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Content posted in September 2013
Haptic Technology Is the Next Big Thing
Brad Albing  
9/30/2013   19 comments
The next best thing to having your own holodeck is having haptic feedback on your video games.
Learning & Teaching
Brad Albing  
9/30/2013   88 comments
An overview and analysis of our survey on learning and teaching about engineering.
Z Meter on a Chip? Impedance Meter Oscillators
Dennis Feucht  
9/30/2013   19 comments
To understand how to fabricate an impedance meter on an IC, Dennis Feucht takes a close look at the oscillator that produces the excitation voltage for measuring the device under test. This is the third of three blogs on the topic.
Take a Walk Into the Wall of Flame
Jason Bowden  
9/30/2013   7 comments
As engineers, we all have those occasions when our brain seems to temporarily leave our body. How we deal with the consequences is the key to becoming a better engineer. And awards should be given.
Batteries Can Be Printed Using 3D Technology
Brad Albing  
9/30/2013   19 comments
There are methods now that allow a very small battery to be fabricated and integrated along with an IC.
Mohamed Kassem: Q&A With the Company Founder
Brian Bailey  
9/27/2013   22 comments
An interview with Mohamed Kassem, founder of the just opened efabless Labs
Can We Prevent More Power Outages?
Steve Taranovich  
9/27/2013   19 comments
What are the dangers and what is the impact of a widespread power blackout? What are the causes and how do we prevent another one?
Silicon Carbide FETs Shine in SMPS Applications
William Murray  
9/26/2013   10 comments
SiC FETs are like conventional MOSFETs in some ways and much better in other ways. They do have a few shortcomings -- but we can live with that.
Power Your Smartphone Forever! Charge It Instantly! Or Not
Brad Albing  
9/26/2013   22 comments
New techniques for fabrication of super caps makes them suitable as replacements for rechargeable batteries in many applications. But recharge time still has practical limitations.
Interleaving Spurs: More Math Details for Gain Mismatch
Jonathan Harris  
9/25/2013   3 comments
Continuing the math analysis from our previous discussion about ADC mismatches, we now look at how a small gain mismatch can result in a significant spur.
The Electric Scooter: The New Choice for Urban Mobility
Paolo Scalisi  
9/25/2013   25 comments
In urban areas, we need various means of transportation. Walking and public transportation fill some of that need. The electric scooter is another practical alternative.
ESD: Electrostatic Discharge or an Engineer's Shocking Discovery
Jason Bowden  
9/25/2013   10 comments
ESD is often misunderstood. Its effects can be more serious and widespread than you might initially think.
Precision ICs Need to Take Temperature Measurements Into Account
Blaine Bateman  
9/24/2013   18 comments
In many precision ICs, such as silicon photonics devices, it's important to know the temperature of the silicon. How can that temperature be measured accurately and inexpensively?
Z Meter on a Chip? Impedance Meter Range Capabilities
Dennis Feucht  
9/24/2013   5 comments
To understand how to fabricate an impedance meter on an IC, Dennis Feucht looks at some more of the math behind the measurement. This is the second of three blogs on the topic.
When Will Someone Make a Clean Switcher?
Doug Grant  
9/24/2013   18 comments
Switching regulators generate RF noise. What happens to it? Is it radiated/conducted or is it contained? And who's responsible?
Are There Benefits to Incorporating Parasitics Into Your Broadband Design?
Henrik Morkner  
9/23/2013   4 comments
Parasitic reactive and resistive elements are an inevitable consequence of creating a real-world circuit. At very high frequencies, they can be quite problematic. How can you deal with them?
Simulating Mixed-Signal ICs: Good or Bad News?
Analog Angle  
9/23/2013   5 comments
Simulators for highly integrated mixed-signal devices have fewer observable points than circuits based on smaller ICs; that's good, or perhaps not so good, for the circuit designer.
Can Technology Keep Up With Us or Are We Just Spoiled?
Jason Bowden  
9/23/2013   10 comments
Why do we want products that are "new and improved"? And are these products really better?
The Landing of Curiosity: What's Your 7 Minutes of Terror?
Peter Zawistowski  
9/20/2013   28 comments
Many of us have stories of potential or actual engineering problems or catastrophes.
Where Acoustic & Analog Still Rule the Roost
Vincent Biancomano  
9/20/2013   5 comments
Sometimes the old ways work best. Some techniques can be implemented with DSP methods, but perhaps they shouldn't be.
Calibration, Part 2
Aubrey Kagan  
9/20/2013   8 comments
Continuing the discussion from Part 1, how do you ensure accuracy? How do you perform the calibration? On what reference is this calibration technique based? How does noise affect calibration?
Design & Fabricate an Extra Low Power MDLL
Brad Albing  
9/19/2013   7 comments
For present-day communications devices, you always need an accurate frequency source – and more likely multiple sources. For portable devices, how do you get that and stay within your power budget?
Thinking About Ray Dolby, a Truly Unique Engineer
Analog Angle  
9/19/2013   19 comments
Ray Dolby died recently. He was one of the very few engineers known to the general public.
Medical ASICs: What's Next in Silicon Integration?
James McDonald  
9/18/2013   32 comments
What types of integration will provide the most benefit for portable and implantable medical devices?
Variability in Small Geometries Can Cause Unexpected Problems
Brian Bailey  
9/18/2013   1 comment
Variations in geometry for today's 28nm devices can cause parameter variation for analog devices such as transistors where gain and threshold voltages are affected.
Interleaving Spurs: Let’s Look at the Math
Jonathan Harris  
9/17/2013   3 comments
Moving on from our previous discussion of the various ADC mismatches and the resultant spurs, we now look at how to calculate the spurs' amplitude.
This Little Relay Stayed Home
Peter Zawistowski  
9/17/2013   20 comments
Like the switch, the relay is a pretty simple device. Specifying it can be difficult if details are overlooked. Here's a quick summary of some relay types and functions.
What's the True IQ of a Smartphone?
Jason Bowden  
9/16/2013   24 comments
Why do we say our smartphones are smart? What makes them smart? And are they smarter than we are? If only there were some way to find out.
Lab in a Box: Good for the USA, Good for India
Jay Weitzen  
9/16/2013   9 comments
How can we properly educate students and get good engineers? Beyond simply textbook teaching, lab work is a must. Sometimes there are logistical impediments. Here is a workaround.
Floorplanning for Mixed-Signal Chips
Brian Bailey  
9/13/2013   9 comments
When fabricating a new IC, deciding where the various blocks should be located is a complex task. Careful planning is required. Here is an overview of the recommended approach.
Learning About EMI From My DIY Lightning Detector
Precision Hub  
9/13/2013   27 comments
EMI is like dirt in your circuitry. You don't want it in there, because it causes performance problems, but sometimes problems can be turned into solutions. Here's one example.
Medical Electronics: Put All the Functionality in the IC
Brad Albing  
9/12/2013   24 comments
Some additional thoughts on getting what we need in an IC for medical diagnostics.
Point/Counterpoint: Let's Debate Integration
Analog Angle  
9/12/2013   7 comments
Sometimes following a trend is the right way to go, and sometimes it's not; it's an issue that designers and users of analog-centric ICs have been debating since the early days of integration.
Medical Implantable Electronics: Promises & Challenges
Brad Albing  
9/11/2013   9 comments
Planet Analog and Integration Nation will have a special live chat Thursday, Sept. 19, at 11:00 a.m. ET (15:00GMT/UTC) on medical implantable electronics. Please join us for a lively discussion of how these devices are changing our world.
We Need Cheap LED Drivers
Brad Albing  
9/11/2013   31 comments
There are already LED drivers intended for power-line applications that are triac dimmable. Now, how about devices that are low-cost?
Comparing Op-Amp & Video Amp Topologies, Part 2
Ronald Quan  
9/11/2013   Post a comment
The analysis continues for video amplifiers with comparisons to general purpose op-amps. Some ancillary circuits are also examined.
Understanding JESD204B Link Parameters
Jonathan Harris  
9/10/2013   10 comments
Understanding the link parameters give us a better understanding of how a link is structured based on ADC and DAC properties. We exaimne the structure of nibbles and words, samples, lanes, and frames.
Signal Chain Basics #81: OFDM Basics
Signal Chain Basics  
9/10/2013   2 comments
OFDM is an often used multiplexing method to squeeze more channels into a smaller space. Here is an overview of how it's done.
Does the Price of Precision Analog Matter?
Scott Elder  
9/9/2013   12 comments
Precision analog components are expensive -- everyone knows that. They are expensive for good reasons -- or are they? Could they actually be significantly cheaper?
Calibration, Part 1
Aubrey Kagan  
9/9/2013   20 comments
Analog measuring devices should be calibrated to ensure accuracy. How do you perform the calibration? At how many points? And on what is this calibration technique based?
ADC Basics, Part 8: A 4-System Matrix With PGA + 12-bit SAR
Bonnie Baker  
9/9/2013   24 comments
What do the circuits look like for 12-bit ADC systems? We take a detailed look at all the critical parts.
Let's Chat: Medical Implantable Electronics Integration
Steve Taranovich  
9/6/2013   25 comments
One of the most promising developments in medical electronics has been devices placed inside the body. Our next chat session Thursday, Sept. 19, will explore the possibilities.
Keep Telling Your IC Vendors What You Need
Brad Albing  
9/5/2013   34 comments
Our poll sheds some more light on what drives IC replacement under rather more specific circumstances. Survey says...
High-Reliability Designs Reqire Sophisticated High-Reliability Testing
William Murray  
9/5/2013   17 comments
For high-rel designs, don't just read the data sheet and hope for the best. Create and implement test protocols to make sure your product keeps going.
Free Time & Productivity
James Niemann  
9/3/2013   31 comments
Does free time take away from time when you would otherwise be productive? Or does having free time enhance your productive time?




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