding, references and returns will be addressed. Often times a return path is treated like the drains and sewer lines exiting a building or home. Once the electrons (waste) are in the ground (sewage), they are out of sight and out of mind. For circuits, this can cause issues especially in sensitive signals such as control loops. Even at the gate drive level, interactions of currents can cause false signals.
Developing Prototype Circuits from Home: Part 4, Suggestions for Effectively Routing a Board
Scott Deuty  
10/29/2015   Post a comment
Routing a board effectively is the key to successful circuit operation, reliability, and safety. Effectively routing a board is a complicated subject that’s worthy of a book rather than a blog. Therefore this writing will focus more on introducing the subject and providing tips.
ESD Protection For High-Speed Serial Buses
Paul Pickering  
10/26/2015   1 comment
ESD has been around for a long time – probably since shortly after the Big Bang. For most of human existence, it's made itself known by macro effects such as static cling and mildly shocking encounters with metal objects. Since the advent of semiconductors, though, protecting electronic devices against ESD damage has been a prime goal of manufacturers; failure to do so can have catastrophic consequences
Who is Really the First to Invent Anything?
Scott Elder  
10/26/2015   11 comments
>“First to invent” is a term of art used under previous United States (U.S.) patent law to define who deserved a U.S. patent. Regardless of your opinion about the recent U.S. patent law changes, from a practical sense it is very hard, if not impossible, to define who is the first to invent anything.
Quantenna, Freescale and 10 G Wave 3 Wi-Fi
Steve Taranovich  
10/25/2015   4 comments
The IBC show in Amsterdam this year inspired the re-thinking of Access Point architecture. Quantenna led the pack with their newest IC solution for increasing the MIMO order (i.e. the number of spatial streams per given channel) in their True 8x8TM radio configuration IC chip for 10G Wave 3 Wi-fi—the first in the industry
My encounter with the world of Bob Pease
Ioannis (John) Piliounis  
10/23/2015   2 comments
I have in my archives a small series of three e-mails I had exchanged back in 2009 with RAP - Bob Pease, regarding a problem I was trying to resolve in a circuit.
Ioannis (John) Piliounis  
10/21/2015   1 comment
One's mind may recall the pyramids' potential methods of construction, but again, who could produce at that time such an intense sonowave? Rather impossible. But again......
Can we get "printed" circuit boards which really are printed?
Analog Angle  
10/20/2015   9 comments
Small components, large ICs, and tight PC boards discourage experimenter prototypes, but a board "printer" being pitched on Kickstarter may solve at least part of the PC-board dilemma.
Meet Ioannis (John) Piliounis, a new contributor to Planet Analog
Steve Taranovich  
10/19/2015   Post a comment
I want to introduce you to a fellow enthusiast of Nikola Tesla’s life and work. John Piliounis and I have been communicating over the last two and a half years via e-mail on various technical/scientific subjects that I believe will be of great interest to you, our Planet Analog audience. I will be bringing you some of these blogs going forward.
Lane changing decisions and beyond: Do we trust them yet?
Steve Taranovich  
10/19/2015   8 comments
Tesla Motors recently introduced their 7.0 “Autopilot” software update for their Model S sedan with lane change and auto-steer capability. Of course, at this point, Tesla warns that the driver, and not Tesla or its software and systems, is still responsible for the ultimate control of the car.
Constraint-driven Analog Placement and Routing
Keith Sabine  
10/19/2015   Post a comment
Although digital design productivity has improved massively since the introduction of synthesis, advanced place and route and timing-driven design, analog design still relies on circuit simulation, manual layout and verification.
Anticipating and Managing Critical Noise Sources in MEMS Gyroscopes
Mark Looney  
10/15/2015   Post a comment
When a MEMS Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) is operating as a feedback sensor in a motion control system, gyroscope noise is an important behavior to understand because it can cause undesirable physical motion on the platform it is monitoring.
Electromechanical Displays, Part 2: The “Nipkow Drum” and Spinning Mirror
Dennis Feucht  
10/13/2015   Post a comment
A variation on the Nipkow disk is the “Nipkow drum”, made by spinning a steel can
RF Shielding: All or Nothing at All?
Analog Angle  
10/12/2015   3 comments
Some engineers must develop a structure with shielding, others must provide one with none, and the design challenges for each are radically different.
Bosch Aims Programmable Sensor at Drones, IoT
Peter Clarke  
10/10/2015   Post a comment
Bosch Sensortec has announced a 9-axis inertial motion sensor that includes a programmable Cortex-M0+ microcontroller from Atmel, within the component package.
The Imperial CEO – Still Alive & Kicking?
Paul Pickering  
10/9/2015   5 comments
What's the problem with such larger-than-life figures towards the end of their reign? Why do they so rarely ride off into the sunset in a blaze of glory and record profits?
Intrinsic op amp noise in a nut shell
Signal Chain Basics  
10/8/2015   Post a comment
For those wanting a quick and simple method to minimize noise, this article is for you.
Medical advances by NASA in Space that benefit Earth
Steve Taranovich  
10/7/2015   Post a comment
NASA has some of the best scientists and engineers in the world that are challenged to develop manned and unmanned exploration systems that can travel in deep space searching for an answer to “What is out there” while stretching our capabilities to beyond the limits of our imagination
Twiddling the Ethics Knob
Ken Coffman  
10/6/2015   2 comments
I’ve been thinking about ethics recently, but not the generic kind represented by violations like taking a company pen home. And who among us can claim to be purists? I can’t—I have plenty of company pens laying around my office. And, truth-be-told, my war stories get more polished and elaborate each year. Let the stones in my glass house be unthrown.
The Truth About Voltage Feedback Resistors
Steve Taranovich  
10/5/2015   Post a comment
The stability of my fully differential and voltage feedback amplifiers seems highly impacted by the value of my feedback resistors—the RF/RG ratio is always correct, so what’s happening?
Electromechanical Displays, Part 1: The Nipkow Disk
Dennis Feucht  
10/1/2015   4 comments
One of the more impressive presentations of a gadget at a recent Maker Fair was a floor-mounted four-hoop device with LEDs along each hoop. The hoops were circular in shape as though they were the longitude lines on a globe. When the contraption was rotated and the LEDs driven under computer-based control, a 3D display appeared. The resolution was visibly low but at inventor shows, it is more the idea that counts than its immediate refinement.
Planet Analog second book give-away for a worthy high school library
Steve Taranovich  
10/1/2015   10 comments
Over the next week I am asking our audience to suggest a worthy high school library anywhere in the US

latest blogs
The utilization of electronics in medical applications could effectively enhance the quality of life of patients and prevent many cardiovascular distresses: this is confirmed by the result of an observational study, about the CPAP device
This blog series deals with the potential of the utilization of smart electronic ICs in medical care applications; these ICs are produced by companies in the field of semiconductors such as STMicroelectronics which has a broad portfolio of ICs for medical applications
There is rising interest in alternative energy schemes and electric vehicles (EVs) which means there is a growing need in making it possible for power to flow efficiently in both directions.
The industries sector is progressively increasing utilization of IoT technology to make the industrial processes automated in a very intelligent way.
Medical care applications with electronic devices are becoming progressively more important and massively adopted.
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