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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.