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Content posted in April 2013
Pick Your SPICE Models Carefully
Scott Elder  
4/29/2013   28 comments
Use of older SPICE models can impair accuracy of the simulation (or even prevent it from running). What can you do to get around the problem?
Analog & Digital Are Like Oil & Water
Brian Bailey  
4/29/2013   38 comments
Can analog and digital ever be friends?
Reclaiming Lost Knowledge
Vincent Biancomano  
4/26/2013   40 comments
Education in science and technology topics should extend beyond the high-school and college years.
Analog Integration Is Saving Power
Erin Mannas  
4/26/2013   24 comments
Not only can we use fewer natural resources by using integrated analog solutions, we can use less power, too.
History Indicates Analog Integration Is at an Inflection Point
James Niemann  
4/26/2013   5 comments
Consider the advantages of analog integration by looking back at how more conventional integration technology developed along with the marketplace in which it was used.
Design a Production-Ready Custom Mixed-Signal IC on Your Couch
Reid Wender  
4/24/2013   9 comments
Recently, Scott Elder posted a great article here on Planet Analog, "Design a Custom Analog IC in Your Garage". Here are some further thoughts on the topic.
Jim Williams, Artist & Poet: Analog Circuit Design
Brad Albing  
4/23/2013   18 comments
Book signing of the Dobkin & Williams book, Analog Circuit Design.
What Analog's 'Imperfections' Taught Me
Analog Angle  
4/23/2013   30 comments
It's easy to fall under the spell of your data's apparent precision, but estimating a rough answer is a smart first step.
Do We Need Any New Op-Amps?
Doug Grant  
4/22/2013   28 comments
We finally have enough op-amps for all of our design needs, right?
Where Art Thou Analog IP?
Brian Bailey  
4/22/2013   9 comments
Analog IP is available, though certainly not to the extent that digital IP is. Designers have fewer choices regarding multiple sources of the IP they need.
Design Margins in Analog & Digital
William Murray  
4/19/2013   16 comments
Design margin can sometimes be a vague concept. It's best to analyze a design carefully and sometimes you must be especially cautious with systems where safety is paramount.
PMBus – What the Heck Is It?
Brad Albing  
4/19/2013   10 comments
Power supplies of various sorts make use of the PMBus to interconnect and control one another. Here is all you need to know.
Analog Integration Is Saving Planet Earth
Damian Anzaldo  
4/18/2013   16 comments
Using analog integration in mobile devices will save money and, in so doing, will help the environment.
Preserving the Holy Grail of Institutional Intelligence
Jack Shandle  
4/18/2013   15 comments
How much analog secret sauce resides solely in the gray cells of graying engineers, and is capturing that knowledge for posterity worthwhile?
Calculate the Output High Voltage Error for a Current Sense Amplifier
Daniel Honniball  
4/18/2013   7 comments
Current sense amplifiers, like op-amps, exhibit errors due to their non-ideal performance. Knowing how to interpret the information on the data sheet will help you with the error budget analysis.
Signal Chain Basics #76: Design a Low-Cost PWM Circuit for Single IGBT-Drive Applications
Signal Chain Basics  
4/17/2013   3 comments
To generate a pulse width modulated waveform that represents an analog signal, you only need a quad op-amp and a few resistors.
Analog vs. Digital: Whatever Happened to Pure Analog?
Bob Frostholm  
4/16/2013   26 comments
Is there such a thing as a technological product or device in your home that is purely analog in its content?
How the Analog Challenge Has Changed
Analog Angle  
4/16/2013   2 comments
Today's analog designs are easier than those of the past, due to greatly improved and more highly integrated components; now the design focus is on system-level issues of overall performance meeting power, cost, and time-to-market objectives.
Schematic Capture & PC Board Layout
Brad Albing  
4/15/2013   53 comments
Schematic capture programs are plentiful. But how many are actually any good?
Design a Custom Analog IC in Your Garage
Scott Elder  
4/15/2013   23 comments
Can one engineer really design and fabricate his own IC? You will need a foundry, of course, but beyond that, one person can do it.
Data Converters in Massively Parallel Analog Systems
Scott Elder  
4/13/2013   3 comments
To sell into higher margin portions of the market, IC manufacturers are concentrating on more integrated analog solutions such as ultrasound imaging systems.
Getting Over My New Integration Fears
Analog Angle  
4/12/2013   7 comments
For someone who "grew up" on integration via increased hardware functionality, it takes some time to get used to integration done by applications software tying ICs together.
Why Do We Need SystemC-AMS?
Brian Bailey  
4/12/2013   9 comments
Modeling of mixed signal circuits/devices can be done with SystemC-AMS 2.0. Does it offer anything that you can't get elsewhere?
Power Management or Financial Management?
Bob Frostholm  
4/11/2013   6 comments
On any project, determining the power draw of each subsystem should be estimated up front. Equally important is the cost analysis to determine the value of the choices you make.
High-Performance Power Converters on the First Design Pass
Brad Albing  
4/11/2013   6 comments
UBM and Intersil are presenting a webinar to help engineers design high-power switch-mode power supplies -- and get it right the first time.
What Can You Do With a Programmable Current Source?
Brad Albing  
4/10/2013   14 comments
A 4-channel programmable current source with easily programmed pulse control has use in medical devices. Where else?
Are Today's Design Tools Taking Away Our Critical Thinking Ability?
Jason Bowden  
4/10/2013   4 comments
As the technology we use to help with our designs improves, are we getting dumber by relying on it too much?
Next Christmas: A Drone Under (or Above) Every Tree
Jack Shandle  
4/9/2013   19 comments
Kids today are not satisfied with the GI Joe class of toys. When the Christmas marketing season rolls around this year, low-cost, high-volume drones may top the average 10-year-old's shopping list thanks in part to mixed-signal ICs.
Active Filters: A Signal Chain Basics Review
Brad Albing  
4/8/2013   9 comments
We look back at one of the Signal Chain Basics articles. This one provides a good background on the operation of two-pole (or higher) active filters.
LDO, Switching Regulators Get Some Deserved 'Fundamentals' Attention
Analog Angle  
4/5/2013   3 comments
This online course will give you perspective on these vital, often underappreciated components.
AEA's Ribbon Microphones & Linear Systems' JFETs
Tim McCune  
4/5/2013   8 comments
The recording industry favors ribbon microphones for capturing the subtle nuances of classical music for film scores and stand-alone recordings. Ribbon microphones have special requirements for their preamplifiers; audiophiles are very particular regarding the details.
DSL Line Drivers Throw a Party
Barry Harvey  
4/5/2013   2 comments
Just as stated in the corollaries to Murphy's Law, self-starting oscillators don't oscillate and very wideband amplifiers do oscillate. Finding and stopping that amplifier oscillation requires some clever techniques and smart sleuthing.
Why Is Analog Integration so Hard to Talk About?
Erin Mannas  
4/5/2013   7 comments
All indications are that analog integration is tough to discuss. Do engineers have a hard time understanding what exactly it is? Do they not want to give up control over their design?
Integrated Analog ICs We Wish We Had
Brad Albing  
4/4/2013   7 comments
There is tremendous potential for development of integrated analog ICs. All we need to do is decide on the functionality that's needed. What are you waiting for?
Lessons I Learned From Jerry Fishman
Doug Grant  
4/4/2013   Post a comment
Bill Schweber recently posted his remembrances of Analog Devices CEO Jerry Fishman, who passed away suddenly last week. Let me add my own memories and what I learned from Jerry in my 30+ years at that company.
Common Sense Powers Intelligent Energy Management
Vincent Biancomano  
4/3/2013   4 comments
Sometimes the most complex problems yield to rather straightforward solutions. Don't make the problem so hard – look for the easy solution.
Low Voltages & Fast Transients Can Cause Problems
Paul Rako  
4/3/2013   4 comments
The design of a system's power supplies cannot be left as an afterthought. With systems as complex as they are, power supply design should be concurrent with the rest of the design. Here are some useful resources.
Is Cellular RF PA Integration Finally Here? Part 2
Doug Grant  
4/2/2013   Post a comment
Manufacturers are looking at ways to integrate the functions needed surrounding the handset RF power amplifier to aid tuning and reduce transmitter power draw.
Watching Analog Devices' Jerald Fishman Up Close
Analog Angle  
4/2/2013   9 comments
ADI's CEO was a unique character, as so many in our industry are.
Signal Chain Basics #75: Driving a Low-Impedance Load With a Precision Reference
Signal Chain Basics  
4/2/2013   8 comments
Most voltage references are designed to supply a small amount of current. If you need more, here is a simple way to increase the current capability of the reference circuit while maintaining regulation.
ADC Guide, Part 14: Impedance Matching
Sachin Gupta & Akshay Phatak  
4/1/2013   14 comments
In this installment, we’ll see how to design an interfacing circuit for a given signal source to match the output impedance of the source to the input impedance of the ADC. This process is referred as impedance matching.
If It Weren't for Problems...
Derek Koonce  
4/1/2013   14 comments
An engineer's life revolves around problems. What are yours?

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