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Content posted in March 2006
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Why I really, really like embedded systems
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3/31/2006   Post a comment

Bill Schweber, Site Editor
I am sure many of you will hear and read, or at least follow up on, some of the papers and developments at the Embedded Systems Conference, April 3 through 7, in San Jose (www.embedded.com/esc/sv). And you should, because embedded systems are not only the fastest-growing segment of the "industry", but because...
Analog signal processor doubles performance
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3/31/2006   Post a comment
Anadigm released its third-generation lower power and higher performance dynamically programmable Analog Signal Processors (dpASP).
Video decoders target security surveillance apps
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3/31/2006   Post a comment
Techwell, Inc. unveiled two, four-channel NTSC/PAL video decoders with integrated audio analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, and a Motion Joint Photographic Experts Group (MJPEG) compression controller for multichannel digital video recorders (DVRs) for security surveillance applications.
Op amp filter removes GSM burst noise
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3/30/2006   Post a comment
Intersil Corp.'s operational amplifier features an 8-MHz low-pass filter that is said to remove Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) noise from the video band — and it also serves as an anti-aliasing filter.
Dual RF power detector chips work to 11-GHz
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3/30/2006   Post a comment
The fabs at IC house Linear Technology Corp. are dishing up dual-channel RF detector chips that work out to 11-GHz. LTC's Type LTC5533 chips can be used to measure RF power in multi-band WiFi, WiMAX and other radio applications.
Embedded Systems Conference covers analog, too
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3/29/2006   Post a comment
There are eight analog sessions set for ESC, not counting those devoted to power-supply issues. It's nice to see that the basic analog building block—the op amp—gets two of these. After all, op amps don’t do much by themselves, but they can do almost everything....
12-bit A/D delivers 500 Msamples/s
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3/28/2006   Post a comment
e2v's Grenoble, France division (formerly a part of Atmel) kicked off a new high-resolution family with a monolithic, 12-bit, analog-to-digital (A/D) converter boasting a clock frequency of 500 Msamples/s.
Li-Ion battery compatible DC/DC converter IP ideal for SoC designs
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3/28/2006   Post a comment
A synchronous step-down (buck) DC/DC converter IP block from LTRIM Technologies is the ideal power management solution for System on Chip (SoC) designs powered by batteries.
Adaptable DC-DC converter IP blocks meet SoC system requirements
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3/28/2006   Post a comment
LTRIM introduces a buck-boost DC/DC converter IP block for SoC designers needing operating frequencies and output voltages that meet battery powered applications.
Fairchild integrated PFC controller reduces power loss up to 320mW
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3/28/2006   Post a comment
To meet the stringent green standards confronting today’s design engineers, Fairchild Semiconductor introduces a power factor correction (PFC) controller IC that reduces standby power as much as 320mW in switch-mode power supply (SMPS) designs under 250 W, such as notebook adaptors.
A/D converters handle 250 MSamples/s for cable and wireless
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3/27/2006   Post a comment
If you have an application that requires high sample rates, low power, and small footprint, check out Analog Devices AD9230 12-b A/D converter.
A/D converters tout true 16-bit resolution
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3/27/2006   Post a comment
Analog Devices, Inc. rolled out two analog-to-digital (A/D) converters for high-end instrumentation, medical and wireless communications applications that are said to maintain low noise and high dynamic range — even at high input frequencies.
Prema 0.9V white LED driver requires only one external component
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3/27/2006   Post a comment
The core of the Prema white LED driver PR4401 consists of a step-up converter with current output, that provides an output voltage of typically 3.6 V. The input voltage can be as low as 0.9 V, thus allowing a single cell battery operation.
Ultimate Products of the year
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3/27/2006   Post a comment
Here is a list of the most significant products introduced in the past 12 months, chosen by qualified readers of EE Times and eeProductCenter. Electronic balloting was conducted quarterly, based on a list of 10 nominees submitted to readers by expert editors.
High-performance delta-sigma ADCs ease the limitations of embedded converters
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3/24/2006   Post a comment
Understand how and why delta-sigma converters are suitable for embedding with mostly-digital ICs
Read some (other) publications!
Articles  
3/23/2006   Post a comment
Bill Schweber, Site Editor,
There are a lot of interesting technical things happening out there that we can't cover, either because of our space/time restrictions, or these items fall outside our basic coverage areas. But they are interesting nonetheless!
For example, ....
Analog switches minimize return signal attenuation
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3/23/2006   Post a comment
Supertex Inc.'s eight-channel analog switch ICs feature robust latch-up protection and a quiescent current of 10 microamps.
Consumer apps fuel audio power amp demand
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3/22/2006   Post a comment
Demand for a variety of handheld consumer electronics products is resulting in an onslaught of audio power amplifiers from companies like Austriamicrosystems, National Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba America Electronic Components and Texas Instruments.
Amps drive video signals close to zero volts
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3/22/2006   Post a comment
STMicroelectronics Inc. introduced two single-supply, 300-MHz amplifiers that were designed to drive high-definition signals on 75-ohm video lines at close to zero volts in high-end industrial and medical imaging systems, and in HDTV-enabled set-top boxes and DVD players.
Is "electronics" being eclipsed?
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3/22/2006   Post a comment
For the past 50 plus years, since WWII, the invention of the transistor, and the development of the IC, electronic technology and its associated disciplines and applications have been the driver of the economy and the darling of science and university research. But this may be changing......
Pin driver doubles throughput
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3/21/2006   Post a comment
Intersil Corp. announced a quad,18-volt pin electronics driver and comparator that includes four independent, programmable drivers and high-speed window comparators for use in automated test and measurement (ATE) applications.
Dual-channel isolators provide data and power isolation in single package
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3/21/2006   Post a comment
ADI has extended is iCoupler digital isolator family with a trio of devices that are the first to employ isoPower, the company's proprietary technology designed to couple data and power isolation in one package. The ADuM524X products are said to reduce cost by 70% and board space by 80% compared with other isolation methods.
A/D converter captures audio for portable recording apps
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3/20/2006   Post a comment
Cirrus Logic Inc. launched a low-power, analog-to-digital (A/D) converter today that is said to provide high quality audio capture capabilities for portable digital audio recording applications, such as digital voice recorders, voice recognition systems, digital microphones and audio video capture cards.
Go see a show
Articles  
3/20/2006   Post a comment
I personally like to also go to tightly focused, niche events that are related but not necessarily mainstream to our industry. It's at these events where I expect the unexpected, and see things I did not know existed, see clever adaptations, or get ideas for developments that may affect what we do. For example, the annual meeting of the...
Bill Schweber, Site Editor, Planet Analog
Dual-input boost converter efficiently shares power from two inputs
Articles  
3/17/2006   Post a comment
This circuit shows a better technique than the common diode-OR approach for combining two supplies to deliver a single output
Dual-channel in-amp drives differentially
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3/16/2006   Post a comment
Analog Devices Inc. claims this is the only dual-channel instrumentation amplifier (in-amp) available in a 16-lead, 4 x 4-mm CSP, and the first to allow designers the use of a device specified for differential output operation.
TIA technology enhances optical receiver performance
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3/16/2006   Post a comment
Inphi Corp. claims these integrated linear transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) can operate at data rates up to 11.3 Gbits/s, and amplify input currents over the entire dynamic range required by the upcoming IEEE 10GBASE-LRM standard — with less than 5 percent total harmonic distortion (THD).
Smart power management IC targets entry level phones, portable devices
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3/16/2006   Post a comment
Austriamicrosystems introduces a highly integrated solution that is ideally suited to the fast-growing entry level GSM and CDMA phone market.
Capacitive switches prove you can look AND touch
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3/16/2006   Post a comment
The capacitive switch (and related e-field sensor) has been around for a long time, but in recent years their popularity and applicability have zoomed, as the somewhat complex interface circuit has been put into an highly integrated ICs. These no-moving-parts switches makes a lot of sense (sorry about the pun) in appliance, automotive, and industrial applications and they allow a new way of thinking about panel layout and appearance, as well. We have published many articles on design consi
Bias controllers target microwave basestations
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3/15/2006   Post a comment
Maxim Integrated Products announced ICs that set and control bias conditions for dual MESFET power devices found in point-to-point communication and other microwave basestations.
Op amp operates up to 24 volts
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3/14/2006   Post a comment
National Semiconductor Corp. unveiled a rail-to-rail output CMOS operational amplifier (op amp) today with a wide operating range up to 24 volts that is said to meet the noise, power and low-input bias requirements of industrial and telecommunications applications.
Ricoh power management IC includes supervisory circuits
Articles  
3/14/2006   Post a comment
Ricoh Europe has announced the R5104V power management IC for microprocessors. A single chip solution supplies power to a microprocessor and includes various embedded supervisory circuits to reset the processor when critical conditions occur in order to provide safety and high reliability of the continuous operation of the application.
Multichannel signal processors simplify audio designs
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3/13/2006   Post a comment
Two multichannel analog signal processors that combine six separate component functions were introduced today by Wolfson Microelectronics plc.
ANALOG DESIGN: In-amp specifies differential output
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3/13/2006   Post a comment
Instrumentation amplifiers (in-amps) are specialized, precise-gain op amps with a challenging task: They take a low-level input signal, such as an EEG or strain gage, which is accompanied by a large amount of common-mode noise, and extract that signal. These amps increasingly have to provide differential-drive output to the next stage in the signal chain, typically an A/D converter.
Zero-drift op amps pack precision in tiny packages
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3/13/2006   Post a comment
Touting an unmatched combination of precision, micropower, and miniature packaging, Texas Instruments Inc. released a family of zero-drift operational amplifiers.
Follow those other engineering endeavors
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3/13/2006   Post a comment
Designers now are very busy folks, everyone knows that. But the corollary of this situation is that they often don't have time to keep up with other interesting developments.
If you aren't doing so already, follow the developments and design of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro, which successfully reached, and went into orbit around, Mars last week. The engineering of these space vehicles is the antithesis of
Optimizing gate timing with external FET driver for high-input-voltage step-down converter
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3/10/2006   Post a comment
Many industrial applications require a non-isolated, low-voltage supply from a high-voltage input. To extend the input-voltage range of a regulator that could not normally accept the high input-voltage, high-voltage external MOSFET drivers can be used.
Squarewave oscillator needs no external components
Articles  
3/10/2006   1 comment
Many sensors and other components need AC-only excitation, and can't tolerate any DC component; some applications need a square wave but not frequency precision. Rewiring a DC/DC charge pump circuit may meet the needs.
Multichannel I/O data converter targets basestations
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3/9/2006   Post a comment
Designed for wireless infrastructure applications, this 12-bit multichannel input/output (I/O) data converter from Analog Device Inc. is said to pack all the functions necessary to monitor and control current, voltage and temperature.
12-bit A/D provides 1.2-GHz input bandwidth
Articles  
3/8/2006   Post a comment
Linear Technology Corp. unveiled a 12-bit analog-to-digital sampling converter today that touts a 1.2-GHz analog input bandwidth along with the lowest power consumption in its class for wideband sampling applications.
Current monitor handles short circuits
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3/7/2006   Post a comment
With its wide common mode sense range of zero to within 2 volts of the supply voltage applied, this current monitor from Zetex Semiconductors is said to enable true short circuit current monitoring.
Supertex EL lamp driver offers higher brigthness, lower noise
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3/7/2006   Post a comment
Supertex has introduced the HV860, a higher brightness, lower noise, dimmable electroluminescent (EL) lamp driver designed to light today’s keypads for handheld devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, global positioning systems, and other handheld wireless communication products.
Precision temperature sensing boosts PC reliability
Articles  
3/6/2006   Post a comment
Tighter accuracy yields efficient closed-loop operation
Analog switch packaging shrinks
Articles  
3/6/2006   Post a comment
Austriamicrosystems AG repackaged its high-performance switch family for a 40 percent size reduction.
ON Semiconductor offers clock management devices in space-efficient, Pb-free QFN packages
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3/6/2006   Post a comment
ON Semiconductor has announced a new space-efficient, Pb-free QFN package for several of its highly-accurate clock management products. The 32-pin QFN package footprint measures only 5 x 5 mm, and uses only 31 % of the board space of earlier packages.
Design platform offers advanced features for RFICs
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3/6/2006   Post a comment
Applied Wave Research announces Analog Office 2006, an EDA package that offers an interconnect-driven design paradigm for RFIC design.
Some new ideas were needed here
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3/5/2006   Post a comment
Cell phones represent the triumph of a very unconventional solution to a long-standing problem. This phenomena is both unappreciated and surprisingly common in advanced science and engineering situations. Bill Schweber, Site Editor, Planet Analog
Digitally-controlled analog volume ICs broaden dynamic range
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3/3/2006   Post a comment
Cirrus Logic Inc. says it's setting a new industry standard for analog volume control ICs with a multichannel device that provides unmatched control flexibility for high-end audio systems.
Digital potentiometers consume 0.3 microamps
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3/2/2006   Post a comment
Microchip Technology Inc. announced a family of low-power, low-voltage, 6-bit digital potentiometers that are said to be cost and size competitive with mechanical versions.
The art of capacitive touch sensing
Articles  
3/1/2006   7 comments
Take advantage of no-moving-part user-interface switches based on electrical fields and cpacitiance changes, with the right sensor
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