Category Archives: IC’s

Small LED Driver IC

Although Switch-mode and PWM or Pulse Width Modulation methods make very efficient drivers for LEDs, they are also a good source of electromagnetic noise. Many applications require low noise conditions for proper operations, especially those related to medical. These low-noise applications benefit from linear circuits that introduce far lower noise in the system as compared to the Switch-mode or PWM topologies. For driving LEDs linearly, Infineon Technologies AG offers a small LED driver IC, Read more [...]

High-Speed Ceramic Digital Isolator

Isolated systems can communicate digitally among themselves without conducting ground loops or presenting hazardous voltages—simply by using digital isolators. A capacitive isolation barrier exists between the isolated systems. The transmitter side modulates its digital data with a high-frequency signal that allows it to transmit across the capacitive isolation. Receivers on the other side detect the signal, demodulate it to extract the digital data, and use it. Digital isolators offer thick 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

LTM2893 μModule isolator for ADCs

Analog to digital converters (ADCs) need to float to the common mode of the input signal to absorb the harsh voltage conditions and transients. The best way to do this is to place an isolation barrier between the ADC and the external signal. Even applications that perform under moderate conditions can benefit from the presence of an isolator. The LTM2893 from Linear Technology provides such isolation, improving on system safety, especially when reading from high-resolution successive approximation Read more [...]

What are Ball Grid Arrays?

Initially, surface mount devices, especially ICs, came as perimeter-only packages, with pins for soldering placed along the edge of the device. As ICs became more complex, they needed more pins for external interfacing, which made the packages larger. Manufacturers soon realized there was a large unused real estate that lay just under the package. Therefore, they made the ball grid array (BGA) packaging, which, in place of pins, had solder balls aligned in a grid under the device. Soldering BGAs Read more [...]

Choosing a Regulator – Switching or LDO

Unlike AC circuits where a simple transformer can change the incoming voltage to a different level, DC circuits need an active device to change the voltage to the desired level. In general, there are two types of circuits to do this—switching and linear. Switching regulators are highly efficient and work on buck, boost, or buck-boost technology to change the voltage level. On the other hand, linear regulators such as LDOs are ideal for powering very low power devices or applications where the difference Read more [...]

What is BiCMOS Technology?

CMOS and Bipolar are two of the pioneering technologies of the electronics field. Components fabricated with the CMOS technology dissipate lower power, have smaller noise margins, and are physically smaller. On the other hand, components fabricated with the bipolar technology operate at higher speeds, switch faster, and offer good noise performance. By combining the two, scientists have created the BiCMOS technology that offers a combination of advantages from both processes. For instance, BiCMOS Read more [...]