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Content posted in July 2013
Integrated CMOS Image Sensor Architecture: The Analog Camera
Steve Taranovich  
7/31/2013   8 comments
CMOS image sensor-based cameras share features with the mammalian eye. Signal processing techniques allow the devices to have low noise and high resolution.
Miniaturization of ALDs: How Small Can We Go?
Brad Albing  
7/31/2013   11 comments
The perfect hearing aid would be small enough to fit in the ear, would perfectly compensate for hearing loss, and would scavenge its operating power.
When Engineers' Worlds Collide
Jason Bowden  
7/31/2013   15 comments
There are regular conflicts between the different engineering groups associated with new product development. When this occurs, how are the conflicts resolved? Who wins? And at what cost?
More Thoughts From RF Integration Chat: Wakeup Radio
Brad Albing  
7/30/2013   5 comments
The wakeup radio is a useful addition to a ZigBee or similar RF transmission link. It will allow you to reduce power consumption significantly.
MCUs Are Increasingly Your Friend
Brad Albing  
7/29/2013   32 comments
More and more analog functionality is being packed into these little guys. Here's a quick look at what five bucks will get you.
Designing for High Temperature With Discrete Components
William Murray  
7/29/2013   6 comments
Designing for high-temperature environments is no easy task. And finding the right parts makes the task tougher still.
Where Is Analog Integration Going?
Tom Terlizzi  
7/29/2013   26 comments
Analog integration -- from field programmable analog arrays (FPAA) to System in Package (SiP) and System on Chip (SoC) -- analog design engineers have more and better choices. A brief and approximate history of analog integration techniques.
Interleaving Spurs: Gain Mismatches
Jonathan Harris  
7/26/2013   4 comments
Building from our previous discussion of offset mismatch, we now look at gain mismatch and compare the interleaving problems caused.
Analog or Digital Filters: What Works Best for Which Application?
Kendall Castor-Perry  
7/26/2013   9 comments
Some further thoughts regarding the recent blog by Steve Taranovich on the pros, cons, and characteristics of analog and digital filters.
Graceful Degradation Is Good
Brian Bailey  
7/26/2013   13 comments
Digital processing circuitry as used in cameras, CD players, HDTV receivers, and cars has an annoying tendency to go from working fine to working not at all. There is no graceful transition where performance fades away.
RF Integration: Can We Get It All?
Brad Albing  
7/25/2013   4 comments
Almost all of the circuitry for a typical low-power RF transceiver can be integrated onto a chip. Almost, but not all.
The Shortage of Analog Engineers Is Self-Inflicted
Scott Elder  
7/25/2013   32 comments
We can do better when it comes to encouraging young people to go into engineering as a career choice. We can do better to keep them on that path.
The Analog Designer Hall of Fame
Jack Shandle  
7/25/2013   26 comments
If analog is truly a unique combination of technology and art, shouldn't there be an Analog Hall of Fame? If so, how does one go about choosing the inductees?
Noise, Photography & Art, Part 2
Brian Bailey  
7/24/2013   2 comments
Continuing with the exploration of the mechanisms of digital photography and noise that shows up in the images.
Power-On Reset: The Analog, the Digital & Some of What Can Go Wrong
William Murray  
7/24/2013   9 comments
Most digital circuitry needs to be held in reset whenever the power is coming on or going off. The specific way that you do this is the key to designing a robust, reliable circuit.
Medical Device ASIC Integration: Optimize, Don’t Maximize
Andrew Kelly  
7/23/2013   33 comments
A very good use and application of a mixed-signal ASIC is for the design of medical-related product device – specifically, the implanted medical device.
Filter Techniques in Circuit Integration
Steve Taranovich  
7/23/2013   10 comments
Techniques for putting all of the active filter circuitry on an IC are now available. That includes MEMS devices and all reactive elements -- the capacitors and the inductors -- or their gyrated equivalent.
What Changes More, a UL Engineer's Requirements or the Weather in the Midwest?
Jason Bowden  
7/22/2013   7 comments
Designing equipment that must go through approval and certification by one of the agencies can sometimes turn into a fool's errand. Or at least it seems that way.
Prototype Parts Procurement Poll Ponderings
Brad Albing  
7/22/2013   15 comments
We always need parts to build the engineering models and the prototypes. How do we get them? Survey says...
Remote Meter Reader Data Transmitter Power Supply
Brad Albing  
7/19/2013   14 comments
To get maximum life from small lithium cells, current draw should be limited. How do you do that and still use them to power a transmitter?
Low-Offset, Low-Noise, Wide-Bandwidth Chopper
Brad Albing  
7/19/2013   13 comments
Everybody makes chopper amps now. Not everybody makes good chopper amps. Here's a close look at a new design.
Just Give Me a Basic Car, Detroit
Vincent Biancomano  
7/18/2013   12 comments
The newest cars have plenty of features -- maybe too much of what we don't need and not enough of what we do.
Process Management for Radiation Effects at Altitude
William Murray  
7/18/2013   3 comments
Radiation can and will affect electronics at sea level somewhat, but more severely at the altitudes at which most commercial aircraft fly.
Caution: Wide Load!
Precision Hub  
7/17/2013   1 comment
Current sensing should be easy to do -- and it is, on paper. But in the real world, things don't always work out quite as easily. Here are some problem solving design tips.
Noise, Photography & Art, Part 1
Brian Bailey  
7/17/2013   5 comments
Noise manifests different ways in different signal chains. Even what we call noise varies -- it is that which we don't want at the output.
'That Should Be No Big Deal' (Yeah, Right!)
Analog Angle  
7/17/2013   4 comments
As the saying goes, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Has this ever happened to you?
Analog or Digital Filters: Oh Yeah?!
Kendall Castor-Perry  
7/16/2013   3 comments
A response to a recent blog by Steve Taranovich regarding pros, cons, and characteristics of analog and digital filters.
Sensing Your Brain With IC Microprobes
Brad Albing  
7/16/2013   6 comments
Integrating the EEG microprobes into the IC containing the amplifying/processing circuitry produces a high-performance device that will help brain research.
Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Behavioral Model
Brian Bailey  
7/16/2013   5 comments
To create a proper model for the analog device you're creating, you must clarify why you are creating the model. What value does it serve? What problem does it address? Who will use the model and when?
Integration Choices: Analog Filters vs. Digital Filters
Steve Taranovich  
7/15/2013   21 comments
Analog and digital filters have some similarities and some more differences. These characteristics make them suitable for different applications and make them suitable -- in some cases -- for integration.
When Things Get Very Complex, Is Six-Sigma Enough?
William Murray  
7/15/2013   8 comments
Does six-sigma provide sufficient reliability? How about nine-sigma? Some further thoughts on reliability.
Technical Support Primer
Parker Dorris  
7/12/2013   3 comments
Engineers design things, but they also solve problems. How they go about that ranges from Kinderspiel to Sturm und Drang.
Signal Chain Basics #79: Digital Temperature Sensors Can Replace Thermistors
Signal Chain Basics  
7/12/2013   19 comments
Digital temperature sensors can eliminate most of the shortcomings of conventional analog thermistor temperature sensors.
Magnetic Field Sensors
William Murray  
7/12/2013   17 comments
Magnetic fields can be detected and measured with a variety of different sensors. Some of the devices exhibit variations in resistance; some put out a varying voltage or current. Some are inexpensive, general purpose devices. Others are the exact opposite.
Interleaving Spurs: Offset Mismatches
Jonathan Harris  
7/11/2013   5 comments
Here are some more details on interleaving ADCs. This time, we discuss one of the simpler problems to correct: a DC offset.
ADC Basics, Part 7: Key Op Amp Frequency & Timing Specifications
Bonnie Baker  
7/11/2013   7 comments
The evaluation of op-amp specifications that was started in Part 6 for the data acquisition system continues with a closer look at frequency response and bandwidth.
Between Discrete & Integrated Circuits
Dennis Feucht  
7/10/2013   11 comments
Somewhere in time and the manufacturing space, there existed circuit devices that were more sophisticated and complex than discrete components, but not quite integrated circuits. They were called hybrids. Today's surface-mount technology draws from them.
Resonant Regulating Rectifier Increases Wireless Charging Efficiency
Brad Albing  
7/10/2013   4 comments
A new IC combines rectifier circuitry with switching regulator circuitry to produce a high-efficiency wireless power supply.
Analog Layout Automation: An Unsolved Problem
Keith Sabine  
7/9/2013   4 comments
Better tools are needed to do layout of analog ICs. Using tools designed for digital devices will continue to take too long and produce unsatisfactory results.
Stepper Motors: Care & Feeding
Brad Albing  
7/9/2013   8 comments
Continuing our look at motor technology, we'll see how stepper motors work and consider applications.
Component Count & Reliability
William Murray  
7/8/2013   6 comments
There are factors beyond simply using good quality components that will affect your products reliability. Statistically, the number of components and interconnections will have a direct effect.
Pushing the Frontiers in Linear Technology for Building Automation
Robert L. Chao  
7/8/2013   4 comments
Sensors are vital devices for any automated control system. The circuitry to which they connect is equally vital, so anything that can improve circuit performance is worth examining.
Harvesting Power From Piezo Transducers
Brad Albing  
7/5/2013   11 comments
Energy can be harvested from a variety of electro-mechnaical transducers. Piezo devices are especially efficient for this task.
FinFETs & Analog
Brian Bailey  
7/5/2013   4 comments
The FinFET -- savior or just another gimmick? Will the device be useful in analog applications or only in digital?
Designing Magnetics
William Murray  
7/4/2013   6 comments
Designing inductors and transformers used to be difficult and labor intensive with lots of trial and error. It's a lot easier now.
Speeding Up or Slowing Down
Brian Bailey  
7/4/2013   4 comments
Is Moore's Law ending for analog IC design? Does Moore's Law even matter for analog IC design?
This Is Really Happening
Peter Zawistowski  
7/3/2013   11 comments
Is analog video finally going extinct? Quite likely, if the controlling agency (which knows what's good for us) has its way.
Analog Design on 2 Different Planets
Scott Elder  
7/3/2013   10 comments
Sometimes you can use what appears to be a shortcoming of a semiconductor process to your advantage -- like with temperature coefficients.
ASICs vs. Semi-Discrete Design
Dennis Feucht  
7/2/2013   12 comments
Is it possible to make "one-size fits all" ASICs? Is an ASIC that's just right for your application actually a custom IC?
Rolling Your Own
Brad Albing  
7/2/2013   10 comments
Building fixtures for projects is just part of the design job.




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