Li+ charger chip won't overheat News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment Linear Technology's LTC4059A is a fully integrated linear battery charger in a 2-by-2 mm DFN package that can charge a single-cell Li-Ion battery at 900 mA without danger of overheating itself or surrounding components. A patented thermal regulation scheme prevents the junction temperature of the IC from exceeding 115°C by reducing charge current during high-power or high-ambient-temperature operation. The charger, suited to digital still cameras, cell phones, PDAs and USB-equipped handheld d
Ballast ICs bring transformerless dimming News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment International Rectifier's 600-volt IR21592 and IR21593 dimming ballast ICs, each with a phase control loop and half-bridge driver for fluorescent lamps, eliminate the need for a current-sensing transformer. IR says these new devices offer the most comprehensive set of sense and control features available, including ignition detection and full-scale dimming, as well as brownout- and over-temperature protection. A microcontroller interface is included for maximum flexibility in programming such pa
Smallest D/A converter resolves space, performance challenge News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment Analog Devices introduced the first members of its new nanoDAC family of digital-to-analog converters that provide breakthrough performance in smaller packages. The compact size and low power consumption of these new converters provide significant advantages in space-constrained applications.
Robots readied to take on search-and-rescue duties News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment Microminiaturization has made possible swarms of autonomous robots using nothing more than off-the-shelf parts. But concentrating their wireless chatter and getting them to cooperate to solve problems may be five years away, the National Science Foundation cautions. It's putting $2.6 million into a five-year effort to turn multiple wireless robots into an emergency search-and-rescue team. Colin Johnson has this report.
Bad signals interfere with 90-nm designs News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment When Agilent Technologies Inc.'s ASIC products division first moved from 130- to 90-nanometer chip design, it got a nasty surprise. "Signal integrity," said Jay McDougal, microprocessor design methodology manager at Agilent, "was really an order of magnitude worse."
McDougal's experience seems to track with that of other users and matches what EDA vendor representatives are saying. Such problems as crosstalk-induced delays, crosstalk-induced glitches and power noise due to voltage drop are all
Synopsys keynoter cites crosstalk, power challenges News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment Crosstalk and power are extremely difficult problems to solve, and will require significant changes to the existing chip design flow, according to Li-Pen Yuan, R&D director for extraction and signal integrity at Synopsys. Yuan offered a keynote speech at the Electronic Design Processes (EDP-2004) methodology conference here Monday (April 26). Richard Goering was there.
ST to launch single-chip satellite tuner IC News & Analysis 4/28/2004 Post a comment In hopes of increasing its share in the global satellite set-top box market, STMicroelectronics on Tuesday (April 27) unveiled a single-chip silicon tuner designed to receive digital TV or Web-based material via satellite. ST, the world's largest IC supplier for set-top boxes, hopes to reinforce its market position by introducing the new silicon tuner that can be paired with ST's own multi-standard demodulator. That device is widely used in current satellite TV applications. From Paris, Junko Yo
Smallest D/A converter resolves space, performance challenge Product News 4/27/2004 Post a comment Analog Devices introduced the first members of its new nanoDAC family of digital-to-analog converters that provide breakthrough performance in smaller packages. The compact size and low power consumption of these new converters provide significant advantages in space-constrained applications.
Li+ charger chip won't overheat Product News 4/27/2004 Post a comment Linear Technology's LTC4059A is a fully integrated linear battery charger in a 2-by-2 mm DFN package that can charge a single-cell Li-Ion battery at 900 mA without danger of overheating itself or surrounding components. A patented thermal regulation scheme prevents the junction temperature of the IC from exceeding 115°C by reducing charge current during high-power or high-ambient-temperature operation. The charger, suited to digital still cameras, cell phones, PDAs and USB-equipped handheld d
Ballast ICs bring transformerless dimming Product News 4/26/2004 Post a comment International Rectifier's 600-volt IR21592 and IR21593 dimming ballast ICs, each with a phase control loop and half-bridge driver for fluorescent lamps, eliminate the need for a current-sensing transformer. IR says these new devices offer the most comprehensive set of sense and control features available, including ignition detection and full-scale dimming, as well as brownout- and over-temperature protection. A microcontroller interface is included for maximum flexibility in programming such pa
Media processing meets portable content News & Analysis 4/26/2004 Post a comment The poliferation of consumer audio-video device and streaming-media types has kept chip makers and systems houses scrambling to find the best ways to transfer content and control functions between devices.
Nearing the Age of Digital Media Portability News & Analysis 4/26/2004 Post a comment With a plethora of cell phones, PDAs, DVDs, set-top boxes, MP3 players and other portable devices ready to burst into the consumer market, the goal now is to provide consumers with ubiquitous access to their coveted entertainment anywhere and anytime.
Experiments suggest methods for CMRR measurement " Part 1 News & Analysis 4/26/2004 Post a comment Differential ports make possible the recovery of signals mixed with common-mode noise, and the use of such ports gives rise to the need for measuring common mode rejection ratio (CMRR). In part 1 of this s two-part tutorial, a Maxim engineer provides insights into the forms of CMRR, its relationship ground, and its impact of on op amps and differential line drivers. In part 2 (next week), the author describes signal conditioning applications which need to pay special attention to CMRR.
TDR and VNA measurements shed light on Gbits/s interconnects News & Analysis 4/26/2004 Post a comment With Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) designers can deduce information on device-under-test (DUT) properties as the location of failures, the line impedance and the time delays for high speed signals, writes Dima Smolyansky, measurement expert at TDA Systems. But Frequency Domain Vector Network Analysis (VNA) using a synchronized sweep between a sine wave stimulus, and a narrow band filter at the receiver end requires additional software to make sense of the picosecond-readings captured by TDR sc
How specifications drive analog design News & Analysis 4/23/2004 Post a comment Spec-driven design can make it easier to build analog ICs. Architects from Cadence Design Systems, including Tina Najibi (right), show how designs, test cases, and behavioral models can all be created from specifications, and discuss automatic spec import and comparison.
Disk storage revamps for mobile media News & Analysis 4/23/2004 Post a comment In many ways, devices like MP3 players have dragged around many of the design legacies of PCs. A PC's hard drive and motherboard, for example, each have their own ROM, RAM and CPU.
Buck bias-regulator IC boosts high-voltage systems Product News 4/22/2004 Post a comment National Semiconductor bills its LM5008 as the industry's first 100-volt rated, buck bias regulator, which operates at up to 90 percent efficiency. The latest addition to the company's LM5000 family of high-voltage solutions and a second-generation buck bias regulator, the LM5008 analog-BiCMOS-DMOS IC has an integrated 100-volt, 500-mA n-channel power MOSFET and all the functions needed to implement a compact bias power supply. This includes circuitry to support short-circuit and over-temperatur
Convert single supply 13-bit ADC voltage input to bi-polar News & Analysis 4/20/2004 Post a comment Many A/D converters operate exclusively in a 5V single-supply environment and only accept single-sided input signals or differential signals with some limitations, writes Bonnie Baker, Microchip Technology's famous apps engineer in this article culled from the Chipcenter archives. An alternative to these single-ended input devices is a true-differential input device, which opens the door for a large array of single supply application solutions, she says.
The design of LVDS interface for a Multi-Channel A/D Converter News & Analysis 4/20/2004 Post a comment This article, from the ChipCenter archives, analyzes system design specifications for a low-voltage differential serial output interface of a multi-channel, high-speed analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. For A/D applications, says Texas Instruments' John Wu, the two most important specifications have always been bit resolution and data sample rate. However, the specification of an output data interface is increasingly important.
Mixed-signal vendors to rise, comms report says News & Analysis 4/20/2004 Post a comment A new report on communication aggregation processors from The Linley Group argues that vendors with expertise in Ethernet switching, encryption or media-access control devices may be able to gain ground over those with base expertise in control-plane processors. The latter group includes Motorola/Freescale and Integrated Device Technology Inc. Loring Wirbel has this report.
Re-inventing the Wheel... as a square Blog 4/20/2004 Post a comment We've all seen renderings of the disconnect between marketing, engineering and customers in product development - using a child's backyard swing as the example. "What marketing requested" shows a three-tiered swing, with cushions and lollypop dispensers. "What engineering came up with" shows a rocket-propelled platform, springing back-and-forth through a steel-reinforced tunnel. "What the customer really wanted," of course, was a truck tire hanging by a rope from a tree limb. This month, Sanjaya
Fan ICs cool the noise Product News 4/20/2004 Post a comment FOCUS ON Thermal Management - With the major cooling issues for desktop machines behind them, makers of fan-management IC are digging deeper into their bag of tricks to minimize audible fan noise in systems extending to servers and the manufacturing floor. Indeed, acoustic noise is as much a human-factors issue today in such areas as the industrial test facility and is the hostile environments under which various equipments operate. The road to killing the noise, particularly with the PWM-type (
Triple-output IC powers 5-inch TFT-LCDs News & Analysis 4/13/2004 Post a comment Linear Technology's LTC3450, in a 3-by-3 mm QFN-16 package, is a complete DC/DC power converter solution for small (2-to 5-inch) thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. The LTC3450 comprises a synchronous boost converter (90 percent efficiency) and three charge pumps. The three charge pumps double, triple and invert outputs for VGH and VGL biasing. Working from a 1.5- to 4.6-volt input, the chip delivers all required TFT-LCD voltages: 5.x volts for AVDD; -5.x, -10.x, or -
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 23 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...