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Charles Razzell

Don’t Bet Against Analog

Charles Razzell
eafpres1
eafpres1
2/20/2013 1:48:22 AM
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Blogger
Re: Analog is here to stay
@amrutah--some of the details can be found in the Patent which Square has for their device.

Square Patent

I read somewhere on the internet they are now encrypting the information so that might defuse my security comments earlier.

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amrutah
amrutah
2/20/2013 1:08:59 AM
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Master
Re: Analog is here to stay
@eafpres: This is really interesting.... I have worked on the jack part and understand the complexity involved considering it as bidirectional. I think most of the phones and tablets support bidirectional Jack (to support a hands-free device with other control signals as you mentioned)...

  Converting the digital data present on the card and transmitting a audio tone is a humongous task... this would involve some kind of digital modulation with encryption in the card reader section, a decryption and demodulation inside the iPad/iPhone and then sent over the carrier for transaction... All this looks interesting and a complex system.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
2/18/2013 2:44:04 PM
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Blogger
Re: Analog is here to stay
On iPhones & iPads the jack is bi-directional becuase it also supports the microphone in little rectangular thing on the earbud wires.  It also supports control lines (volume up/down, answer, hang up, mute).  The card reader has an IC that converts the information on the card into audio tones, sends it to the app on the pad/phone, and off it goes.  Validation is done via the celluar connection on the device.

Now--imagine how hard it would be for a decent analog guy to look at those tones on a scope, and build a card writer...or, how about malware on the device snagging the info without distrubing the app?  

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TheMeasurementBlues
TheMeasurementBlues
2/18/2013 1:50:26 PM
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Teacher
Re: Analog is here to stay
A samesman for windows shades came to my house the other day. He made the transaction with an iPad by attaching a credit card reader to the headphone jack.

Headphone jack? I though that was output only, and just for audio. I would ahve expected the card reader to plug into the 30-pin connectors at the bottom, but no. Who knew?

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eafpres1
eafpres1
2/18/2013 1:36:37 PM
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Blogger
Re: Analog is here to stay
It is interesting to see how many A/D interfaces are popping up for these tablets, smartphones, etc.  There was a big show on medical diagnostics on smartphones on TV the other week.  There are a whole range of sensors becoming available.  And even more (like thermostats) will be connected to these digital wonders by wireless technologies.  I wonder if over the long term there is more analog than digital to be dealt with out there?  If we could agree on the classification of discrete analog we could count up component sales...(see Martin Rowe's note elsewhere).

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Charles Razzell
Charles Razzell
2/18/2013 12:56:30 PM
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Blogger
Re: Analog is here to stay
@amrutah,

Thanks for your thoughtful post, which I agree with.

(Just an FYI: If you count tablets in with smartphones and look at world-wide sales, it seems we still have a few years of double-digit anual compound growth left, at least according to the market reports I have seen. )

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amrutah
amrutah
2/18/2013 12:19:04 PM
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Master
Analog is here to stay
Charles, Thanks for the post and I agree that analog is here to live long...

  Though the communications world is getting digitized and churning much out of silicon to achieve higher speeds, but the audio, biomedical applications,automotive applications are low power and involves a lot of analog sensors and interface...

  With the smartphone market saturating I hope other consumer products will hit the market and bet that Analog has a long life!

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