Category Archives: IC’s

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 [...]

What Are Super-Junction MOSFETs?

Switching power-conversion systems such as switching power supplies and power factor controllers increasingly demand higher energy efficiencies. For such energy-conscious designers, super-junction MOSFETs are a favored solution, as the technology allows smaller die sizes when considering key parameters such as on-resistance. This leads to an increase in current density while enabling designers to reduce circuit size. With increasing market adoption of this new technology goes up, other challenges Read more [...]

Accurate Power Monitoring with LTC2992

Linear Technology Corporation, now a part of Analog Devices, Inc., has recently placed on the market a power monitoring IC, LTC2992, which offers a wide-range, dual monitoring system for current, voltage, and power for 0-100 VDC rails. The IC is self-contained and does not need additional circuitry for functioning. Users get a variety of options for operating the LTC2992. For instance, they can derive power from a 3-100 VDC monitored supply, or from a 2.7-100 VDC secondary supply, or from the shunt Read more [...]

Advanced PCB Technologies — High Density Interconnect

Engineers often face a peculiar dilemma. On one hand, they need to enhance the functionalities of electronic gadgets they design so that customers have more value for their money, while they are constrained to use a sleek form factor. Not only does this impose a tremendous challenge to cram many components within a highly restricted space, but the challenge extends to maintaining the quality and integrity of the design as well. Designers meet the challenge in different ways. They use subminiature Read more [...]

What is a Programmable Logic Controller?

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are miniature industrial computers. The hardware and software in a PLC are meant to perform control functions. Specifically, a PLC helps in the automation of industrial electromechanical processes. This includes controlling machinery on assembly lines in a factory, rides in an amusement park, or instruments in a food processing industrial establishment. Most PLCs are designed to facilitate multiple arrangements of analog and digital inputs and outputs. They Read more [...]

The Energy Efficient RRAMs

Engineers at Stanford are making 3-D memory chips that can offer faster and more energy efficient solutions for computer memory. These are the Resistive random Access Memory or RRAMs, which are based on a new semiconductor material. It stores data based on temperature and voltage. However, the actual workings of RRAMs continued to be a mystery until a team at Stanford used a new tool for their investigations. They found the optimal temperature range to be lower than they had expected. This could Read more [...]

AT21CS01 from Atmel: This EEPROM Does Not Require External Power Source

AT21CS01 from Atmel is a two pin serial EEPROM. Astonishingly, it does not have a Vcc or power supply pin characteristic of any IC and does not require an external power source to work. This amazing memory IC operates with only a data pin and a ground pin. The memory in the IC is organized as 128x8 bits, that is, a total of 1-kbits. The single-wire device, AT21CS01, operates with only an SI/O and GND pin. The SI/O signal functions as a combination of data and power line. That means, apart from Read more [...]