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Content posted in April 2015
MOSFETs Balancing High Value Supercapacitors Greater Than 1000 Farads
Robert L. Chao  
4/28/2015   1 comment
We have frequent input from our customers who are developing supercapacitor modules consisting of two or more cells stacked in series and who want to know how to utilize MOSFETs to balance leakage current. Several engineers had a misconception and dismissed low current MOSFETs because the charge and discharge current of the supercapacitor exceeded that of the MOSFET.
DAC BASICS, Part 4: The Pesky DAC Output Glitch-Impulse
Bonnie Baker  
4/24/2015   18 comments
Glitch-impulse behavior of the R-2R and string DACs
Tom Terlizzi  
4/24/2015   10 comments
Just like the quotation in the movie “Apollo 13” and in real life, we design things not to fail.
Six Cool Android Apps For Analog EEs
Paul Pickering  
4/23/2015   4 comments
With Android continuing to make inroads across the board (64% market share in tablets and 53% in smartphones as of Q1 2015), it's time to take a look at some cool Android apps for analog EEs.
Analog Devices Design Tools: ADISimADC Frequency Folding Tool
Jonathan Harris  
4/23/2015   2 comments
After looking at the performance metrics in the online ADC simulator tool it is a great time to look at another online ADC tool called the Frequency Folding Tool. It is a useful simulator that helps to understand the effects of aliasing in an ADC.
Let’s Not Forget the Mars Opportunity Rover
Steve Taranovich  
4/22/2015   2 comments
Most of us know about the latest Rover to land on the Red planet called Mars—Curiosity. But did you know that since January 2004 NASA’s Mars Rover called Opportunity has traversed the Martian landscape a distance of 26.661 miles, just a little more than the distance of a full marathon run.
Hey, Don’t Put That Quantization Noise Back!
Kendall Castor-Perry  
4/21/2015   3 comments
So, I was consulting into one of our teams that was putting together a cool data acquisition subsystem.
A New How-To Guide for Integrated Electronics Piezoelectric (IEPE) Accelerometers
Tim McCune  
4/19/2015   4 comments
Over the spring break I dropped by Meggitt Sensing Systems to ask Felix Levinzon to sign my copy of his new book, “Piezoelectric Accelerometers with Integral Electronics,” and I was able to spend some time with him discussing JFETs, MOSFETs, and Russian winters
Moore’s Law 50th Anniversary: An Analog/Mixed-Signal Perspective
Steve Taranovich  
4/17/2015   4 comments
Planet Analog had the following Q&A with Dave Robertson from Analog Devices regarding Moore’s Law as the April 19 50th anniversary approaches.
Analog Optical Fiber Forges RF-Link Alternative
Analog Angle  
4/17/2015   3 comments
High-speed analog links using optical fiber are increasingly a viable, lower-loss, EMI-immune alternative to coaxial cable for long-run RF links.
Digitizing Analog Sensor Data for the IoT
Blaine Bateman  
4/15/2015   8 comments
Unless you live in a cave without any media access (which, I suppose, would preclude your reading this blog) you have heard about the Internet of Things (IoT).
Standard Step-Motor Driver Interface Limits Performance
Dennis Feucht  
4/14/2015   5 comments
Increasingly elaborate Rube Goldberg schemes for controlling step-motors have developed over the years that try to pace stepping to avoid missteps. This direction of development is fundamentally misguided. This article tells why.
The GaN Era Approaches
Tim Kaske  
4/14/2015   4 comments
Gallium nitride (GaN) is now coming to the fore, possessing many characteristics that will allow production of power transistors which outperform Si devices
Moore’s Law Demise: Maybe It’s a Good Thing!
Steve Taranovich  
4/11/2015   6 comments
Moore’s Law will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 19, 2015. Many say that the statement or theory has run its course due to the next moves toward 450 mm size wafers, extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) and 20 nm CMOS.
There's Nothing Simple about that Wire Loop
Analog Angle  
4/9/2015   4 comments
Even the simple wire loop, whether as a basic transformer, an RF inductor, or a toroidal transformer, has a reality that goes far beyond the first-order model we first use to describe it.
When Blueprints Were Really Blue: Is Engineering Becoming Less Satisfying?
Paul Pickering  
4/8/2015   10 comments
I graduated college in 1979 (yeah, I know.... makes me about 35, right?). Back then our college Comp Sci department had less processing power than a modern toaster. There was talk, probably apocryphal, of a PDP-11 somewhere in the building, but we in the Physics department cut our teeth on a PDP-8, which had less processing power than a modern slice of toast. Nonetheless, we made do, learning machine code, assembly language and FORTRAN, booting up the machine with a strip of paper tape and entering our programs via punched cards.
EMI Noise, Part 4: Box Level EMI Suppression
Edgardo Menendez  
4/7/2015   1 comment
So far, we have discussed board level EMI suppression solutions, which are necessary to meet EMC standards. However, they may not be sufficient for applications in which the enclosed system is either not immune to, or even emits, EMI. Applications like these — including medical, space, aerospace, and other mission critical systems — require box level EMI filtering
Can μCs Replace Analog Circuits?
Dennis Feucht  
4/7/2015   8 comments
The cult of DSPism believes that eventually there will be essentially no analog circuits, that all circuitry will be either digital, as microcontrollers (μCs), with mixed-technology ADCs and DACs. This article explores the possibilities and limitations on this viewpoint
Ken Coffman  
4/2/2015   1 comment
Here’s something annoying about engineers and anarcho-reductive philosophers—our training and background in Boolean logic. We tend to be analytical, even when making routine decisions—like what to have for dinner.
ADC Input Resistance: A Question of Sampling
Kendall Castor-Perry  
4/1/2015   Post a comment
One of our field applications guys wanted to know the input resistance of one of our ADCs; a customer had asked him and couldn’t find the data. Like most integrated ADCs these days, this one (the SAR ADC in our PSoC 4 family of devices) has a switched-capacitor front end and, in the interests of maximum flexibility and minimum power consumption, we don’t fit an input buffer amplifier. We let you do that if you want, but sometimes people want to ‘go native’ and feed the ADC directly.

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