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Content posted in May 2013
Analog MPPT Solution: Low Cost and Easy Integration
Steve Taranovich  
5/31/2013   23 comments
The maximum power point tracking algorithm is used to maximize the power output of a photovoltaic panel. But how is this algorithm implemented?
Class-G Audio Amplifiers
Brad Albing  
5/31/2013   7 comments
An explanation of class-G audio amplifiers and a comparison to existing topologies.
Will Quantum Computing Enhance Analog Design? Part 1
Blaine Bateman  
5/31/2013   7 comments
A look at the concepts behind quantum and a comparison to analog computing.
Technology Coming & Going & Coming…
Derek Koonce  
5/31/2013   23 comments
Designers and engineers are constantly creating new things that they hope will turn into new products. Sometimes it works out just right, sometimes not. And sometimes it almost works out right except for the issue of timing.
Time Is On My Side... Yes, It Is!
Ian Beavers  
5/30/2013   10 comments
Although the distribution of clock signals would normally be considered a digital design issue, today's faster clock speeds and the need to accurately synchronize individual devices means the analog engineer will be involved in solving problems with these designs.
Quick Plot Method for Parabolas
Derek Koonce  
5/30/2013   12 comments
Algebra, parabolas, and graphing. What is the easy way to graph a parabola without using a graphing calculator or an Excel spreadsheet?
GaN on Si Makes Opto Integration Possible
Brian Bailey  
5/29/2013   25 comments
Gallium nitride has desirable properties for the fabrication of semiconductor products, but it's tougher to work with than silicon.
Analog 1 Percenters: Stop Reinventing the Wheel
Scott Elder  
5/29/2013   17 comments
In analog circuit and IC design, anything you decide to design has almost certainly been designed before, and probably several times. Is there a better use of your time than to reinvent the wheel?
Interleaved ADCs: The Basics
Jonathan Harris  
5/29/2013   8 comments
To achieve higher sample rates in an analog-to-digital conversion system, you can double the number of ADCs and let each one sample the input signal half of the time.
Integrated Analog Chat: May 29!
Brad Albing  
5/28/2013   5 comments
We're having a chat this Wednesday on integrated analog. Please come join us for the discussion.
Analog Integration: What Is It & How Shall We Talk About It?
Kendall Castor-Perry  
5/28/2013   14 comments
In the first of a series of blogs, Kendall Castor-Perry lays out the groundwork for a discussion of integrated analog. What does it mean, who will use it, where, and why?
What's Your Breadboard Look Like?
Analog Angle  
5/27/2013   15 comments
We've come a long way from the original implementation of the circuit breadboard; today's component, density, and speed reality precludes using anything so crude, but oh-so-accessible.
The Analog Brain
Brian Bailey  
5/24/2013   28 comments
The human brain is a very effective and efficacious computer. The way it attains this efficacy differs from the digital computer.
PIC (& Software) 1, Op-Amps 0
Doug Grant  
5/24/2013   25 comments
General purpose voltage references, quad op-amps, and quad comparators are almost as cheap as dirt. Is it possible that a microcontroller plus software could compete economically?
3D Stacking Offers New Path to Optimum Integrated Analog Performance
Steve Taranovich  
5/23/2013   26 comments
The techniques that are used to great advantage to integrate much digital functionality work far less well when attempting to integrate analog technology. Exciting new research opens the door to new ways of integrating analog building blocks for optimum performance.
Did You Say 'Programmable Analog'?
Analog Angle  
5/23/2013   19 comments
As technology evolves, the definition of "programmable" analog/mixed-signal ICs has evolved as well; most users find the change to be a very good thing, despite any limitations it may impose.
Build or Buy? The Design Rules Remain the Same
Vincent Biancomano  
5/22/2013   10 comments
Design engineers design and build things as part of product development. Sometimes, it's better to buy a subsystem already fabricated -- but which subsystem and when?
An Instrument on a Chip? A Look Back
Dennis Feucht  
5/22/2013   14 comments
Analog monolithic integration has unused capability that stimulates "What if ...?" thinking.
Field Programmable Analog & Gallium Arsenide
Scott Elder  
5/21/2013   14 comments
The field programmable analog array always seems just out of reach. Will it ever become a real device? If it does, will anyone buy one?
Operations per Joule
Brian Bailey  
5/20/2013   45 comments
Analog computers use far less power than digital ones. They are also less accurate and less capable of producing repeatable results. Still, since they're often good enough, perhaps more attention should be paid to the analog versions.
Using ICs in the Land Beyond Their App-Notes
Derek Koonce  
5/20/2013   10 comments
Sometimes you can use an IC in a manner not contemplated by the IC's manufacturer. As long as you are not exceeding safe operating area specs, you are probably OK.
Thermocouple Nodules, Cold Junctions & Integration Opportunities
Dennis Feucht  
5/17/2013   16 comments
The ability to integrate some common analog electronics has been overlooked, creating a wide opportunity for creative IC developers.
When Are You Done With Verification?
Brian Bailey  
5/17/2013   6 comments
What metrics should be established to verify analog performance in general and integrated analog performance in particular? How much testing is not enough and how much is too much?
When the Going Gets Tough...
Brian Bailey  
5/16/2013   5 comments
Pushing devices to smaller geometry produces some good consequences. But those come with other aspects that are less desirable. For integrated analog, there are significant challenges.
(Dis)Integrating Power Consumption, Counterintuitively
Len Sherman  
5/16/2013   17 comments
Sometimes the way to save energy is counterintuitive. If all you do is try to improve efficiency, you may not really get the results you want.
Crack Open One of These Books, Part 2
Brad Albing  
5/16/2013   13 comments
Following up on Bill Schweber's blog on technical books and Part 1 of this blog, we take a closer look at some important books that are an excellent source of information.
Prevent Your Next High-Flying Product Launch From Being Grounded
Willie Chan  
5/16/2013   3 comments
A small investment in overvoltage protection for high-value FPGAs, ASICs, and microprocessors could pay dividends in reliability, safety, and warranty cost.
The REAL Cost for a Custom IC
Scott Elder  
5/14/2013   54 comments
The actual cost of a custom IC is most likely more than you think. The total cost -- including amortized NRE -- must be considered.
Everything’s Better After the First Explosion
Barry Harvey  
5/13/2013   32 comments
Bad events occur -- it's inevitable. Sometimes, it's best just to have the cacatological event happen and move on with the design's evaluation.
Crack Open One of These Books, Part 1
Brad Albing  
5/13/2013   37 comments
Following up on Bill Schweber's blog on technical books, we take a closer look at some important books that are an excellent source of information.
How a Poorly Designed 20W Amplifier Can Destroy a Speaker System
Brad Albing  
5/10/2013   9 comments
Overdriving an amplifier can, not surprisingly, damage the speakers connected to it. Paradoxically, too much bass drive may damage the tweeter.
Cupcake IC'ing
Reid Wender  
5/10/2013   10 comments
With the right perks, an engineer's job can be fun. If the perks involve food, some engineers would probably work for free.
The Cutting Edge May Be Moving
Brian Bailey  
5/9/2013   9 comments
The challenges of product design are pushing leading-edge high technology down into lower-cost commodity products. As this process continues, integrated analog will play an important role in helping to take some of the cost out and improve reliability.
Smallest, Fastest, Lowest Power…
Brian Bailey  
5/9/2013   7 comments
Unless someone finds a way to make the perfect op-amp, PLL, or power supply, we will continue to be subjected to the onslaught of marketing telling us that their product is better than anyone else's.
What Are the Limits to Integration?
Dennis Feucht  
5/8/2013   7 comments
Are there any more general fundamental limits to electronics integration? How much smaller can processes get, and what are the consequences? Will this be the limiting factor for integrated analog?
4 Misconceptions to Consider When Embarking on an Analog ASIC
Bob Frostholm  
5/8/2013   16 comments
There are misconceptions related to integrating analog functions onto an IC. Don't let these turn into imaginary roadblocks.
Signal Chain Basics #77: Enjoying the VU: Real-World Implementations
Signal Chain Basics  
5/8/2013   12 comments
In the previous part of this article on VU metering, we discussed metering standards and methods to convert the AC audio signal to DC so it could be used with a conventional meter. Now we look at more sophisticated readout methods.
Time for a Chuckle or Two?
Jack Shandle  
5/7/2013   30 comments
In the world of jokes, engineers occupy a unique position.
Litz Wire & Other Component Cleverness
Analog Angle  
5/7/2013   35 comments
Engineers and production people are very good at conceiving and implementing workarounds when the laws of physics introduce impediments, as this basic example shows.
LVDS Is Dead? Long Live LVDS & JESD204B
Jonathan Harris  
5/7/2013   9 comments
A comparison of the attributes of CMOS, LVDS, and JESD204B methods of data transmission in very high-speed data paths.
If Integration Is the Solution, What Was the Problem? Part 2
Analog Angle  
5/6/2013   11 comments
Higher levels of component and system integration bring new options – and questions – in both hardware and software domains.
If Integration Is the Solution, What Was the Problem? Part 1
Analog Angle  
5/2/2013   14 comments
Higher levels of component and system integration bring new options -- and questions -- in both hardware and software domains.

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