Hello there, I’m Brad Albing, and I’m excited to be your host on the new Planet Analog! As editor in chief, it’s my goal to work with you all to develop the next chapter in the storied history of this site, which for many of you has served as the filter of note for anything to do with the true art of analog design for over 16 years. It’s an honor I don’t take lightly, though I will ask you to be patient with me as I find my own way around our new home.
So, “What’s new? Why the new site? And who are you?” I hear you say. Well for starters, everything is new. The analog world is developing and changing rapidly. New design tools are becoming available, and designers are expected to quickly accelerate up steeper and shorter learning curves while acquiring multi-disciplinary skills to meet the analog/mixed-signal and digital requirements of next-generation — and even today’s — designs. Analog designers, both new and expert, need as much help as they can get, as quickly as they can get it.
Enter the new Planet Analog. Developed on a community platform custom built for fast, rapid-fire blogs, conversations, and discussions using the latest in online media, the site is dedicated to teaching and sharing the fundamentals of analog while keeping you up to date with the latest developments, tools, technologies, trends, tips and tricks, and techniques. Oh, and to having a bit of fun in the process too, otherwise, what’s the point?
As for me, well, I’ve been doing analog design for over 30 years, most recently at Intersil as an FAE, and before that with Philips Medical, so I have a bit of experience and know-how under my belt that I’m eager to share as we go along. That said, this is a two-way street and I’m hoping to learn as much as anyone as we go along.
We will explore many analog topics here. Some of the topics may be esoteric or deal with odd nomenclature and jargon. I’ll try to explain as we go and am hoping you’ll chime in wherever you think you may have a better explanation or tip. I encourage you to read all the posts from me and from our guest contributors. I also encourage you to comment, agree, disagree, argue, fuss, and perhaps even be provocative (within the bounds of good taste) about what is posted.
With so much going on it’s safe to say I can’t do all the writing, I encourage you to join our merry team of analog experts and become a contributor by submitting your own blogs. These blogs are typically 500 word (±100 words) essays on any topic that relates to analog design and can be any combination of useful, interesting, fun, informative, or all of the above.
That could mean analog circuit design, IC design, trouble-shooting, amusing stories and anecdotes, etc. As you know, analog covers a broad area — could be op-amp circuitry, power supplies, sensors, ADCs, DACs, DAQ systems, interface, RF, EMI, EMC, PLLs, etc. And they could actually be longer if you've got something to say that needs more space. But if you don’t need a bunch of space, just keep in mind that these don’t have to be The Great American Novel, just a quick blog.
As I alluded to above, part of my mission is to bring new engineers into the fold — perhaps get engineers who are primarily doing digital design to look into analog engineering. Or to encourage college-level students to pursue analog engineering. That’s why we need to get a dialogue going, and we need that dialogue to be encouraging and respectful. As I said above, it can be provocative, but within the bounds of good taste.
For the newer engineers, there are no stupid questions. You aren’t born knowing about how offset voltage drifts with temperature or how to get two very high-speed ADCs properly interleaved. So when someone brings up a topic and there is a need for more info, jump in and ask questions. Keep discussing until you know all you need to know. We will probably have blogs posted from time to time that discuss in a detailed manner how to prototype particular circuits. If you duplicate some of that prototype work on your own lab bench, you should gain even more insight into the design problems being discussed. And again, ask questions about what is posted. Keep pushing to learn more.
In sum, I hope to be able to leverage what I've been taught by those who came before me over the years to help inspire us all to generate the questions that we can answer here together on Planet Analog: All Signal, No Noise.