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.

How to build a nation

China's recently concluded 19th congress and Japan's seeming struggle with its semiconductor industry lead AspenCore to ask: just what does it take to build a technologically powerful nation? Read More...

QSFP-DD pluggable modules boost data density

An array of high-speed, high-density solutions revolving around various small form-factor pluggable modules gained considerable traction in datacenter switch and networking devices. Thermal management strategies are critical as the industry is readying for the launch of next-generation copper and optical QSFP-DD transceivers. Read More...

Magnetising the next generation of high-throughput satellites

Satellite manufacturers are designing and making proprietary isolated DC-DCs and switching point-of-loads. Power transformers and inductors are fundamental to the design of these regulators respectively. Read More...

Connectors: Not just schematic symbols

At a presentation for the Central New England IEEE EMC Society chapter, Colin Brench showed how at high-speed connectors can result in EMI emissions, affect signal integrity, and create thermal problems. Read More...

An overlay transistor cautionary tale

It's almost half a century since my overlay adventures, but eternal vigilance is mandatory. Read More...

Storage charge: an enemy and a friend

The effect of storage charge is that when a diode is carrying a current in its forward conduction mode, getting that current to stop flowing is a process that doesn't just happen right away. Read More...

SFP optical modules: Legacy compatibility vs. improved performance

Two options have emerged to get datacenter electrical and optical signals to support higher speeds. The choice of microQSFP or SFP-DD connectors comes down to thermal issues and legacy cable support. Read More...

Reading the signs: 5G is coming

A surge of recent developments in the 5G space suggest that real work on actual 5G products is beginning in earnest. That includes real jobs in the 5G space. Read More...

Designing LEDs for hazardous environments

Discussing LED lighting design for hazardous and electrically challenging environments. Read More...

Make vs buy: voltage regulators for space

With so much emphasis on low cost, many spacecraft manufacturers are making their own voltage regulators using space-grade or COTS-based discrete components. Read More...

Automotive SMT fuses don't explode

AEM's new fuses are optimized for EVs, but useful anywhere extra safety is desired. Read More...

RF devices: Reliability is critical

Package designs are important in device reliability, something circuit designers may not think about. Read More...

Sziklai transistors: What’s that?

There are many ways to connect two transistors, not all useful. Here’s one useful way you may never have encountered before. Read More...

Beware the TO-220

“When is a TO-220 not a TO-220?” is your Zen exercise today. Take care this package variation doesn’t bite you. Read More...

High performance resistors for custom power supplies

This article will look at the use of resistors in regulating the power supply output and protecting the supply from faults. Read More...

Whose bit is it anyway?

An engineer fresh out of school learns not to believe everything he’s told while designing a character display. Read More...

Keeping old equipment alive

When an old HP 204D audio oscillator isn’t working, a new component source comes to the rescue for a same-day fix. Read More...

Optimizing flash memory selection for automotive & other uses

A look at NOR Flash options, focusing on speed. Read More...

Old wine in new glass ID system

Keeping track of your glass, or, finding new uses for old components. Read More...

Whipping a cheap LED PSU into usable shape

You get what you pay for, and sometimes not even that, but even a cheap Chinese PSU can be improved with some judicious tinkering. Read More...

Simple trick lets you see your parts

Here’s a funny little trick that will make almost-invisible part numbers printed on component packages visible. Read More...

Too many clip leads? Make your own organizer

Sometimes, all you need is a little engineering and some household materials to solve a problem. Best of all, no software needed. Read More...

Fake ICs: Another weapon in their detection

A technology developed by engineers at BAE Systems promises to reduce the time and cost of identifying fake ICs before they reach their intended product assembly. Read More...

Designing fast, isolated microamp current sources: Part 1

Need to test photodiode receivers or provide isolated megahertz current signals? Here’s an in-depth design guide. Read More...

Foil shunt resistors contain integrated RTD

The RTD temperature sensor lets you monitor the device's temperature for thermal management in power circuits. Read More...

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Transcendental resistors simplify precision design

The right resistor value can make the difference between a successful, elegant design, and an abject failure. Read More...

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...

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EM switches perform 10 million operations

Electromechanical switches in Pasternack’s PE71S63xx series exhibit low insertion loss repeatability of 0.03 dB to 0.05 dB. Read More...

Automotive SMT fuses don't explode

AEM's new fuses are optimized for EVs, but useful anywhere extra safety is desired. Read More...

Automotive adhesive secures high-rel electronics

UA-3307-B reworkable edgebond adhesive from Zymet enhances board-level reliability in automotive and other harsh-environment applications. Read More...

SOIC test socket takes the heat

Used for burn-in and testing, Ironwood Electronics’ CBT-SO-4006 stamped spring-pin socket spans a temperature range of −55°C to +180°C. Read More...

High-voltage relays target electric vehicles

Fujitsu’s FTR-E1 series of DC switching relays offers 13% higher voltage switching at 77% less power consumption than similar relays. Read More...

2.4 GHz antenna adheres to metal

About the size of a quarter, Laird’s mFlexPIFA flexible adhesive-backed antenna mounts directly on metal surfaces without detuning. Read More...

Foil shunt resistors contain integrated RTD

The RTD temperature sensor lets you monitor the device's temperature for thermal management in power circuits. Read More...

RF attenuator offers 0 to 6 dB range

BroadWave’s Model 651-030-006 is a single-step, voltage-controlled programmable attenuator with a frequency range of DC to 1 GHz. Read More...

3U rack case allows all-around access

Verotec’s heavy-duty EMC RackCase Pro is a 3U, 19-in. rack-mount case that comes in standard depths of 240 mm, 350 mm, and 460 mm. Read More...

Smart sensors track fitness activity

STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DS12 3-axis accelerometer, LSM6DSL/M 6-axis inertial module, and new LSM303AH eCompass optimize always-on tracking. Read More...

Waveguide attenuators cover seven bands

Pasternack’s waveguide direct-read attenuators operate in seven waveguide bands within a frequency range of 18 GHz to 110 GHz. Read More...

Microcontroller reduces EMV complexity

Maxim’s MAX32560 DeepCover secure microcontroller eases EMV contactless terminal design by eliminating the need for up to six external chips. Read More...

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...

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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...

>> SEE ALL

QSFP-DD pluggable modules boost data density

An array of high-speed, high-density solutions revolving around various small form-factor pluggable modules gained considerable traction in datacenter switch and networking devices. Thermal management strategies are critical as the industry is readying for the launch of next-generation copper and optical QSFP-DD transceivers. Read More...

SFP optical modules: Legacy compatibility vs. improved performance

Two options have emerged to get datacenter electrical and optical signals to support higher speeds. The choice of microQSFP or SFP-DD connectors comes down to thermal issues and legacy cable support. 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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown: Platinum Tools LANSeeker TP500

Take a look inside this simple but useful tester's components. Read More...

How to build a nation

China's recently concluded 19th congress and Japan's seeming struggle with its semiconductor industry lead AspenCore to ask: just what does it take to build a technologically powerful nation? Read More...

Magnetising the next generation of high-throughput satellites

Satellite manufacturers are designing and making proprietary isolated DC-DCs and switching point-of-loads. Power transformers and inductors are fundamental to the design of these regulators respectively. Read More...

Connectors: Not just schematic symbols

At a presentation for the Central New England IEEE EMC Society chapter, Colin Brench showed how at high-speed connectors can result in EMI emissions, affect signal integrity, and create thermal problems. Read More...

An overlay transistor cautionary tale

It's almost half a century since my overlay adventures, but eternal vigilance is mandatory. Read More...

Storage charge: an enemy and a friend

The effect of storage charge is that when a diode is carrying a current in its forward conduction mode, getting that current to stop flowing is a process that doesn't just happen right away. Read More...

Reading the signs: 5G is coming

A surge of recent developments in the 5G space suggest that real work on actual 5G products is beginning in earnest. That includes real jobs in the 5G space. Read More...

Designing LEDs for hazardous environments

Discussing LED lighting design for hazardous and electrically challenging environments. Read More...

Make vs buy: voltage regulators for space

With so much emphasis on low cost, many spacecraft manufacturers are making their own voltage regulators using space-grade or COTS-based discrete components. Read More...

RF devices: Reliability is critical

Package designs are important in device reliability, something circuit designers may not think about. Read More...

Sziklai transistors: What’s that?

There are many ways to connect two transistors, not all useful. Here’s one useful way you may never have encountered before. Read More...

Beware the TO-220

“When is a TO-220 not a TO-220?” is your Zen exercise today. Take care this package variation doesn’t bite you. Read More...

Whose bit is it anyway?

An engineer fresh out of school learns not to believe everything he’s told while designing a character display. Read More...

Keeping old equipment alive

When an old HP 204D audio oscillator isn’t working, a new component source comes to the rescue for a same-day fix. Read More...

Old wine in new glass ID system

Keeping track of your glass, or, finding new uses for old components. Read More...

Whipping a cheap LED PSU into usable shape

You get what you pay for, and sometimes not even that, but even a cheap Chinese PSU can be improved with some judicious tinkering. Read More...

Simple trick lets you see your parts

Here’s a funny little trick that will make almost-invisible part numbers printed on component packages visible. Read More...

Too many clip leads? Make your own organizer

Sometimes, all you need is a little engineering and some household materials to solve a problem. Best of all, no software needed. Read More...

Accurately measure ceramic capacitors by extending VNA range

Using two methods outlined in this article, you can use a VNA to get measurements with a dynamic range of 164 dB. That's what's need to measure the ceramic capacitors needed in a PDN. Read More...

Sponsored: Arrow launches free overnight shipment for all products in stock

Engineers need quick delivery of critical components and products to ensure that they can finish their tasks on time. Read More...

Using and selecting COTS components for space applications

COTS components require careful risk assessment and their operation and/or specification may have to be modified or de-rated to meet a mission's reliability needs. Read More...

I Sing the Capacitor Electric

Most of us with a decent knowledge of components know that ceramic capacitors can sing, or, act as mechanical-to-voltage converters. But metalized film? Read More...

DC Transformer? Forward converter? Isolation amp? You decide!

Do you think this reader-submitted circuit is a revolutionary DC transformer, or just a slightly different viewing angle onto pre-existing concepts? Read More...

If it smells fake, it probably is

With all the talk of "fake news" and "alternative facts," can such things happen in business-to-business publications? Read More...

Use LT SPICE to analyze input filters

From a SPICE analysis, you can design filters that reduce EMI. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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