Components & Packaging

Rich Pell
Editor
A resource and community for engineers involved in the design, selection and application of electronic components and hardware, including resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, diodes connectors, switches, relays, cabling, IC and system packaging, enclosures, circuit protection devices and thermal management. The Center includes in-depth technical design articles, blogs, regulatory and industry updates, technical papers, webinars, product updates and reviews, design ideas, forums, commentary and Q&A.

Was Tesla for real, or not?

A new book about Nikola Tesla attempts to cast doubt that the mythical engineer's inventions weren't all that original. Instead, history is written by those who patent inventions. 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...

How to build a potentiometer with familiar outputs – and unfamiliar qualities

The classic potentiometer (pot) has been used successfully in electronics system designs for decades: its strengths and weaknesses are very well understood. But what if the pot were able to be re-invented? Which characteristics would the design engineer choose to change? Read More...

Find IGBT degradation through power cycling

A power-cycling experiment, accelerated through temperature cycling, reveals how an IGBT's die-attach materials can break down. Read More...

Semiconductor chip components made from wood aim to reduce e-waste

With an eye toward reducing waste from the constantly increasing production of electronic devices, researchers have developed computer chip components comprising mostly cellulose nanofibril, a flexible, biodegradable material produced from the hard substance that makes up the stems and branches of trees and shrubs. Read More...

Getting the heat out of PCBs demands intelligent simulation

Thermal simulation is necessary for many designs, and tools take different approaches to the solution. Read More...

Toshiba launches 256-Gbit 48-layer 3-D NAND flash

Ready for sampling in September, Toshiba’s 48-layer BiCS flash memory stores 256 Gbits using a 3-D vertically stacked cell structure. Read More...

Design & simulate in the clouds

A look at some Web-based schematic, PCB layout, and simulation sites. Read More...

Bounce go the contacts

Switches and relays bounce, but how high? Read More...

Serial vs. Parallel interface SRAMs—A Comparison

In high-performance applications where SRAMs are used, a parallel interface has considerable advantages over serial interface options. However, the status quo is about to change. Read More...

MEMS & self-assembled monolayers: Protecting and functionalizing next-gen devices

Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) molecular coatings have become an exciting route for surface modification in active electronic devices. Read More...

IEEE Working Group to cover high-speed PCB measurements

IEEE Working Group P370 is investigating ways to standardize S-Parameter measurements for signal integrity using VNAs. Read More...

Single-MOSFET circuits gate & modulate

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

Pasternack adds VNA calibration kits

Pasternack has added three kits to its line of calibration kits used with vector network analyzers. Frequencies include 3 GHz, 8.5 GHz, and 26.5 GHz. Read More...

Site enables detailed component comparisons

A new site is dedicated to conducting detailed comparisons of electronic components to assist engineers with the selection process. They’ve kicked things off by tackling 60 MEMS & other miniature microphones. Read More...

Celebrate Pluto and Apollo

The anniversary of the first moon landing and the Pluto flyby provides the perfect opportunity to highlight EDN's space coverage over the years. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Single-MOSFET circuits gate & modulate

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

Avago Tech Note: Smart gate-drive optocoupler with integrated flyback controller

A smart gate-drive optocoupler for FETs & IGBTs is ideal for distributed power supplies, power inverters, motor drives, and more. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Optocouplers in intrinsic safety applications

Intrinsic safety applications defined in IEC 60079-11 require careful selection of isolation components. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: 5MBd Digital optocouplers targeting low power/low supply voltage applications

Digital optocouplers provide high voltage insulation and noise rejection for data transmission, with very low power usage. Read More...

Design Notes: Matched Resistor Networks for Precision Amplifier Applications

The actual performance of precision amplifiers and ADCs is often difficult to achieve since data sheet specifications assume ideal components. Carefully matched resistor networks can enable precision matching orders of magnitude better than discrete components, ensuring data sheet specifications are met for precision ICs. Read More...

Circuit's RMS output is linearly proportional to temperature over wide range

In this design idea the concept of the p-n diode driven at constant current is extrapolated, potentially eliminating voltage references and op amps. The result is a unique implementation of a simple but highly accurate temperature proportional circuit. Read More...

Photo meter assesses ambient light

When most PN-junction diodes are reverse biased, they will produce a small photovoltaic output as the light level is increased. Read More...

Quasistatic Spice model targets ceramic capacitors with Y5V dielectric

Run more accurate Spice simulations by accounting for the capacitance variation versus applied voltage. Read More...

Complementary-pair dc/dc converter simultaneously doubles, inverts supply voltage

Change a single positive supply into twice its positive and equal negative voltages. Read More...

Obtain a gain of 450 from one vacuum tube

Combine sand (silicon) with vacuum tube technology to get the best of both. Read More...

Simple solenoid driver is adaptable and efficient

Use capacitive reactance to save energy while holding a solenoid in the energized position. Read More...

Read 10 or more switches using only two I/O pins of a microcontroller

Use a decoded counter to easily read one or multiple switch closures. Read More...

Rotary encoder with absolute readout offers high resolution and low cost

This Design Idea attempts to combine the advantages of the potentiometer with the endless operation of the mechanical-optical rotary encoder. Read More...

Technique maximizes converter efficiency

Run a switching voltage regulator from its own low-voltage output after it starts up. Read More...

Charge a nickel-cadmium cell reliably and inexpensively

A nickel-cadmium cell charger uses two ICs to achieve long charge times and accurate charge current. Read More...

1-IC design monitors ajar doors

This design senses an ajar door and, if the situation isn’t corrected within 20 sec, sounds a beeping alarm. Read More...

Automatic night-light feeds directly from the ac line

Switch an ac load on and off with just four components. Read More...

Use a transistor as a heater

A temperature sensor and a hot transistor hold biological samples at a preset temperature. Read More...

Use a transistor and an ammeter to measure inductance

Bipolar junction transistors transfer a current from a lower-resistance emitter to a higher-resistance collector. You can use this property to measure inductance. Read More...

Simple diode serves as a sensor for a thermal probe

A two-transistor thermal probe can be used to diagnose circuit problems, such as hot components and thermal runaway. Read More...

Build an op amp with three discrete transistors

This simple ac-coupled design inverts, runs off a single supply, and is self-biasing. Read More...

Power resistor varies in value

Under controlled conditions, a MOSFET can function as a variable power resistor. Read More...

Use resistor noise to characterize a low-noise amplifier

Measure gain or noise with an AC voltmeter. Read More...

MOSFET provides high power at low loss

Use a MOSFET as a rectifier and reduce voltage drop and thus power consumption. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

Toshiba launches 256-Gbit 48-layer 3-D NAND flash

Ready for sampling in September, Toshiba’s 48-layer BiCS flash memory stores 256 Gbits using a 3-D vertically stacked cell structure. Read More...

Pasternack adds VNA calibration kits

Pasternack has added three kits to its line of calibration kits used with vector network analyzers. Frequencies include 3 GHz, 8.5 GHz, and 26.5 GHz. Read More...

Fast active optics minimize power consumption

TE Connectivity’s 100G, 300G, and 400G AOC (active optic cable) assemblies with 25G Coolbit optical engines slash power to keep things cool. Read More...

Nonvolatile memory resists gamma radiation

Using only one contact to simplify implementations in small, disposable medical sensors, the DS28E80 1-Wire EEPROM from Maxim Integrated Products resists gamma radiation of up to 75 kGy (kiloGray), allowing OEMs to calibrate a consumable medical sensor and to monitor or control unsanitary reuse of medical disposables. Read More...

Online portal speeds ASIC quotation process

To facilitate and improve the turnaround time for ASIC quotations, Open-Silicon has created a web portal for customers to submit their system requirements. Read More...

Controllers monitor critical thermoelectric equipment

Bidirectional programmable temperature controllers in the SR-54 series from Laird can be incorporated into a thermoelectric assembly (TEA) to add integrated temperature control with built-in monitoring and control intelligence. Read More...

LED light guides deliver affordable OLED-like performance

Sleek, stylish and seductively luminous, OLED panels' silky, eerily-even glow has made them a favorite for fashion-forward lighting designers, even though they cost more, were shorter lived, and more easily damaged. This may change however, as Global Lighting Technologies' (GLT) introduces a growing number of products based on its edge-lit LED-based light guide technology. Read More...

LEDs battle ebola and climate change while boosting the economy

This week's Semi-Coherent Emissions top story: The LED lighting industry's performance provides compelling evidence that strong economic growth and high environmental quality aren't mutually-exclusive. Read More...

Zener-enhanced Dark Emitting Diodes (ZeDEDs) deliver 10X more Dark per Watt

YoYo Dyne Systems' new family of Zener-enhanced dark-emitting diodes (ZeDEDs) features a novel junction structure and an integrated light sink to achieve a 10X boost in performance over equivalent-sized conventional darkness emitters. Read More...

Select circuit-protection devices with free online tool

The ESD Suppression Selection Tool from Littelfuse lets circuit designers do a “dry run” on a device’s ESD performance without building a test board. Read More...

Xpedition Package Integrator spans IC chip to package to PCB

Mentor's new Package Integrator allows co-design of chips, single- & multi-chip packaging, and PCB layout. Read More...

Zipper fins improve heat-sink performance

Lightweight zipper-fin heat sinks from Advanced Thermal Solutions offer fin profiles with high aspect ratios, enabling taller, thinner, and more tightly packed fins for greater cooling performance. Read More...

GaN transistor boosts efficiency, power density

Transphorm is offering engineering samples of the TPH3205WS, a 600-V GaN transistor in a small 3-pin TO-247 package that delivers high-efficiency operation in 80 Plus Titanium-class power-supply and inverter applications up to 3 kW. Read More...

Fine-pitch connectors fit smart phones, IoT devices

TE Connectivity has expanded its line of board-to-board connectors with three devices, including a 0.4-mm fine-pitch EMI-shielded board-to-FPC (flexible printed circuit) connector, a 0.4-mm pitch board-to-board connector, and a 0.35-mm pitch board-to-board connector with a locking peg design. Read More...

PCB design tool links Altium & SolidWorks

PCBWorks is a PCB design tool created by Altium to enhance workflow collaboration between electrical and mechanical designers. Read More...

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Teardown: Lightning strike explodes a switch's IC

In this case, there is no doubt as to the reason for a GbE switch's demise after a quick teardown. Read More...

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Serial vs. Parallel interface SRAMs—A Comparison

In high-performance applications where SRAMs are used, a parallel interface has considerable advantages over serial interface options. However, the status quo is about to change. Read More...

Site enables detailed component comparisons

A new site is dedicated to conducting detailed comparisons of electronic components to assist engineers with the selection process. They’ve kicked things off by tackling 60 MEMS & other miniature microphones. Read More...

Tantalum capacitor benefits and recent advances: Product how-to

Improvements in dielectrics and packaging help tantalum capacitors keep up with the times. Read More...

Going deep: Capacitors take the heat of extreme down-hole drilling

Electronic control systems in deep oil wells are subject to punishing demands. Advanced dielectrics with high-performance solders and surface finishes are making a difference within these harsh conditions. Read More...

Selecting surface-mount multilayer ceramic capacitors for high-frequency applications

Many factors are important when choosing a capacitor for high-frequency applications. See which elements are key and which factors that provide a distinct advantage. Read More...

Cable material design criteria for the medical industry

This paper examines the particular design and fabrication challenges of medical cables, including the design parameters, material choices and manufacturing requirements that medical device manufacturers need to know to ensure that medical device interconnection is precise, reliable and durable – and protect them from liability. Read More...

Designing a high-efficiency planar transformer for 250-W+ converter topologies

Planar transformers are being redesigned to fit higher-power (greater than 250-W) applications. Two advances have been developed and are discussed here. Read More...

The Circuit Designer's Companion: RF cables, twisted pair and crosstalk

Part 5 of an excerpt from the book "The Circuit Designer's Companion, 3rd Ed." looks at coaxial cables, twisted pairs, and the issue of crosstalk and how to combat it. Read More...

The Circuit Designer's Companion: The safety earth and wiring/cables

Part 4 of an excerpt from the book "The Circuit Designer's Companion, 3rd Ed." examines the safety earth and begins a look at the major types of wiring and cables. Read More...

The Circuit Designer's Companion: Inter-board interfacing, star grounding & shielding

Part 3 of an excerpt from the book "The Circuit Designer's Companion, 3rd Ed." covers inter-board interface signals, star grounding, and shielding. Read More...

The Circuit Designer's Companion: Power supply returns & I/O signal grounding

Part 2 of an excerpt from the book "The Circuit Designer's Companion, 3rd Ed." considers power supply returns and input/output signal grounding. Read More...

Piling functionality and its impact on packaging manufacturing and reliability

Packaging engineers must understand the dynamics of development, qualification, and HVM of FCBGA packages to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of industrial and automotive applications. Depending on the approach, the drive for higher performance can lead packaging engineers to either great rewards or great pains. Read More...

The Circuit Designer's Companion: Grounding and wiring

Part 1 of an excerpt from the book "The Circuit Designer's Companion, 3rd Ed." begins a look at grounding: when to consider it, how chassis materials affect it, and the problem of ground loops. Read More...

LVPECL terminations - A circuit approach

Looking at LVPECL terminations from a circuit perspective shows how the important factors, output transistor currents and minimizing component count and power, account for the LVPECL termination topologies and component values of common terminations. Read More...

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When Worlds Collide: Heat Sink Design, 3D Printing & Dolly The Sheep

One of the great things about writing regular blogs for EDN is the chance to research and write about a wide range of subjects - whatever happens to catch my attention, so long as it's topical and broadly related to electrical engineering. Read More...

Was Tesla for real, or not?

A new book about Nikola Tesla attempts to cast doubt that the mythical engineer's inventions weren't all that original. Instead, history is written by those who patent inventions. Read More...

Semiconductor chip components made from wood aim to reduce e-waste

With an eye toward reducing waste from the constantly increasing production of electronic devices, researchers have developed computer chip components comprising mostly cellulose nanofibril, a flexible, biodegradable material produced from the hard substance that makes up the stems and branches of trees and shrubs. Read More...

Honey, I retrofitted the car's interior lights with LEDs

Cheap LEDs from China Inc. do a decent job updating interior car lighting. Read More...

Design & simulate in the clouds

A look at some Web-based schematic, PCB layout, and simulation sites. Read More...

Bounce go the contacts

Switches and relays bounce, but how high? Read More...

IEEE Working Group to cover high-speed PCB measurements

IEEE Working Group P370 is investigating ways to standardize S-Parameter measurements for signal integrity using VNAs. Read More...

Celebrate Pluto and Apollo

The anniversary of the first moon landing and the Pluto flyby provides the perfect opportunity to highlight EDN's space coverage over the years. Read More...

Merger-mania: Has test and measurement gone MAD?

Larry Desjardin gives the background behind four recent mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures in the test industry, and predicts there are more to come. Read More...

OLEDs & on-shoring, LED streetlights: marvel or menace? LED-lit artificial skies

America's only OLED lighting fab adds 100 jobs, TI's DLP dev kit makes it easier than ever to develop LED-powered screenless TVs, interactive displays, and wearables, and Coelux's digital sky products top of the list of must-have accessories for any Billionaire's dream house (or their worst-case scenario underground bunker). All this and more rumor, innuendo and Lumen Lust in this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions. Read More...

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