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Paralleling power supplies: Many viable options, but know the tradeoffs
There are a variety of reasons why a system designer may want to consider paralleling of DC power supplies. Some of these are related to the bill of materials and logistics issues, others are focused on satisfying system current, performance or reliability objectives. On the non-design side, the ability to parallel supplies may allow a single supply model to be used singly or in combinations across a broad product line...
Low-cost implementation of USB Type-C
USB Type-C probably created the most interest and buzz at its inception compared to any other connector interface. This is no surprise given that the interface promises to consolidate data, power and video on a single connector. Interestingly, this appears to be history repeating itself when 20 years ago USB 1.0 allowed fragmented electronics to communicate with each other through a single-connector/cable interface – ushering in a new era of communication...
Nyquist: The Noted Engineer (Not the Horse)
What do horse racing and engineering have in common? The answer is “Nyquist.” Nyquist, the horse, recently won the Kentucky Derby, although he didn’t win his next race, The Preakness Stakes. Nyquist, the engineer was a Swedish born American electronic engineer who made important contributions to feedback and communication theory...
Who Is Buying Up All The Semiconductor Companies?
In the 2015 we’ve seen unprecedented consolidation in the technology market. The story that perhaps best defined 2015 was Dell acquiring EMC for a whopping $67 billion, making it one of the biggest buys in the history of corporate trading. Semiconductor companies have also been on a spending spree lately, racking up more than $100 billion in mergers and acquisitions for this year alone...
In analog, EDA tools cannot replace common sense
I know there have been many advances in software development for use in design projects. The digital design landscape has permanently been altered by the use of sophisticated software tools for use in design. Design tasks that used to take months can now be completed in days. Although these tools can still provide erroneous results if the setups are incorrect or the models and assumptions are flawed, the errors have vastly been reduced to the point of becoming an exception and not the norm...
Op Amps Make Precision Clipper, Protect ADC
It can be a challenge to match the voltage range of an analog signal to the input range of an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Exceeding the ADC’s input range will give an incorrect reading. And if the input goes far enough beyond the power-supply rails, substrate currents may flow into the ADC, which can then cause latch up or even damage to the part. However, restricting the input-voltage range to lower, more-conservative levels wastes the ADC’s dynamic range and resolution...
Alan Turing, computer science pioneer, is born, June 23, 1912
Alan Turing was the father of computer science and his Turing machine laid the groundwork for the modern computer. Born in London on June 23, 1912, the mathematician and scientist took an interest in both subjects early on. He studied mathematics at King's College, Cambridge, the received a PhD from Princeton University in 1938...
Applying MOSFETs to Today's Power-Switching Designs
Even though gallium-nitride transistors are becoming a more popular solution in terms of power switching, the venerable MOSFET still can be used effectively in current applications. In the wake of gallium-nitride transistor introductions, a number of semiconductor makers have begun to reassess the role played by conventional MOSFETs...
Chemoelectronics: Nanoparticle Diodes and Devices That Work When Wet
Whether they’re for sensors in artificial skin that demands flexibility or for wearable electronics where the circuits must withstand our sweat, silicon-based chips aren’t always up to the task. Now, an international research team has developed a way to fabricate flexible, water-loving logic circuits and sensors without the need of semiconductors...
'Phase locking' lasers could enable terahertz scanners
Terahertz radiation - the band of electromagnetic radiation between microwaves and visible light - has promising applications in security and medical diagnostics, but such devices will require the development of compact, low-power, high-quality terahertz lasers...
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