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Content posted in February 2013
Tackling Low-Power Design Challenges in Embedded Systems
Parker Dorris  
2/28/2013   7 comments
Analysis of the power budget in a design is an analog engineering task – even if the design is predominantly digital in nature.
Op-Amp & Integrator Basics
Brad Albing  
2/28/2013   12 comments
A quick overview of op-amps and a look back at one of our recent articles on integrator operation and application.
AM Radio: The Beat Goes On (for a Little Bit Longer)
Analog Angle  
2/27/2013   20 comments
AM broadcast radio has fallen on hard times. But before we dismiss it as a relic, let's do two things: Recognize how many of today's advances in electronics were driven by basic radio, and also admit that it is a model of channel simplicity and audience scalability.
Choosing & Using Bypass Capacitors
Brad Albing  
2/27/2013   15 comments
Why do you need to use bypass capacitors in your circuit? What happens if you don't or you size them wrong or use the wrong composition? Do you want to find out the hard way?
Understand & Apply the Transimpedance Amplifier
Brad Albing  
2/27/2013   10 comments
A replay of an recent article on transimpedance amplifiers: theory, design, problems, and solutions.
An Introduction to Depletion-Mode MOSFETs
Brad Albing  
2/26/2013   7 comments
This is a replay of an excellent article from 2006 on depletion (instead of enhancement) mode MOSFETs.
Signal Chain Basics #74: Band-Limited Dither Improves SFDR in High-Speed DACs
Signal Chain Basics  
2/26/2013   4 comments
In this episode of Signal Chain Basics, TI's Robert Keller looks at how dithering can alleviate one of the most vexing of issues with DACs and ADCs: integral nonlinearity.
5 Great Jokes About Engineers
Brad Albing  
2/26/2013   12 comments
From one of our previous posts, here are five jokes that you can share with your fellow engineers.
Why Can't I Find the Parts That I Need?
Brad Albing  
2/25/2013   9 comments
A search for what should be an easy-to-find part ends up being frustrating. Can the process be fixed?
Applying Duty-Cycle Control to Save Power
Martin Tomasz  
2/25/2013   3 comments
For extremely low-power applications, a new approach is needed to conserve power. Rather than use conventional digital clock or timer techniques, a low-power analog timer is often good enough.
Driving Your Speaker (& Not Damaging It) Just Got Easier
Brad Albing  
2/22/2013   16 comments
Sometimes innovation shows up in an unexpected area. Something as mundane as a speaker driver can be significantly improved, with system performance (and customer satisfaction) improved as well.
What Makes a Great Analog IC?
Analog Angle  
2/22/2013   11 comments
There are many good analog ICs released each year, and some very good ones, but there are only a few great ones that make engineers go "wow" and achieve long viable design-in life as well. What are the ways for a product to achieve such status?
Very Wideband Amplifiers Are Difficult No Longer
Brad Albing  
2/21/2013   6 comments
The design and fabrication of very wideband amplifiers can be a fool's errand unless you know what you're doing. If you don't, there is an easy work-around.
Field Programmable Analog - Technical Restraints, Part 1
Reid Wender  
2/21/2013   3 comments
A two-part discussion of configurable technologies for digital and analog integrated circuits: Part 1 starts with the technical obstacles that FPGAs had to overcome in the digital market (too slow, noisy, and power hungry).
Tracking the Flight of Birds
Brad Albing  
2/20/2013   8 comments
MEMS devices can now track the flight of birds, following their migratory habits and ascertaining aspects of our climate.
Fiddle-Factors, Factors of 2 & Fatal Errors
Charles Razzell  
2/20/2013   3 comments
Errors in noise figure and voltage span occur when the design engineer does not have a good understanding of computational methods.
Oddities – Toss 'Em Out or Keep 'Em?
Brad Albing  
2/19/2013   16 comments
Odd, old parts from my junk box. I have no use for them -- but they probably still work. It'd be a shame to throw them away.
Tell Me Why My Smartphone Requires 30 Voltage Rails
Mark Fortunato  
2/19/2013   7 comments
To succeed in marketing integrated analog devices, you need a good understanding of the marketplace and a good understanding of the available technologies. You must know your own business and your customer's.
Don’t Bet Against Analog
Charles Razzell  
2/18/2013   7 comments
Analog continues to be part of our lives because our lives and our experiences are and always will be analog in nature.
Active Load for Power Supply Testing
Brad Albing  
2/18/2013   6 comments
A network analyzer and an active load box are excellent tools for checking the performance and stability of a power supply -- but they are expensive tools.
The Gold Standard of Analog Circuit Prose
Doug Grant  
2/15/2013   7 comments
Writing good technical material is a high art form not done well by very many people. Dan Sheingold is one of the best (maybe the best). He is retiring from Analog Devices.
Enabling Analog Integration
Charles Razzell  
2/15/2013   12 comments
What does it take to produce integrated analog devices? Is it just knowledge, or does attitude have an impact on the results? And what exactly constitutes an integrated analog device? Is it permissible to have any digital content?
Cheaper & Better ADCs Are Here
Brad Albing  
2/14/2013   4 comments
The cost keeps coming down and the performance keeps going up on today's ADCs.
Demanding More From Analog Takes Work
Brad Albing  
2/14/2013   13 comments
The design engineer and the vendor must have a relationship built on solid knowledge, mutual trust, and understanding. How does that happen?
Highly Integrated ICs: Who’s Running the Show?
Aaron Minor  
2/13/2013   6 comments
Design engineers must consider the tradeoffs when using highly integrated parts. To help work through these tradeoffs, collaborate with your integrated device vendor.
The Analog Aficionado Party
Brad Albing  
2/12/2013   17 comments
Details of Paul Rako's yearly event -- a gathering of the tribes in Silicon Valley.
Integrating Time
Kerry Lacanette  
2/12/2013   9 comments
With proper engineering, integrated analog devices will save you time (and money). Consider all facets of the design before making a decision.
Innovation Pays It Forward
James Niemann  
2/12/2013   6 comments
The design work you do often has far reaching consequences. It can do good far beyond your lab bench and your shipping dock.
Are IGBTs Better Than MOSFETs?
Brad Albing  
2/12/2013   13 comments
For power switching applications, first engineers used bipolar transistors. Then they used MOSFETs. Are IGBTs the next big thing?
Turn On a 10V FET With a 5V Supply
Brad Albing  
2/11/2013   4 comments
How do you turn on a power FET solidly and keep power dissipation low when you don't have enough voltage to ensure the process?
Measuring & Modeling Wideband Baluns for Application to ADC Input Stages
Michael Steffes  
2/11/2013   3 comments
Wideband baluns are ubiquitous in ADC evaluation hardware and end-system application. Each high-speed ADC vendor seems to have its default selections from either empirical or legacy practices.
When Engineers Are a Little Too Smart for Themselves
Analog Angle  
2/7/2013   5 comments
A good designer not only does a careful and thorough job, but also is careful not to count on subtle, non-guaranteed performance aspects of the circuit components -- which may change in a part redesign or in a change of vendors.
Zap! High Voltage Op-Amps Are Here
Brad Albing  
2/7/2013   7 comments
You don't have to roll your own high voltage op-amps if you need a device that can operate at higher supply voltages. How high? How about 140 V?
Wireless Charging: All Set for Takeoff
Siamak Bastami  
2/5/2013   12 comments
Various standards and solutions have created questions regarding which direction wireless power technology will go and which solutions are best to adopt.
These Are Not Your Father's TEDs
Brad Albing  
2/5/2013   3 comments
Thermoelectric devices are becoming a new hot area for development. Scientists at Wake Forest are bringing the devices into the 21st century.
Questions About Analog? Step Right Up
Brad Albing  
2/4/2013   5 comments
For the newbie, there are going to be plenty of questions about analog circuit design. To have any chance of success in your design work, you need to know what your fellow engineers are talking about and what they aren't telling you.
(Under)standing Your Ground
Analog Angle  
2/4/2013   7 comments
It's OK to be less than precise when you use words such as "ground," but be careful that you don't forget that ground means a real connection to the Earth. Increasingly, that is not the case in many of today's product designs.
AFE Eval Platforms Merit Closer Look
Brad Albing  
2/1/2013   7 comments
Making an AFE is only part of the process. Design engineers will need an easy-to-use platform to evaluate their designs.
7 Ways Analog Integration Is Like the Big Game
Brad Albing  
2/1/2013   5 comments
Football and analog integration. There are surprising parallels in the process.

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