Design Con 2015

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.

Vote for the Best Products of 2014

At DesignCon 2015, the Best in Design & Test Awards will be awarded in the ChipHead Theater at 5PM on Wednesday January 28th, 2015 in the Santa Clara Convention Center at DesignCon 2015, please cast your vote now! Read More...

See the details with an HD thermal imager

Fluke's TiX1000 series of high-definition thermal imaging cameras let you see temperature on circuit components, wires, even whole cities. Read More...

Vote for the Engineer of the Year

DesignCon2015 has announced the finalists for the Engineer of the Year Award (sponsored by National Instruments). The award includes a $10,000 grant that will be given out at DesignCon. Read More...

Software speeds simulation of electromagnetic properties

3-D EM Simulation Platform provides significant FEM Simulation Speed Increase. 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...

The benefits of the coupled inductor technology

Coupled inductors are often used in multiphase topologies to take advantage of the current-ripple cancellation from magnetic coupling between the phases. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: Components & Sensors

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 features components - including passive and active discretes, as well as electromechanical devices - and sensor products. Read More...

Littlefuse announces circuit-protection at Electronica

The company is also announcing LED circuit protection, reed-sensing devices, and thyristors. Read More...

Using a differential probe to troubleshoot EMI

One other tool you may want to consider when troubleshooting and EMI issue is a high frequency differential probe. We’ll use the Rohde & Schwarz RT-ZD10 1 GHz bandwidth probe, but similar probes from other manufacturers should work equally well. 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...

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...

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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

See the details with an HD thermal imager

Fluke's TiX1000 series of high-definition thermal imaging cameras let you see temperature on circuit components, wires, even whole cities. Read More...

Tact switch combines resilience, excellent operating feel

In response to the strict robustness and resilience requirements in the automotive industry, component manufacturer, ALPS Electric has developed and commenced mass production of the SKTH Series TACT Switch. Read More...

Software speeds simulation of electromagnetic properties

3-D EM Simulation Platform provides significant FEM Simulation Speed Increase. Read More...

Mentor meets Digi-Key, low-cost CAD results

Designer, DX Designer's little brother, is out of beta and available to purchase. Read More...

Thermal gels extend heat conductivity range

Parker Chomerics has uprated its thermal management solutions with the release of its THERM-A-GAP gel with conductivity extensions to 6 W/m-k. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: Components & Sensors

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 features components - including passive and active discretes, as well as electromechanical devices - and sensor products. Read More...

Littlefuse announces circuit-protection at Electronica

The company is also announcing LED circuit protection, reed-sensing devices, and thyristors. Read More...

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...

>> 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

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...

>> SEE ALL

Vote for the Engineer of the Year

DesignCon2015 has announced the finalists for the Engineer of the Year Award (sponsored by National Instruments). The award includes a $10,000 grant that will be given out at DesignCon. Read More...

Obscure AC line connectors challenge designers, consumers

Basic plugs and connectors are standardized, but there are many specialized ones you'll run into that are a problem when they need to be replaced. Read More...

Turkish delights and harsh environments

A Turkish bath experience prompts thoughts on the harsh environment of space and how it can can wreak havoc on unprotected microelectronics, ultimately leading to component failure. Cosmic rays speeding through space can strike ICs at sensitive locations, causing immediate upsets known as SEEs. Read More...

My long-running affection for heat sinks

As a bulk-metal component, the heat sink is the opposite of the million-gate, submicron-process IC or a power-handling discrete device; despite this obvious difference, it is often critical to the viability and long life of those more glamorous active components. Read More...

Using a differential probe to troubleshoot EMI

One other tool you may want to consider when troubleshooting and EMI issue is a high frequency differential probe. We’ll use the Rohde & Schwarz RT-ZD10 1 GHz bandwidth probe, but similar probes from other manufacturers should work equally well. Read More...

Testing times for design engineers

Characterising subsystems containing high-power devices switching at megahertz/gigahertz frequencies with very fast edges is stretching the capabilities of measurement equipment, and we all have to become test engineers to understand what's inside the box, the sources of errors, and how to use DSOs, VNAs, TDRs and spectrum analysers properly. Read More...

Well marked yet mysterious coin cell teaches a small lesson

Sometimes what you think will be an easy problem to solve, especially with the power of Internet search, turns out to lead to a dead end; the constant lesson and reminder is "don't assume anything." Read More...

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...

>> SEE ALL

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