Content posted in March 2013
Is Cellular RF PA Integration Finally Here? Part 1
Doug Grant 3/29/2013 5 comments
The requirements for the power amplifier section of a cellular handset have evolved towards higher performance to support newer standards. Meanwhile, the level of integration for the power amplifier section is very low compared to the rest of the phone.
Applications Engineer ROI vs. Problem Solving
Derek Koonce 3/28/2013 11 comments
As a supplier of components, how much time should you spend helping a customer solve a problem? If you're the customer, how much time should you expect the supplier to give you? In either case, to what extent should the volume of devices purchased affect the answer?
My ASIC+SoC Reassessment
Analog Angle 3/28/2013 4 comments
Application-specific systems-on-a-chip are getting more attention. What's their impact on vendors as well as the design engineer?
Harvest Energy from Air? Ha!
Brad Albing 3/25/2013 40 comments
Some people think there is such a thing as a free lunch, or that you can take whatever you want, as long as no one sees you doing it. But someone always sees.
20 Years of Change in Analog Simulation Tools
Brian Bailey 3/22/2013 28 comments
Analog simulation tools need more clarity regarding ease of use and their ability to model real-world parts. Some modeling tools are 20 years old. Some are brand new. How much have these tools changed, and how well do they work?
Smartphones: The New Power Management Summit
Jack Shandle 3/20/2013 15 comments
Pity the poor power management designer who has to meet the six-month product cycles of smartphones with an increasingly dwindling bag of tricks. It's time to jump into mixed-signal integration with both feet.
High-Speed I/O Disintegration
Allard van der Horst 3/19/2013 4 comments
There are many good reasons to integrate various analog functions onto an IC. But there are reasons against analog integration that must be considered before proceeding.
Monte Carlo Musings
William Murray 3/19/2013 12 comments
Using Monte Carlo analysis will find problems with mass-produced circuits that you might not otherwise find until you build thousands of units. Then you'll have to deal with upset customers and the large repair costs associated with reworking units in the field.
ADC Guide, Part 13: Input Impedance
Sachin Gupta & Akshay Phatak 3/18/2013 11 comments
In the previous part of this series we looked at differential vs. single-ended drive methods for the ADC. This installment of the series looks at ADC input impedance and the effect it has on accuracy.
Am I Cut Out to Be an Analog Designer?
Brian Bailey 3/18/2013 15 comments
Digital design is often easier, having none of the abstractions that plague analog design. Digital designs can be started, finished, and prototyped while the analog engineer is still sharpening his pencils.
Digging Measured Signals out of the Mud
James Niemann 3/15/2013 3 comments
Figuring out ways to find and measure the signals you want (especially low-level, low-frequency signals) in the midst of noise is one of the bigger challenges for the analog engineer.
The MAX232: A Pioneer of Integration
Len Sherman 3/15/2013 10 comments
Analog integration started around 25 years ago with the introduction of the MAX232. The device combined existing RS232 interface circuitry with a switched capacitor power supply to generate the bipolar power supply voltages used in RS232 signaling.
Meeting the 'Rugged Design' Challenge
Analog Angle 3/14/2013 11 comments
Ruggedized devices, those intended for extremes of temperature, ESD, vibration, etc., must be selected with care. The system in which these parts will be used must also be evaluated carefully to realize the full benefit.
Pick Your Favorite Contributor; Winner Gets $5,000!
Brad Albing 3/13/2013 5 comments
As part of the annual ACE Awards celebration at Design West in San Jose, Calif., we will be presenting a plaque and a $5,000 check to the person we as a community consider to be most deserving of the Jim Williams Memorial Contributor of the Year Award.
Do the Harlem Shake
Reid Wender 3/13/2013 5 comments
A circuit simulation tool is handy to have, especially if it works well with analog circuits and can be evaluated for free. And best of all, if robots and "Do the Harlem Shake" are involved, what's not to like?
High Voltage! Don't Try This at Home!
John Dunn 3/13/2013 12 comments
High-voltage power supplies are not used in very many applications, but where they are used, because the voltage is so high, extreme care must be taken. To design such a power supply is not a trivial task and the applications are generally unusual.
Charge & Discharge Lithium Cells in Series
Brad Albing 3/11/2013 22 comments
Rechargeable cells connected in series are rarely well matched. As such, they have different charge and discharge characteristics. If not monitored and corrected, some cells will deteriorate and have a shorter than normal life.
RF Integration – The Final Frontier
Doug Grant 3/7/2013 7 comments
Digital functionality continues to neatly move into large scale integration. Analog functionality -- not quite so much. And RF functionality -- pretty much not at all.
Using Flexible PC Boards in Consumer Electronics
Tamara Schmitz 3/6/2013 8 comments
Flexible printed circuit boards can make it easier to get the performance you want from a product, but probably at increased cost. In low profit margin consumer products, it may be difficult to justify their use.
There’s a further cool thing you can do with a spreadsheet that most SPICEs can’t. That’s to use the spreadsheet ‘solver’ functionality to adjust component values in the search for a better-fitting circuit – or even to find a set of component values for a circuit you can’t otherwise design.
Infineon MOSFETs have been embedded into PC boards by Schweizer Electronic AG
You now need to adjust component values to achieve some system goal, such as predefined frequency response or time behaviour, and there’s no closed method for working out those values.
As a member of the electronics design community, I am angry and disappointed with the recent deaths of 346 people due to the Boeing MAX 8 design
The theoretical advantages of GaN-based power transistors are now being realized in mainstream system designs. Power supplies for data centers and telecom switching racks are two application areas where GaN transistors show significant improvement in comparison to systems using best-in-class Silicon-based Superjunction devices.