Components & Packaging

EDN Staff

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.

Electronic products from hell

There are plenty of instances where reputable companies have produced awful products. Read More...

How to select a space-grade switching regulator

Selecting the most appropriate switching regulator requires the consideration of many factors. Which part is right for your project? Read More...

ICs of the 1930s & 1940s

Check out this amazing integration ca. 1940. Read More...

Capacitor self-diagnostics

Electrolytic capacitors are often a system’s weak link. This Design Idea helps you keep tabs on their condition. Read More...

LED lamp cycles on and off, why?

When an LED flood lamp started cycling, I suspected temperature. Now, how can we find what's the root cause? Read More...

RF MEMS switch passes 14 GHz signals

The ADGM1304 quad RF MEMS switch from Analog Devices could replace electromechanical RF switches, improving reliability and saving board space. Read More...

Care and feeding of capacitors

When a capacitor fails or does not hold value your circuit breaks just as much as if some fancy IC burned up, so it’s important to know your capacitors. Read More...

Advanced PCB & die-mounting technologies combined for dimension shrinks

PCB design and manufacturing company AT&S has brought together a range of technology options for miniaturization on all interconnection layers, including embedded component packaging, HDI, & bare-die packaging. Read More...

10 interesting products from IEEE EMC 2016

Arturo Mediano reports on products demonstrated at the 2016 IEEE EMC Symposium in Ottawa. Read More...

The homes of EDN

Take a tour of EDN's office locations through the years, including the home of the print collection. Read More...

Soon components will shrink to invisibility

The future of components is quantum, brain-like, and ultra-dense. Read More...

Packaging advances needed to ensure IoT growth

Integrating sensors, logic, and RF into a single chip is a difficult challenge, but combining them in a single package is practical. Read More...

Why are 19-in. racks that size?

How did we settle on 19 in. as the standard size for an instrument rack? Read More...

Vacuum tube technology resurrected

On this 60th anniversary of EDN, we look back to 1956 when the vacuum tube was at its maturity and transistors were about to begin their domination. Read More...

Rubber Band Engineer: The book that will get you in trouble

Rubber Band Engineer is the kind of how-to book that can surely get you in trouble while having fun with projectiles. Read More...

Online sources are becoming critical for electronics OEMs

UBM's 2016 Distributor Study reveals how industry leaders are using online resources to collect design information, identify suppliers, and more. Read More...

Specialty distributors deliver on promises, according to survey

UBM's Global Distributor Customer Evaluation Study, an annual ranking based on perceptions by supply chain, corporate, and design executives, provides a close look at how customers rate the performance of major electronics distributors. Read More...

EDN turns 60, help us celebrate

EDN began life as Electrical Design News on May 8, 1956. Here's what to expect over the coming months as we celebrate the publication. Read More...

Hair of the capacitor

"Homemade" & "Supercapacitor" are not two words you'd expect to find together. Read More...

Apple’s Chipgate highlights semiconductor process variances

Semiconductor process variances and other technology nuances have now become front-page news in the mainstream press. How should you handle them, should they strike your company and its products? Read More...

IC packages and thermal design

Don't be so stuck in the circuits that you forget the importance of IC packages. Read More...

Foxconn gains Sharp’s LCD technology and manufacturing capacity

Apple partner Foxconn Technology will take control of Sharp Corporation, one of Japan’s major electronics brands. Read More...

The mother of all LCR meters

Enjoy this astounding video of a ca.1960 LCR bridge in operation. Read More...

Other ways to measure L&C

Here are two more ways to measure L & C, though one involves some hunting... Read More...

Measure small LCs with a scope

Simple methods to measure inductors and capacitors. Simple methods you probably wouldn't think about. 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

Current-sense resistor handles 3 W

Vishay Dale’s WSK1216 Power Metal Strip current-sense resistor comes in a surface-mount 1216-size case with a Kelvin 4-terminal connection. Read More...

TVS device stops ESD in its tracks

The RClamp0561Z from Semtech is a sub-200 femtofarad protection device that safeguards high-speed data interfaces from ESD and EFT. Read More...

Thin-film chip resistors boast low TCR

Offered in five case sizes, Vishay’s PLTU series of precision thin-film wraparound chip resistors provides tight TCR and tolerance. Read More...

MMBX connectors work up to 12.4 GHz

Pasternack’s small form-factor MMBX-type connectors and adapters have a maximum operating frequency of 12.4 GHz and VSWR of 1.06:1. Read More...

Chassis-mount shunt handles up to 350 A

Stackpole Electronics’ HCC8420 high-current shunt resistor furnishes a power rating of 15 W for use in power modules and frequency converters. Read More...

RF MEMS switch passes 14 GHz signals

The ADGM1304 quad RF MEMS switch from Analog Devices could replace electromechanical RF switches, improving reliability and saving board space. Read More...

USB converters have unique IDs

KKSystems’ isolated USB-to-RS232 and USB-to-RS422/RS485 converters from Saelig can be used with computers that do not have a serial port. Read More...

Chip resistors withstand high surges

TT Electronics has added small 0603 size chips to the PWC and DSC series of surface-mount thick-film resistors. Read More...

Advanced PCB & die-mounting technologies combined for dimension shrinks

PCB design and manufacturing company AT&S has brought together a range of technology options for miniaturization on all interconnection layers, including embedded component packaging, HDI, & bare-die packaging. Read More...

Adapters ease JTAG testing of DIMM sockets

JTAG Technologies has launched a family of hardware adapters for testing DIMM and SODIMM sockets using universal JTAG/boundary-scan hardware. Read More...

Latching connectors secure LED fixtures

Phoenix Contact has expanded its PTSM line of miniature connectors with versions that lock together for use in LED lighting applications. Read More...

LED headlight connector mates securely

The single-row, wire-to-board MiniBridge Koshiri connector from ERNI improves mating integrity in intelligent LED headlight systems. Read More...

Diode array offers robust TVS protection

The SP4042 TVS diode array from Littelfuse absorbs lightning surges up to 120 A (2/10 µs) without degradation and withstands ±30 kV of ESD. Read More...

Instruments vary insulation test voltage

Insulation testers in Megger’s MIT400/2 series offer a user-variable range that allows any test voltage from 10 V to 1000 V in 1-V steps. Read More...

Mixed-signal glue chip incorporates I2C & state machine

Silego's GPAK 5 joins the company’s configurable mixed-signal ICs, with features such as an asynchronous state machine, zero static power, and I2C for on-the-fly reconfiguration. Read More...

Memory chips cut power in connected devices

Adesto Technologies reports that its Moneta nonvolatile serial memories consume 50 to 100 times less power during read and write operations. 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...

Automotive-grade inductors take the heat

Offering inductance values from 0.22 µH to 33 µH, Vishay Dale’s IHLP inductors withstand continuous operating temperatures of up to 180°C. Read More...

Foil resistors take the heat

Precision wraparound chip resistors in the FRSG series from VPG Foil Resistors operate in harsh environments with temperatures of up to +225°C. Read More...

In-mold electronic inks enable control integration

DuPont Microcircuit Materials is launching a suite of in-mold electronic inks designed to help streamline electronic devices by reducing the need for rigid circuit boards. Read More...

Optical cages cover today's highest signal speeds

The zQSFP+ line of optical module cages from TE Connectivity lets you upgrade optical links from 10 Gbps to 25 Gpbs, with support for 100 Gbps rates. 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...

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...

>> 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

Care and feeding of capacitors

When a capacitor fails or does not hold value your circuit breaks just as much as if some fancy IC burned up, so it’s important to know your capacitors. Read More...

Soon components will shrink to invisibility

The future of components is quantum, brain-like, and ultra-dense. Read More...

Easily measure diode capacitance and reverse recovery

Divine a mystery diode's specs in order to find a replacement. Read More...

Environmental compliance 2016: safe world, strong business

In the electronics industry, the topic of environmental compliance has taken its place in the sweet spot between legally mandated and good for business. Increasingly, OEMs are tackling topics that range from climate change to water safety and waste management. 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...

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...

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

Electronic products from hell

There are plenty of instances where reputable companies have produced awful products. Read More...

How to select a space-grade switching regulator

Selecting the most appropriate switching regulator requires the consideration of many factors. Which part is right for your project? Read More...

ICs of the 1930s & 1940s

Check out this amazing integration ca. 1940. Read More...

The cross sectional area of wire

Expressing the cross sectional area of wire with pi can get numerically awkward, so here's another way. Read More...

LED lamp cycles on and off, why?

When an LED flood lamp started cycling, I suspected temperature. Now, how can we find what's the root cause? Read More...

10 interesting products from IEEE EMC 2016

Arturo Mediano reports on products demonstrated at the 2016 IEEE EMC Symposium in Ottawa. Read More...

The homes of EDN

Take a tour of EDN's office locations through the years, including the home of the print collection. Read More...

Packaging advances needed to ensure IoT growth

Integrating sensors, logic, and RF into a single chip is a difficult challenge, but combining them in a single package is practical. Read More...

Why are 19-in. racks that size?

How did we settle on 19 in. as the standard size for an instrument rack? Read More...

Vacuum tube technology resurrected

On this 60th anniversary of EDN, we look back to 1956 when the vacuum tube was at its maturity and transistors were about to begin their domination. Read More...

Rubber Band Engineer: The book that will get you in trouble

Rubber Band Engineer is the kind of how-to book that can surely get you in trouble while having fun with projectiles. Read More...

Online sources are becoming critical for electronics OEMs

UBM's 2016 Distributor Study reveals how industry leaders are using online resources to collect design information, identify suppliers, and more. Read More...

Specialty distributors deliver on promises, according to survey

UBM's Global Distributor Customer Evaluation Study, an annual ranking based on perceptions by supply chain, corporate, and design executives, provides a close look at how customers rate the performance of major electronics distributors. Read More...

EDN turns 60, help us celebrate

EDN began life as Electrical Design News on May 8, 1956. Here's what to expect over the coming months as we celebrate the publication. Read More...

Hair of the capacitor

"Homemade" & "Supercapacitor" are not two words you'd expect to find together. Read More...

Apple’s Chipgate highlights semiconductor process variances

Semiconductor process variances and other technology nuances have now become front-page news in the mainstream press. How should you handle them, should they strike your company and its products? Read More...

IC packages and thermal design

Don't be so stuck in the circuits that you forget the importance of IC packages. Read More...

Foxconn gains Sharp’s LCD technology and manufacturing capacity

Apple partner Foxconn Technology will take control of Sharp Corporation, one of Japan’s major electronics brands. Read More...

The mother of all LCR meters

Enjoy this astounding video of a ca.1960 LCR bridge in operation. Read More...

Other ways to measure L&C

Here are two more ways to measure L & C, though one involves some hunting... Read More...

Measure small LCs with a scope

Simple methods to measure inductors and capacitors. Simple methods you probably wouldn't think about. Read More...

SSDs for a PC: A cost-effective performance necessity

Choosing a SSD instead of a HDD optimizes the snappiness of a new PC. Read More...

DesignCon 2016: 4 unexpected things

DesignCon 2016 was full of the usual high-speed signals, but these were things you wouldn’t expect to see there. Read More...

Is copper dead?

For years, engineers at DesignCon have asked this question. Eric Bogatin and other will discuss the future of copper at a DesignCon 2016 panel session. Read More...

$9 single-board computer is set to make its debut

Tiny California start-up Next Thing Co. is preparing to deliver a fully functioning computer for less than the cost of a movie ticket — if you don’t count the shipping fee. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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