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Content posted in June 2013
Using Spice to Design the PID Control for a TEC Temperature Loop
Brad Albing  
6/28/2013   10 comments
This is a replay of an excellent article from 2012 on the classic PID servo system.
Use Digitally Controlled Pots as Inexpensive Adjustable Gain Cells
Brad Albing  
6/28/2013   17 comments
It seems possible -- and maybe even practical -- to use a DCP as an automatic gain control element, as long as there is sufficient support circuitry nearby.
Very Low Gate Threshold FET – Maybe Too Low?
Brad Albing  
6/28/2013   14 comments
Junction FETs and insulated gate FETs share a few properties but differ in many more. New devices are blurring characteristics. Is that good or bad?
Integrated RF Analog, Multi-Standard, Software-Defined Radio Receivers
Steve Taranovich  
6/28/2013   4 comments
Software-defined radio receivers are no longer news. But putting practically all of the receiver on an IC is news. And keeping power draw very low is even better news.
Energy Harvesting Applications: The New Frontier
Brad Albing  
6/28/2013   11 comments
New applications are being developed for energy harvesting – grabbing hundreds of microwatts to power small bits of circuitry. Here is a way to do it and a look at how analog integration can help.
The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Repair
Brad Albing  
6/27/2013   15 comments
Using MEMS devices, sophisticated algorithms, and integrated functionality, vibration and temperature sensing can spot problems in bearings and other rotating apparatus and head them off before they become catastrophic.
Keeping the Family Business Going
Tim McCune  
6/27/2013   21 comments
There is a certain sound you can only get from some of the old ribbon microphones. But you need a preamp with comparable quality and compatible with the other technical criteria.
More Thoughts on Interleaved ADCs
Jonathan Harris  
6/26/2013   6 comments
We continue our discussion regarding achieving higher sample rates in an analog-to-digital conversion system. Multiple ADCs reduce the sampling requirements for each device, but timing is critical.
Digital Tuning for RF Analog Front End
Blaine Bateman  
6/26/2013   11 comments
Variable capacitors can be made using MEMS technology. These can be used for tuning the antenna matching networks in cellphones.
Going Green: The Trend Toward High-Efficiency Brushless DC Motors
Miguel Mendoza  
6/25/2013   6 comments
BLDC motors have better efficiency than AC induction motors, and they excel in other important ways.
Digital & Analog Blend in Today's PHY
Brian Bailey  
6/25/2013   19 comments
The blending of digital and analog in mixed-signal devices leads to some innovative interfaces between subsections and to the external world. Since power should be conserved, these interfaces use new, improved techniques.
Integrated Analog Chat, June 25
Brad Albing  
6/24/2013   Post a comment
We're having a chat tomorrow, June 25, at 2:00 p.m. EDT on integrated analog. Please come join us for the discussion.
An Applications Engineer's Perspective of IMS2013, Day 3
Jonathan Harris  
6/24/2013   3 comments
Some final thoughts on the IMS2013 show, very fast ADCs, and their use in high-speed communications applications.
Is Communications a Lost Art?
Brad Albing  
6/24/2013   45 comments
Business communications should be easy and straightforward. The easier it is, the more likely the companies involved will thrive and prosper. Does it always work that way?
Use Excel Goal Seek to Solve Design Equations
Aubrey Kagan  
6/21/2013   Post a comment
Aubrey (long accused of being an Excel evangelist) offers a tip on a quick way to solve design equations using, well, Excel.
An Instrument on a Chip? The Minimum-Subsystem Instrument
Dennis Feucht  
6/21/2013   31 comments
Dennis finishes his examination of test equipment on a chip. This final installment looks at the analog -- and other -- integration in electronic measurement instruments. Dennis then looks at just how much can be integrated onto a chip.
All-CMOS Bluetooth/ZigBee Transceiver for Personal Networks
Steve Taranovich  
6/21/2013   5 comments
Improvements in ultra-low power wireless transceivers are making it easier to implement the Internet of Things.
Variable Speed Motor Drives: Boon or Bane?
Brad Albing  
6/20/2013   13 comments
Variable speed motor drives allow you to vary the speed of an induction motor -- traditionally a constant speed device. What are the drawbacks?
Do Analog ICs Still Need Perfection?
Analog Angle  
6/20/2013   7 comments
The combination of analog functions and digital processing and memory on a single IC means that many historical source of signal-chain error can be erased, but some still remain.
RF Integration for Small Basestations
Blaine Bateman  
6/20/2013   16 comments
RF applications are another good area in which to apply analog integration, and a few manufacturers are starting to look into this.
So You Want to Be a Supermodel-ler
Reid Wender  
6/19/2013   12 comments
Creating custom simulation models using a datasheet curve tracer can make circuit modeling easier.
An Applications Engineer's Perspective of IMS2013 – Day 2
Jonathan Harris  
6/19/2013   9 comments
Some more thoughts on the IMS2013 show, the JESD204B serial data transfer standard, interleaved ADCs, and most importantly, overvoltage protection.
Big Benefits From Harmonizing Analog & Digital Domains
Damian Anzaldo  
6/18/2013   4 comments
What is an RF-DAC? Where are they used? Why can we consider them part of the family of analog-integrated devices?
An Instrument on a Chip? The Configuration Problem
Dennis Feucht  
6/18/2013   8 comments
This is the third blog in the series about the ways that test instrumentation can be integrated onto an IC -- and the advantages that accrue from doing so.
When an Improvised Solution Is 'Good Enough'
Analog Angle  
6/18/2013   11 comments
We like to have comprehensive engineering solutions to design problems, but reality is that the line between improvisation and best practices is often fuzzy.
Are Integrated Analog Devices Perfect? Should They Be?
Kendall Castor-Perry  
6/17/2013   11 comments
Does the need for perfection stand in the way of using integrated analog devices? Or does the use of integrated analog devices stand in the way of designing the best circuit possible?
An Applications Engineer’s Perspective of IMS2013, Day 1
Jonathan Harris  
6/17/2013   4 comments
Some thoughts on the IMS2013 show and the JESD204B serial data transfer standard.
Startup Addresses Characterization Problem
Brian Bailey  
6/17/2013   5 comments
In the field of design automation, coming up with a way to speed up circuit analysis can create a superior product.
The Future of Medicine Is Here
Brad Albing  
6/14/2013   19 comments
A more clever method of electrically stimulated transdermal drug delivery was recently described in a paper presented at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference.
The Shifting Climate of Power Factor Correction
Vincent Biancomano  
6/14/2013   15 comments
How important is Power Factor Correction for residential customers? And to what extent will implementing PFC affect climate change?
Can Integration Help With Our Noise Gamble?
Analog Angle  
6/12/2013   16 comments
There's much more to real life than Gaussian (white) noise, and your IC must deal with it.
What Defines Analog Integration & Why We Should Applaud Its Benefits
Damian Anzaldo  
6/12/2013   11 comments
We need to look more closely at analog integration to see what defines it and where it's going.
User-Assisted, Automated Routing of Custom IC Designs, Part 2
Mitchell Heins  
6/12/2013   10 comments
Mixed signal ICs are getting extremely complex. This article looks at the problems of manual routing in these ICs. Then the advantages of constraint-based routing are discussed.
Integrated Analog Chat, June 25
Brad Albing  
6/11/2013   4 comments
We're having a chat on Tuesday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET on integrated analog. Please come join us for the discussion.
User-Assisted, Automated Routing of Custom IC Designs, Part 1
Mitchell Heins  
6/11/2013   9 comments
Mixed signal ICs are getting extremely complex. This article looks at the problems of manual routing in these ICs. Then the advantages of constraint-based routing are discussed.
Designing With Op-Amps Is Ending
Scott Elder  
6/11/2013   47 comments
Are we being forced to move away from discrete IC designs and towards integrated analog designs? The answer may lie within the models that IC manufacturers provide for us to use in our circuit simulations.
Understanding Harmonic Distortion Versus Amplitude in Operational Amplifiers, Part 1
Jorge Vega  
6/7/2013   7 comments
Op-amp inaccuracies (where the output is not simply a scaled version of the input) can have different causes. Here we examine the effects of amplifier noise and harmonic distortion.
Handy Circuit Boards Save Time in the Lab
Derek Koonce  
6/7/2013   19 comments
Building special PC test boards does take a bit of time, but it will speed up testing and prototyping later -- so it will produce a good ROI.
Duct Tape, Spit & Baling Wire
Ransom Stephens  
6/6/2013   15 comments
What do you do when ground currents flow where they're not supposed to but don't flow where they are supposed to? Baling wire may solve the problem. Duct tape is optional.
My Antenna Dilemma: Preamp or Passive?
Analog Angle  
6/6/2013   25 comments
Sometimes, we have a clear engineering choice between two alternatives, rather than a multidimensional situation.
An Instrument on a Chip? Some Emerging Instruments & the China Factor
Dennis Feucht  
6/5/2013   15 comments
Dennis continues his examination of test equipment on a chip. Equipment such as scopes, function generators, and waveform generators are the perfect products to benefit from integrated analog ICs.
Signal Chain Basics #78: How to Avoid Common-Mode Limitations on Instrumentation Amplifiers
Signal Chain Basics  
6/5/2013   Post a comment
Instrumentation amplifiers can tolerate some common mode voltage while amplifying low-level signals. But you must understand the data sheet specs.
(Synthetic) Diamonds Are a Designer's Best Friend
Steve Taranovich  
6/5/2013   10 comments
As more analog functions are integrated onto an IC, the heat caused by increased power consumption increases. Improved techniques are emerging to pull the heat away from the chip and increase reliability.
Will Quantum Computing Enhance Analog Design? Part 2
Blaine Bateman  
6/4/2013   10 comments
A look at the concepts behind quantum and a comparison to analog computing.
ADC Basics, Part 6: Key Op-Amp DC & AC Specifications
Bonnie Baker  
6/3/2013   25 comments
An examination of the specifications of op-amps that will affect the performance of a data acquisition system.

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