Future of LEDs

LEDs have much to offer—small size, high efficiency, and incredible versatility—no wonder they are the most popular electronic products in the market today. Their versatility allows us to use them in horticulture, as status indicator lights, and displays with high definition. Although we are so familiar with LEDs that we hardly notice them anymore, new applications keep appearing, and engineers are forever making newer breakthroughs. That is why the LED market is still growing at a stupendous Read more [...]

Improving Context Awareness in Hearables

On-ear devices, also known as hearables, are one of the fastest-growing devices in the consumer electronics market today. Although at present their role only covers hearing aids and a tool for listening, the on-ear devices have progressed to being wireless. Now there is a brand-new way for engaging this technology to the wider world around us. Qualcomm conducted a survey in 2019 and found that more than half the respondents were interested in hearables that are context-aware. One of the most Read more [...]

Sensitive Magnetic-Field Sensor Has Low Noise

Although applications for magnetic sensors cover a vast field, ranging from the gigantic magnetic resonance imaging or MRI systems to sensing tiny gear-teeth, they are one of the most overlooked or misunderstood among the modern sensors in use. Researchers are constantly on the lookout for increasingly small but more sensitive magnetic-field sensors. However, sensitivity alone is not the only qualifying parameter for such sensors—low-level transducers require to be low-noise as well. That is Read more [...]

Using Integrated Power Switches

Power switches are most commonly in demand for their simplicity in turning on and off a voltage rail or for protecting a power path. Engineers find load switches easier to use compared to discrete power MOSFETs. For complete power protection of the system, eFuses offer an integrated approach. The combination of load switches and eFuses offers more than significant PCB space savings. Compared to discrete circuits, the combination of load switches and eFuses, also known as integrated switches, offers Read more [...]

What is ESD Protection?

For many years, people have realized the importance for ESD protection for electronic equipment. With increasing levels of integration, and shrinking of process geometries, damage induced by ESD presents a greater threat than ever before. With the addition of increasing demand for portable electronic gadgets, protection from ESD at the system level is more of an essential issue. The advantage of providing systems with comprehensive ESD protection is far-reaching while being a low-cost way of Read more [...]

Isolated RS-485 Transceivers

A standard RS-485 transceiver sends and receives digital signals between digital equipment. They use positive and negative signals limited to 5 VDC levels. One can connect them as simple point-to-point configuration or as multi-point connections with two or more devices communicating. RS-485 transceivers allow high-speed communication in electrically noisy environments, as is usual within industrial plants. Each of the two output lines on an RS-485 transceiver uses square waves to send serial Read more [...]

24-Bit Quad-Channel ADC

Analog Devices is offering a 24-bit Quad-Channel ADC, the AD7134, a low noise, precision type, simultaneous sampling Analog to Digital Converter that while offering exceptional functionality and performance, is also easy to use. The AD7134 operates on the continuous-time sigma-delta or CTSD modulation scheme. This helps to remove the traditional requirement of a sampling switched capacitor circuitry preceding the sigma-delta modulator—simplifying the input driving requirement for the ADC. The Read more [...]

Flexible Heaters and Multiple Heating Zones

Flexible heaters are suitable for a wide range of uses that require variable heating options. While providing optimal heat transfer, they also offer the right temperature for products like foodservice, medical devices, sensors, instrument panels, and electronics. We are accustomed to thinking of heaters in standard shapes like square, round, and rectangular. However, customized flexible heaters are available in a wide variety of shapes that have the requisite shape to wrap around specific objects Read more [...]

Near-Zero-Power Sensors

The US Department of Defense has a research and development agency, the defense advanced research projects agency or DARPA, which have recently concluded a program N-ZERO—the near-zero power rf and sensor operations. One dramatic outcome of this program is sensors in the battlefield earlier running out of power in weeks or months can now keep operating for more than four years before they need a replacement of their coin batteries. DARPA’s initiatives began about five years back, with the Read more [...]

Why Low Dropout Regulators?

In this era of high-efficiency switching power supplies and voltage regulators, low dropout (LDO) regulators seem almost out of place. Contrary to popular belief, low dropout regulators are small components, simple to use, and cost-effective for obtaining an output of regulated voltage from an input of higher voltage. For system designers, low dropout regulators offer a simple method of obtaining a voltage from a source that is very close to the output voltage. This is one major reason designers Read more [...]