Isolate Me!

- October 04, 2012

Isolation is an integral part of many modern applications from medical to instrumentation to industrial.  Most applications require the designer to integrate isolation in the design while improving performance, saving board space, increasing reliability levels, reducing power consumption and, of course, cutting cost.  This blog will give some suggestions toward achieving all of this and more.


Creating power good for isolated USB applications

  • 07.31.2013

Many if not most modern microprocessors have built in USB controller ports. While the port has many features that are dictated by the USB standard, there is still a lot of latitude in the implementation. Read More...

Using digital isolators as level shifters in non-isolated applications

  • 07.08.2013

Digital isolators are widely used to transfer digital signals across an isolation barrier. In some situations, digital isolators are also useful in non-isolated applications. Read More...

Digital isolators helping to relieve the transformer blues

  • 05.14.2013

Every time a communications bus or control lines need to be isolated, the power line gets cut at the isolation barrier. So inevitably a designer winds up dealing with isolated power supplies. Fortunately there are a lot of options to get power across an isolation barrier. Read More...


Creating an isolated power supply creates many challenges

  • 04.24.2013

How to power the electronics on the isolated sided of the design. Unless a battery or some form of renewable energy is available, you’ll need to create an isolated power supply.Read More...


Building a solid state relay? Does the solution include optocouplers or digital isolators?

  • 03.11.2013

Off-the-shelf Solid State Relays (SSR) are reliable and compact, but it’s hard to find one that can conduct more than a few hundred milliamps of current. If you need an isolated SSR to switch line voltages, for example, you may just have to build one yourself out of power FETs. Read More...


Did you hear about the changes to IEC61010-1?

  • 02.20.2013

International standard IEC 61010-1 specifies safety requirements for a variety of electrical systems, including test and measurement, industrial process-control and laboratory equipment. Read More...


Optimizing power conversion for isolated sensor interfaces

  • 01.30.2013

Currently analog PLC modules can have 4, 8 or even 16 independent isolated channels. Multiple copies of a modest dc-dc converter take up a lot of space and create a lot of heat. Read More...


Breaking ground loops to protect USB data transmission

  • 01.17.2013

One of the benefits of USB is the ability to power a remote device through the USB port. However, the ground wire within the USB cable can create a ground loop path in some industrial applications where equipment is often powered from different building ground references.Read More...


Cascading insulation barriers to satisfy high creepage requirements

  • 12.09.2012

With the advent of high performance digital isolators, creating high voltage isolation barriers by layering isolators is now a viable solution. Read More...

Differential vs. single-ended data transfer: What’s the difference?

  • 11.27.2012

The primary function of an isolator is to pass some form of information across an electrical barrier while preventing current flow. Isolators are constructed from an insulating material that blocks the current flow, with a coupling element on both sides of the barrier.Read More...


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