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Analog Angle Article

Books reveal secrets of analog, switched-cap circuits

With so much information out there on the web, from so many credible (or not) sources, you might think that a book on a technical topic is an anachronism. Think again: two new books show that a multihundred-page “dead tree” information source can capture and relay a coherent story with many facets, depth, and subtlety.

“Intuitive Analog Circuit Design” by Marc T. Thompson and “Demystifying Switch-Capacitor Circuits” by Mingliang Liu are valuable additions to the engineering body of knowledge and information conveyance. Both are published by Newnes (part of Elsevier), www.newnespress.com.

The analog-design book doesn't avoid equations nor does it dumb-down its discussions, but it also places emphasis on getting your mindset in tune with the circuitry and flow of electrons, and the role of voltage potentials, all guided by the physics of the situation. It makes use of analogies and case studies so the reader can understand what makes reasonable, first-order sense in a given situation and what simply “can't be”. The companion CD-ROM includes Powerpoint presentations and there are also Matlab files.

“Switched-cap circuits” is a real eye-opener, if you are only familiar with their use in one segment of design. They're used in integrators, interpolators, and decimators, sample/hold circuits (a classic analog function), filters, data converters, dc/dc converters, voltage-level shifters, charge pumps, and more. The books includes analysis of basic designs, sources of error, and successful design, along with more formal modeling tools. For more information, go to Elsevier/Newnes.

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