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Bob Dobkin: Mentor to Analog & Power Enthusiasts

Linear Technology CTO and co-founder Bob Dobkin is the ultimate mentor to those who need to truly understand analog and power. Dobkin’s achievements rank him among the top engineers in Silicon Valley from the early days to the present time. He will be one of our experts on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. EDT (10:00 a.m. PDT).

In 2007 Bob Dobkin developed the LT3080, a linear regulator that could be adjusted all the way down to 0V at the output. It could also be paralleled without any extra external components to produce more output current and spread the heat out better. It needed only a single resistor to set the output voltage and only two small ceramic capacitors.

In 2007 Bob Dobkin developed the LT3080, a linear regulator that could be adjusted all the way down to 0V at the output. It could also be paralleled without any extra external components to produce more output current and spread the heat out better. It needed only a single resistor to set the output voltage and only two small ceramic capacitors.

Dobkin innovated this regulator to be unlike existing, older regulators. (That’s what I really love about Linear Technology innovation. Just when you think an architecture can’t get any better, Linear Technology designers change the architecture and break the paradigm of the conventional Linear Regulator.) He uses a precision op amp combined with a precision current source to get down to 0 volts output capability — sounds simple! Yes it is, but no one else had tried it.

So instead of the conventional voltage reference inside the regulator, the current source (which is very difficult to do as a reference) is connected to the noninverting input of a power amplifier. The power op amp provides a low impedance buffered output to the voltage on the noninverting input. A single resistor from the noninverting input to ground sets the output voltage, and if this resistor is set to zero, zero output results.

Hear the technology and architecture innovation details from Bob Dobkin himself in this LT3080 video.

We are so fortunate that Bob Dobkin is so dedicated to teaching engineers about analog and power. Dobkin is a real engineer’s engineer with a passion to mentor others using his extensive background and experience spanning many decades.

How to sign on to the chat session
Stay tuned to Planet Analog daily for these nuggets. Please register on Planet Analog if you have not done so already, and click on this link to the chat session to enter our chat room. You can begin to ask questions immediately today in advance of the actual chat on Wednesday, April 23, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Your questions will be answered during the chat for all to see.

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