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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.

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...

Weird components

What weird components are in *your* junk box? Read More...

Failure modes of wearable electronics

This article will provide insight into the environments and issues that can specifically impact wearable electronics and provide guidance on methodologies for assuring reliability. Read More...

Use a temperature detection bridge for fan control

This article illustrates the importance of temperature detection in circuit cooling, and the effectiveness of NTC thermistors in fan control for consumer end products. Read More...

Goodies from PCB West 2014

If you didn't make it to PCB West 2014 (or even if you did), here are some highlights. Read More...

Accurate compact thermal models of three-die power packages

Thermal management of electronic systems is becoming more important in a wide variety of electronic applications — including computers, telecommunications equipment and semiconductor devices, as well as aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics. Read More...

Elastomeric camouflage changes color and texture on demand

MIT researchers have found a way to design a flexible material that can change both its colour or fluorescence and its texture at the same time, on demand. Read More...

Get the fix on common EMC problems

A presentation by EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt shows engineers why problems occur and how to reduce them. See photos and video from the presentation and download the slides. Read More...

Using IGBT thermal calculations to optimize power designs

How to measure the power dissipation in the two components and calculate both the average and peak junction temperatures using the thetas for the IGBT and diode. Read More...

Don't damage thin devices when testing

ICs are easy to damage when performing reliability qualification tests. Read More...

Do we need Radio Shack anymore?

The chain of electronics stores is on the verge of bankruptcy. Will you miss it? Read More...

Design shifts from PCB- to product-centric

Modern, complex designs benefit from a system design approach, as opposed to treating the PCBs in isolation. Read More...

Profiles in Design: Brad Brim

Cadence's Brad Brim reflects on DesignCon and his 25 years in high-frequency and high-speed design Read More...

Boston-Area EMC Seminar on Sept. 16

EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt will give a practical EMC seminar at Bose Corp. in Framingham, Mass., on September 16, 2014. Read More...

Measure low current and high resistance

Two new instruments from Keysight Technologies help with researching new materials through low current and high-resistance measurements. Read More...

Protecting against reverse polarity: Methods examined, Part 2

We now continue with four more Reverse Polarity Protection methods in this Part 2. Read More...

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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...

>> SEE ALL

Chip power inductors suit power circuits of portables

ALPS Green Devices has developed the "GLCLK Series" and "GLCLM Series" Liqualloy Power Inductors, suitable for power supply circuits of displays for smartphones and other compact mobile devices, such as tablets and digital cameras. Read More...

Mouser releases free version of NI MultiSIM simulator, PCB tool

Available via free download on Mouser.com, MultiSIM BLUE enables engineers to design and simulate circuits before laying them out in physical prototypes. Read More...

Smart MEMS mic hears better in loud environments

STMicroelectronics' MP23AB02B MEMS microphone maintains ultra-low distortion at less than 10% up to very high external sound-pressure levels. Read More...

3D printed optics for outdoor and indoor LED lighting designs

LUXeXceL's high-resolution 3D printing process avoids the optical flaws created by the individual layers filament-based machines produce. Instead, they use something similar to an ink jet printer which deposits micro drops of a photopolymer onto a substrate material and hardens them with UV light. Read More...

Compact, efficient DC power relay switches 400-V 15-A loads

To address the growing market for high voltage DC battery powered systems and renewable energy applications, Omron has added an efficient DC power relay suitable for bicycle and scooter charging stations, UPSs, battery management systems, elevators, industrial robots, and solar/wind generation systems. Read More...

Measure low current and high resistance

Two new instruments from Keysight Technologies help with researching new materials through low current and high-resistance measurements. Read More...

Chip resistors, diodes are industry's smallest

With its RASMID Series Rohm claims to have the smallest electronic components in the industry; the ultra-compact lines have superior dimensional accuracy, for high density, high-performance mobile and wearable products. Read More...

MLCCs feature reduced acoustic noise in 0402 package

A range of MLCCs from Murata have an extra interposer substrate that reduces acoustic "squealing" noise. Read More...

Path Finder mates PCB, IC package, & system design

The Xpedition Path Finder suite provides a single environment that gives cross-domain design teams the ability to model every device/interface. Read More...

Ultracap boasts 3400 farads, boosts transportation reliability

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. has added to the company's K2 series of ultracapacitor cells with a 2.85-volt, 3400-farad ultracapacitor cell that increases the range of available specific power and stored energy in the industry-standard 60 mm cylindrical 'K2' form factor. Read More...

10-Gbps multi-I/O connector fits wearable devices

TE Connectivity has engineered a high-speed multi-I/O connector to transfer USB 3.1 signals in a Micro USB 2.0 form factor to meet the demand for mobile devices to have increased functionality, higher speed, and larger screens. Read More...

SMD jumper switches are process-sealed

Surface-mount jumper DIP switches in the TDD series from C&K Components are sealed with a removable top tape to allow reflow soldering and washable assembly processing, while a bifurcated contact design increases electrical reliability. Read More...

Audio step attenuator with 47 positions offers precise volume control

Offered as the first in a series of new PCB-based audio switches, the A47 stepped attenuator from Elma Electronic provides 47 positions with selectable end-stops from one to six channels. Read More...

SiTime enters wearables, IoT markets with 32 kHz MEMS TCXO

32 kHz TCXO (temperature compensated oscillator) which they claim to be the smallest, lowest power device in the industry. With its tiny footprint and ultra-low power consumption Read More...

Molded enclosure houses Raspberry Pi Model B

Hammond Electronics has developed a new moulded enclosure specifically designed to house the Raspberry Pi Model B credit card sized computer. Read More...

High-voltage/high-current connector meets commercial EV challenges

Capable of handling up to 1000 V and 250 A per contact, the connectors withstand even the most extreme shock and vibration conditions found in today’s commercial vehicles. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

>> SEE ALL

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...

Avionics lightning protection design GUI

To select the appropriate components for a lightning protection circuit, the transient experienced during the lightning test must be transformed into the transients used to rate the components, as shown in their datasheets. This paper introduces a free tool that performs these transformations. Read More...

ESD target levels: Impacting ESD from components to systems

The Industry Council on ESD Target Levels can help the industry progress by addressing the semiconductor electronics technology roadmap in parallel with the necessary but realistic ESD roadmap. Read More...

Resistor datasheets: Reading between the lines

Many component datasheets should come with a warning label to the effect that terms such as "tolerance" and "TCR" are being used loosely. Read More...

Connect passive components to logic gates

By adding a few passive components to logic gates, you can make circuits such as level converters, frequency multipliers, phase detectors, line drivers, and pulse changers. Read More...

Resistors aren't resistors

At high frequencies, inductance and capacitance add reactance to what you think of as purely resistive components. Read More...

Bad crimp, bad news

Crimp those connectors properly, using the right equipment, or risk failures - or worse. Read More...

When wires become components

There are some electronic products that just have to be made by hand. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

DesignCon prophecy from 1995

As we prepare to celebrate DesignCon’s 20th anniversary, Istvan Novak looks back at Design SuperCon 1995. Read More...

DesignCon Awards nominations open

DesignCon’s Best in Design & Test Awards and the DesignCon Engineer of the Year Award recognize the best of the best in engineering and new product advancements at the chip, board, or system level, with a special emphasis on signal integrity and power integrity. Read More...

Weird components

What weird components are in *your* junk box? Read More...

Goodies from PCB West 2014

If you didn't make it to PCB West 2014 (or even if you did), here are some highlights. Read More...

Elastomeric camouflage changes color and texture on demand

MIT researchers have found a way to design a flexible material that can change both its colour or fluorescence and its texture at the same time, on demand. Read More...

Get the fix on common EMC problems

A presentation by EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt shows engineers why problems occur and how to reduce them. See photos and video from the presentation and download the slides. Read More...

Do we need Radio Shack anymore?

The chain of electronics stores is on the verge of bankruptcy. Will you miss it? Read More...

Ant-sized radios for IoT are EM powered

Tiny battery-less radios-on-a-chip that cost pennies to make are designed to serve as controllers or sensors for the 'Internet of Things.' Read More...

DesignCon abstract reviews complete

An update on the technical program progress for DesignCon 2015. Read More...

ESD wrist-strap insulation decomposes

Several ESD wrist straps suddenly have exposed wires as the insulation fails and gets sticky. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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