Analog

Steve Taranovich
Editor
Latest design tips and clever circuit architectures that analog design engineers must have to keep up with fast-paced developments in the analog world of interface, timing, and RF advancements. Industry innovations and processes that enhance analog performance are some of the many topics to be explored in great technical depth as they happen.

Improving Current Control for Better Stepper Motor Motion Quality

Advanced internal current sensing provides better current regulation in bipolar stepper motor drivers, which improves the quality of motion. Read More...

Math and Logic in the Venus Flytrap

Perhaps mankind should take some more lessons from the simplicity of nature Read More...

Analog Aficionados 2016: A night all about analog

The Analog Aficionados dinner was another successful night filled with memories, education, camaraderie, and of course lots of analog talk. Read More...

MEMS gyroscope precision inertial sensing in harsh, high temperature environments

Despite recent progress in high precision data acquisition and processing, there are still unmet needs for sensors that can operate at temperatures up to 175°C, particularly in the easy to use form factor provided by MEMS. Read More...

Minimize measurement errors in RTD circuits

Use these circuits to add an RTD temperature sensor in front of a digitizer and minimize errors through hardware and software. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Robust high voltage Over-the-Top op-amps maintain high input impedance with inputs driven apart or when powered down

Learn how the innards of an “over-the-top” op-amp work (where inputs can be higher than V+), as well as related design considerations. Read More...

It’s always a capacitor

The theory that “it’s always a capacitor” was proven out when a central air conditioning unit recently failed. Read More...

Circuit remotely adjusts PSU voltage

This DI circuit allows for remote regulator/PSU programmability or trimming. Read More...

Understanding isolator standards and certification to meet safety requirements

Isolation components protect users from dangerous voltages. Read More...

Astrobotic technology: NASA’s doorway to Mars exploration

Astrobotic is pioneering affordable planetary access that promises to spark a new era of exploration, science, tourism, resource utilization, and mining. Read More...

DesignCon 2016 book signing with engineering icons

Some of the best minds in our industry gathered at DesignCon for a book signing. Read More...

NI’s enhanced version of VirtualBench on display at DesignCon

Developers have taken bench-top equipment to a whole new level with the latest, high-performance model of VirtualBench. Read More...

High frequency Helmholtz coils generate magnetic fields

High frequency Helmholtz coils are often used to generate uniform but time varying high frequency magnetic fields for a number of applications such as magnetic field susceptibility, calibration, and scientific experiment. Read More...

Measure a video ADC's differential gain and phase

Measuring these two parameters can help you avoid sending video errors that can become visible to viewers. Read More...

A peek into Maxim Integrated Advanced R&D

Power is an important component to Maxim’s focus areas, which include cloud and data centers, mobility, industrial, and automotive. Read More...

The actual father of electricity

You may think that Volta or Ampere would be credited with being the father of electricity, but not so. Read More...

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LTC Design Note: Robust high voltage Over-the-Top op-amps maintain high input impedance with inputs driven apart or when powered down

Learn how the innards of an “over-the-top” op-amp work (where inputs can be higher than V+), as well as related design considerations. Read More...

A faster PWM-based DAC

PWM DACs are cheap, cheerful, and slow. But this Design Idea describes a way to speed them up. Read More...

Reduce relay coil current with a reset controller IC

A new twist on reducing power when driving relays and solenoids. Read More...

Control accurate incremental voltage steps with a rotary encoder

This handy little DI circuit affords precise voltage-step control and makes a good pot replacement in many cases. Read More...

Precision programmable current source uses two ICs

Here are some programmable current source Design Ideas which make good use of precision on-chip component matching. Read More...

Programmable-gain amp achieves high gains

Roll your own PGA to get the exact high gains you need. Read More...

Modded charge pump extracts power from digital signal

At first glance, these charge pumps & voltage multiplier/inverters look conventional, but they have a trick up their sleeves. Read More...

Software PLL syncs to line using moving-average filter

A software PLL with a jitter attenuator lends itself to AC-line filtering and many other applications. Read More...

Fast, low-noise JFET amp is stable over temperature

This Design Idea combines the strong points of JFETs and CFAs to make a high-impedance amplifier that’s fast, stable over temperature, and quiet. Read More...

Single-MOSFET circuits gate & modulate

The humble discrete MOSFET shows its versatility in this Design Idea. Read More...

Read multiple switches using ADC

How the author learned to interface 8 switches using zero GPIOs. Read More...

Gain-selectable IC yields voltage-to-current converter

A voltage-to-current converter Design Idea with no discrete components and excellent specs. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Driver for 14-bit, 4.5 MSPS ADC operates over a wide gain range

Assure optimum performance by matching up ADC and input driver. Read More...

Simulate digital filters with PSpice

PSpice isn’t just for analog! This Design Idea shows it can handle digital filter simulation too. Read More...

Instrumentation amp makes an accurate transimpedance amp too

The interesting topology in this Design Idea turns a monolithic in-amp into a good transimpedance amp for photodiode or similar applications. Read More...

Schmitt trigger adapts its own thresholds

If you need to condition a widely-varying signal, a simple Schmitt won’t work, but this DI will. Read More...

Voltage indicator transitions between colours

Using a two-colour LED, this Design Idea indicates power-on and voltage level. Read More...

Linear ramp generator uses one op-amp

Get integrator-like ramps that know when to stop. Read More...

Circuit lets AGC amp hold its gain

AGC amps respond to signal level. This Design Idea allows gain to be held despite a changing level. Read More...

Three-op-amp state-variable filter perfects the notch

There are many variants of the state-variable filter, but this one might just have the best notch output(s). Read More...

Schmitt trigger uses two transistors

Here’s a DI circuit that displays Schmitt-trigger action and can work at high current or voltage. Read More...

Monitor 15 contacts with one PIC input

Take advantage of a microcontroller’s feature set to simplify switch & contact interface. Read More...

Gated oscillator holds last level

Unlike a typical gated oscillator, this one holds its current output level when turned off. Read More...

Optocoupler speed-up also reduces power consumption

Optocouplers tend to be sluggish, unless you have this circuit up your sleeve. Read More...

Add phases to simple RC oscillator

Here’s a simple way to add one or more output phases to an RC oscillator. Read More...

555-based class-D headphone driver makes great practice amp

This class-D audio amp “plays” to the 555’s strengths. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Robust 10MHz reference clock input protection circuit and distributor for RF systems

Design a protected 10MHz reference input without degrading phase noise. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Isolated current sensing with ∑-∆ optoisolators

Sigma-delta optocouplers make for accurate isolated sensing, and can trade off speed for ENOB. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Fast analog isolation with linear optocouplers

Implement isolated analog signals and current loops with linear optocouplers. Read More...

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WiFi power amp delivers +22-dBm output

Optimized for 802.11a/n/ac WiFi infrastructure, the Anadigics AWL5911 5-GHz power amplifier provides 33 dB of linear power gain. Read More...

Spectrum monitor hunts down interference

Anritsu’s MS27101A remote spectrum monitor teams with the company’s Vision software to identify interference patterns and geo-locate sources. Read More...

AVX rolls out medical-grade microchip capacitors

The T4C series HRC4000 capacitors from AVX are intended for both implantable, non-life-threatening and non-implantable life-support devices. Read More...

DACs offer integrated EEPROM option

MCP48FEBXX 8-bit, 10-bit, and 12-bit DACs from Microchip provide integrated EEPROM, which enables them to save DAC settings at power-down. Read More...

Status indicator flags five discharge states

Status indicator flags five discharge states Read More...

Low power pedestrian navigation IC works where GPS signals are weak or missing

Announced ahead of CES 2016, the industry’s first coprocessor for wearables provides truly accurate and ultra-low power pedestrian tracking indoors, as well as in urban canyons. Read More...

Conexant takes sound and voice control to the next level

New audio solutions announced at CES 2016 will be important in the growing smart home industry. Read More...

Microchip is first in the world to achieve LoRa Certification

Microchip Technology Inc announced that its RN2483 LoRa wireless module passed the LoRa Alliance’s LoRaWAN Certification Program. Read More...

Tektronix MDO4000 oscilloscopes go multifunction

The MDO4000C covers 200 MHz to 1 GHz, adds a DMM, function generator, logic analyzer, and spectrum analyzer. Read More...

Power adapter employs USB 3.1 Type-C receptacle

A 45-W wall-plug adapter, the PSA45A-200Q from Phihong complies with USB Power Delivery 2.0 specifications, as well as DoE Level VI standards. Read More...

3.3-V CAN transceivers are rad-tolerant

ISL7202xSEH 3.3-V CAN transceivers from Intersil are low-dose-rate tested up to 75 krad for use in satellite and aerospace communications. Read More...

Handheld spectrum analyzer runs all day

The Spectrum Rider FPH from Rohde & Schwarz is designed to run for eight hours on a battery charge. It's lighter weight means you could even last the day holding it. Read More...

Instrument amp boasts near-zero drift

The INA188 36-V instrumentation amplifier from Texas Instruments provides an offset voltage of 55 µV (max) and offset drift of 0.02 µV/°C (max). Read More...

VPX and PCIe board sets pair ADCs with DACs

Pentek offrers two FlexorSets in VPX and PCIe form factors that offer turnkey multichannel, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. Read More...

18-bit SAR ADC eliminates cycle latency

The LTC2387-18 is a fast 15-Msample/s, 18-bit SAR ADC from Linear Technology with no cycle latency and no pipeline delay. Read More...

Magnetics modules support 2.5G Ethernet LANs

Surface-mount XF2-5GPOLx series transformer modules from XFMRS furnish 1500-V RMS isolation for 2.5GBASE-T Ethernet applications. Read More...

Shunt-based module measures up to 375 A

Combining the Sendyne SFP102 IC with a Vishay 100-µΩ shunt in a molded package, the SFP102MOD measures current with an accuracy of ±0.25%. Read More...

Differential amp consumes less than 2 mA

Linear Technology’s LTC6363 fully differential op amp offers rail-to-rail outputs optimized to drive 16-bit, 18-bit, and 20-bit SAR ADCs. Read More...

Clock-generator chips boast low jitter

Texas Instrument’s LMK033x8 clock generators provide only 100 fs of jitter to allow designers to optimize system timing margins and BER. Read More...

LVDS-output comparator boasts fast toggle rate

With rail-to-rail input and LVDS-compatible output, the LTC6754 comparator from Linear Technology toggles at rates of up to 890 Mbps. Read More...

Inject harmonics, test for EMI and resonance

The Picotest J2150A Harmonic Comb Injector lets you characterize circuits and systems over a range of frequencies from kilohertz to gigahertz. Read More...

USB oscilloscope by and for makers

The SmartScope from LabNation runs on Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS operating systems. Read More...

Reference instrument touts timing accuracy

Housed in a 1U rack-mount package, the SyncSystem 4380A master timing reference from Microsemi achieves timing accuracy of less than 10 ns RMS. Read More...

MMIC driver amp spans 24 GHz to 35 GHz

A medium-power distributed driver amplifier, the HMC1131 from Analog Devices, provides 24 dBm of output power at a 1-dB gain compression. Read More...

Amplifier enables precise current-shunt measurement

Along with robust isolation, the Si8920 amplifier from Silicon Labs provides a high signal bandwidth of up to 750 kHz and low signal delay. Read More...

Converter IC simplifies thermocouple design

Equipped with cold-junction compensation, Microchip’s MCP9600 IC converts thermocouple electromotive force to temperature in degrees Celsius. Read More...

Knowm's memristors alive & shipping

True bidirectional memristors are now available for experimentation as well as integration onto CMOS chips, enabling machine learning and other breakthrough apps. Read More...

2GHz to 14GHz Mixer with Integrated LO Frequency Doubler and IIP3 of 24.4dBm

In a journey towards the 5G standard, the industry is forging ahead with increasing bandwidth to prepare for the inevitable increase in Internet traffic. The present spectrum in use will not be able to handle the necessary bandwidth for LTE-A into 5G. Read More...

Mixer integrates LO amplifier and doubler

A double-balanced mixer that operates as either an upconverter or downconverter, the LTC5549 from Linear Technology works from 2 GHz to 14 GHz. Read More...

LVPECL VCXO boasts ultralow noise floor

Outfitted with differential LVPECL output, the CVPD-922 VCXO from Crystek offers one of the industry’s lowest noise floors at -162 dBc/Hz. Read More...

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Teardown: Ruggedness and flexibility keep PLCs strong in industrial

A teardown of an Allen-Bradley (Rockwell Automation) Micro850 programmable logic controller, the epitome of rugged industrial control, shows that optocouplers are the go-to technology for reliable isolation, while flexibility and easy programmability using modern languages remains key to PLC’s longevity. Read More...

Teardown: The Engineer’s Mind

For this teardown episode, the recent Mind of the Engineer Study provides a view of your perception of the engineering mind: What you think of you, and what you think others think of you. There are some surprises, some affirmations, and of course some fun twists. Read More...

Teardown: Maxwell's equations

If Maxwell's Equations were a piece of hardware, most of us would be eager to see what's inside the box. But you won't find the literary equivalent of a physical teardown because the subject is basically mathematical and as such, requires a certain amount of rigor to explain and understand. If you're willing to trade mathematical rigor for readability, this article may be the refresher you've been looking for. Read More...

Teardown: The nuances of variable-frequency drives

Get an inside view of induction-motor control by varying frequency using PWM. Read More...

The Scrubbing Bubbles power sprayer

A brilliant design costs you only pennies per spritz. Read More...

The 24V, 300W, BLDC Kollmorgen motor integrated controller

A motor mixes mechanical and electrical beauty with questionable thermal design. Read More...

The Tektronix 1101 oscilloscope-probe power supply

A mechanical design is at once a masterpiece and an expensive expedient. Read More...

Bulldog Security RS82B remote-vehicle-starter system

Microprocessor-controlled relays let you start your car 100 yards away. Read More...

The 15W Fender Squier guitar amplifier

Replacing all of the potentiometers makes a scratchy old amp sound great again. Read More...

The Schauer TB10012 battery charger

A 30-year-old nonworking battery charger makes a perfect Prying Eyes candidate—and gets a new lease on life. Read More...

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MEMS gyroscope precision inertial sensing in harsh, high temperature environments

Despite recent progress in high precision data acquisition and processing, there are still unmet needs for sensors that can operate at temperatures up to 175°C, particularly in the easy to use form factor provided by MEMS. Read More...

Understanding isolator standards and certification to meet safety requirements

Isolation components protect users from dangerous voltages. Read More...

Astrobotic technology: NASA’s doorway to Mars exploration

Astrobotic is pioneering affordable planetary access that promises to spark a new era of exploration, science, tourism, resource utilization, and mining. Read More...

ChipHead theater at DesignCon 2016: NASA/Orion electronics

NASA/Orion electronics at DesignCon 2016 ChipHead Theater Read More...

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry Read More...

High frequency Helmholtz coils generate magnetic fields

High frequency Helmholtz coils are often used to generate uniform but time varying high frequency magnetic fields for a number of applications such as magnetic field susceptibility, calibration, and scientific experiment. Read More...

Taking a closer look at PCB traces

A frequently asked question during PCB layout review meetings is, “Are 50-ohm traces being used for the digital signals in this PCB layout?” Read More...

A technical view into modern MIL/AERO RADAR systems

Radar (Radio Detection And Ranging), detects distant objects such as airplanes or ships by transmitting pulses of radio waves and measuring the reflected signal back at the receiver. Read More...

Global approach to timing margins and constraint definition for SoC design, Part 1

With the latest deep sub-micron technologies, System on Chip (SoC) design is becoming more and more troublesome Read More...

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ChipHead theater at DesignCon 2016: NASA/Orion electronics

NASA/Orion electronics at DesignCon 2016 ChipHead Theater Read More...

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry Read More...

Manipulate analog filter gain to align op amps

When you try to optimize the selection of your amplifiers in active analog filters, you will see success, especially if you implement a gain into a multi-stage system. Read More...

EETimes Radio Show: “Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle Overview---Embedded Flight Software”

If you think it is an amazing feat of software engineering expertise to get an automobile to self-park or to change lanes or stop before it collides at 65 mph with an object in front of it---well, you’re right ---but how about safely guiding a vehicle up and out of Earth’s gravitational pull, through the atmosphere and into the cold, empty void of space travelling on a nine-month journey to a distant planet 225 million km away? Read More...

The logarithm and the flogarithm and don’t play Powerball

I recently found a pretty neat mathematical book where the author outlines real-life applications that show how mathematics makes them possible. Read More...

IEEE DIY Project is open to all to make this a better world

You, the engineers and makers of this world, have the opportunity to showcase the great tech projects you may be working on or plan to work on. Read More...

Near-field acoustic levitation: It’s not a magician’s illusion

Traditional bearings can be pretty good, but what about using a non-contact bearing in the hard drive mechanism, or for that matter, in any mechanical device that uses bearings? Wouldn’t that make more sense and be the ultimate bearing mechanism? Read More...

Half Life Versus Time Constant

We often hear the expression "half life". That expression is usually voiced regarding the duration of something nasty like radiation emanating from nuclear waste. It may be instructive to look at the applicable equation for half life in terms of a decaying exponential. Read More...

Which high school library is worthy of receiving a Linear Tech book give-away?

Nominate a deserving high school to receive a copy of Linear Technology’s Analog Circuit Design for its library. Read More...

Memories of Bill Kimmel

The EMI community lost one of its giants in 2015. Bill Kimmel was a favorite at the EMC Symposium and at EDN. We will miss him. Read More...

NASA medical expertise helps Earthlings

NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio has perhaps the most contributions to people here on Earth related to medical technology. Utilization of the International Space Station to conduct research and validate technology is a cornerstone of this competency. Read More...

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