In February 2014, when I became editor-in-chief of Planet Analog, I inherited some really talented author-EEs. I have also since gotten another 30 new and very talented authors to join me in bringing tech briefs to the Planet Analog audience. (I try not to call them blogs, which sometimes have a different and more social-discussion connotation to some engineers.) I do that just as I bring writers to my two longer-tech-form EDN design sites, Analog and Power Management. (Great authors there too!)
The first author I want to discuss is Sanjaya Maniktala, a returning author who first wrote articles for PA back in 2003 through 2005. (Do a search on his name on Planet Analog to see the articles.) Since then he has written five more technical books, including one on PoE (the world's only book on the subject) . He has more practical experience too, notably in resonant power (LLC topology) and wireless charging.
He is somewhat old-fashioned in many respects. Steve Ohr, now an industry analyst, was PA editor-in-chief at the time when Maniktala was a “budding” writer and working at National Semiconductor. Ohr was instrumental in getting him started as an author.
Maniktala is not at all tolerant of sites nowadays that do not have relevant tech content for design engineers, hobbyists, etc. He bristles at some sites that are pure advertising for a supplier’s product with so-called “tech” articles in disguise. (I liked his candor very much and agree with him, except that I do allow suppliers to use their products to enhance a good tech article if it helps the reader understand the concepts better.)
This author’s latest revised second edition of Switching Power Supply: Design and Optimization is an example of his true love and passion for electronics design and his passion to covey his expertise (that is, teach) to all designers out there in the industry. This was the first book he had written back in 2004, and he called it a labor of love . (My kind of engineer.) By the way, he didn’t just bring this book up-to-date, but he made this edition practically a new book entirely .
What sets him apart from a great many other authors is that he genuinely enjoys the process of writing. Creating such a lengthy piece of technical work as this book, with more than 500 pages packed with equations and charts, could yield a very hard-to-read, dry textbook-type quality, but instead the author interjects his humor and brutally candid comments that make his work unique in the industry.
I will be reviewing this book and his Power Over Ethernet: Interoperability very soon. From what I have read so far I am impressed and can’t wait to delve into the excellent technical presentations created with designers, students, and hobbyists in mind.
Maniktala actually coined the term current ripple ratio in a National Semiconductor (now Texas Instruments) Application note AN-1197, “Selecting Inductors for Buck Converters,” in 2001. (Unfortunately his name no longer appears on the app note, but be assured that he wrote it.) The author contemplated what to name this ratio and what letter should define it in equations. He chose the letter r and termed the ratio the current ripple ratio.
The author also introduced the LLC topology to the electronics power community and very adeptly gives an exhaustive treatment of understanding the architecture and using it properly in power designs in Chapter 19 of his Switching Power Supply: Design and Optimization book.
He emphasizes teaching to and not preaching at readers. He goes on to describe the term guru, as Wikipedia does so well, as a noun. The author says that we must first learn very patiently from nature. Thereafter, any acquired knowledge needs to be passed on. I guess that sums it up as to what kind of engineer/teacher he is.
Watch for my book reviews from this author on EDN, coming soon, and also for my commentary about other talented authors on Planet Analog.