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HAPPY WEEKEND (Happy Dance)

Bye all ....  ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

 

Blogger

Bye everyone -- by some strange quirk of fate -- I'm just about to take a load of ANALOG vacuum tubes down to an old local TV repair shop to have them tested...

@kfield: @David Ashton You get the prize for turning up at the most ungodly hour for a chat on EETimes!

And don't forget he was out drinking last night

 

Naah, that was the night before, I'm no good at multi-tasking :-)

 

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@kfield: @David Ashton You get the prize for turning up at the most ungodly hour for a chat on EETimes!

And don't forget he was out drinking last night

@sheepdoll - "Max wants another coconut."   I thought it was a donut.   Maybe max  is just a nut nut, if you see what I mean

 

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Thanks everyone for joining in for this delightful chat. You've given me loads of ideas for future articles...which I will assign to Max. :-)  Don't miss Max's radio show coming up in three weeks, where he will ponder the intracacies of embedded.

Have a good weekend all and happy analog-ing, or plumbing if you prefer!

 

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@zeeglen "I used to work at a place like that with summer college interns.  A couple of them specifically asked me for analog training.  Wrote a blog on that once, might have been Scope Junction or the Connecting Edge, can't remember for sure."

I'm always seeking to hire Analog/Digital engineers and I consistently find that newer engineers are short on the analog side. I'll still be hiring 3 to 5 years from now so it'd be great if I could point these [strong] engineers to a house of training.

Rookie

RF is pretty cool too.

@Garcia - well I'm going back to sleep till at least 8 AM!!

 

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Analog design has helped me to be able to wade throught the cloud of noise in the middle of the two extremes and I'm glad I've done it.  I also like coding MCUs and doing power.  A little pitch for all the recruiters on line.

Max wants another coconut.  I am off to work on a pipe organ -- which I am not sure is analog (pipes) or digital (manual keyboards.)

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@Measurement Blues - if still here

How's this for an analog circuit given to a high school physics class?

Methinks there is some negative resistance involved here??

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Analog will survive, but not as we now know it. It is morphing into a more well-rounded engineer/designer who specializes in analog or power or RF as well as knowing how to work with the other disciplines of digital and software design, etc.

Mentors will be found on line in tech publications, the local IEEE community and Webinars and even YouTube as well as live events

@David Ashton: 8:00 pm here at Spain :-)

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@David Ashton You get the prize for turning up at the most ungodly hour for a chat on EETimes! 

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@Kfield I thought that was pretty good for 4 AM....

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@Steve: ...hence the Do-Dang bird syndrome-- flying in ever decreasing circles until it flies up it's own bum with a dull thud

My usual response when someone meantions an animal is to say "I wonder what it tastes like" .. but in this case I think I'll pass

Well, been nice chatting.  Now I need to go heat up my soldering iron again.

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Historically apprenticeships had issues.  Most were used as drudge servants (basically worse than slaves. emptying chamber pots, cleaning)  Masters were lothe to share secrets.  At best one could marry the master's daughter and hope to join family.  Usually what happened was that the apprentice, physically assaulted the master when the master got too old to fight back. 

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@David Ashton  Smart Alec!!

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@garcia, good point!

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@stevetaranovich

Still waiting for your response!!!

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@Max, @Junko: something that might be required even if you use a COTS module is designing an antenna. e.g. try to implement a PCB antenna

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@Kfield "Scot Addams never runs out of fodder for Dilbert!"  - and long may that continue!

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TWO MINUTE WARNING!!! This chat is about to end, so please post your final answers. :-)

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@kfield, exactly. If analog is THE KEY differentiator for IoT devices, yes, the stock for analog engineers will shoot up, I imagine.

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@David: There's a lot more feeling of "Us and Them" than there used to be

I'm glad I'm one of "Us" is all I can say!

@ Wintz I was thinking of a more streamlined location where aspiring analog engineers could gain some hands-on industry experience, tips, examples.

I used to work at a place like that with summer college interns.  A couple of them specifically asked me for analog training.  Wrote a blog on that once, might have been Scope Junction or the Connecting Edge, can't remember for sure.

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@davidashton "There's a lot more feeling of "Us and Them" than there used to be."

Scot Addams never runs out of fodder for Dilbert!

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+1 for not pointing fingers.  @david Ashton

@Wintz...sorry, I get your point - the internet is sometimes too deep and it does take a long time to catch the fish you want....

 

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@sheepdoll: ...becouse they do not understand the real world and xeno's paradox.

Which one -- he had a bunch of them? Was it the one that goes "If a man says something anin the middle of a forest and there is no woman nearby to hear him... is he still wrong?" LOL

@Max--hence the Do-Dang bird syndrome----flying in ever decreasing circles until it flies up it's own bum with a dull thud

@Sheepdoll - good point - this is where Analog and Digital guys need to at least talk to each other without pointing fingers!

 

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@steve.taranovich "IoT has analog signal conditioning and RF and power management---there is a great deal of in-depth analog needed unless you use modules. Modules are fast and easy, but costly---your competitor will kill you with their discrete analof, RF and power designs"

So all these guys on Kickstarter who want to be the next Apple, are you saying that the winners will be the ones who have the best analog engineering design on their robotic bartending machine or Internet-enabled medical device?

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@Steve, Modules are fast and easy, but costly. Yes, but wouldn't it even be more costlier if you had to hire an analog engineer?

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@David Ashton "internet"

LOL, you're right!

However, I was thinking of a more streamlined location where aspiring analog engineers could gain some hands-on industry experience, tips, examples.

 

 

Rookie

@Junko: Speaking of IoT trend, how much in-depth analog expertise is needed for that?

The IoT is just a mirror-reflection on the rest of the world. Parts of it can be designed with off-the-shelf modules, in which case you don't really care if they are analog or digital so long as you know how to plug them together -- the trick comes when you are designing something from the bottom up -- and that something needs analog expertise -- at which point everyone starts running around in ever-decreasing circles shouting "Don't Panic!"

@Kfield - "I think the challenge is the dynamic between employees and employers today:"

There's a lot more feeling of "Us and Them" than there used to be

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@kfield there isn't a lot of incentive to train people that ultimately leave.

Or get laid off

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@Davd Ashton - what happens when the thermocouple is non linear and the wong lookup table is used?  Or the slapmonkey does not bother with calibration becouse they do not understand the real world and xeno's paradox.

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@junko--Speaking of IoT trend, how much in-depth analog expertise is needed for that?

 


IoT has analog signal conditioning and RF and power management---there is a great deal of in-depth analog needed unless you use modules. Modules are fast and easy, but costly---your competitor will kill you with their discrete analof, RF and power designs

@junko: the worst one analog experience: the one that bring you to the parasitic side of analog ;-)

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@davidashton "Or companies need to offer apprenticeships"  "I think you've hit something there - companies these days are too lean and mean"

I think the challenge is the dynamic between employees and employers today: Until we run out of engineering talent, there isn't a lot of incentive to train people that ultimately leave. Although on the other hand, it's not like this is a new phenomenon. When I worked at TI in the mid-1980s, they had lots of blue badges (under 5 years) and lots of gold badges (over 15) and a big yawning gap in the middle.

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@Wintz..."Perhaps a centralized data bank for knowledge seekers?"

Isn't that called the internet?

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@Harvey: ...in-depth knowledge is not available on-line.  It's company secret, and you have to work with good people to share.

So back to the apprenticeship idea...

Yes @CVanDorn, simple things are on-line.  Simple things.

Rookie

Speaking of IoT trend, how much in-depth analog expertise is needed for that?

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@kfield Great point! But is it the case today? Check LinkedIn for the number of positions available under Analog Design and compare with other roles. Students just compare and take a call . Sad.
Rookie

@steve.taranovich "Not if engineers find the golden nuggets of analog engineering---there are great sources out there on the internet and live seminars, etc."

There is certainly a growing need for the training/knowledge transfer. You're definitely on to something here. Perhaps a centralized data bank for knowledge seekers?

Rookie

@Sheepdoll---there is great info online, but you still need a design community to help you----like joining the IEEE, etc.

@Garcia: ...don't forget all wireless/RF stuff such as NFC.

Wireless/RF is fantastic as a user ... but mind-bogglingly complex as a designer

@CVanDorne - anyone with a good general electronics background ought to be able to find enough on the net to, for example, interface a thermocouple to an ADC port on a uC.

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Sorry to be negative, but the in-depth knowledge is not available on-line.  It's company secret, and you have to work with good people to share.

Rookie

@Max: "One big trend is the Internet of Things (IoT) -- I think we are poised on the bring of an exponential explosion in the use of sensors"


I totally agree. And don't forget all wireless/RF stuff such as NFC.

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@kfield: Or companies need to offer apprenticeships

I think that's what it's going to come down to -- there's so much to know -- a good way will be to go to college to learn the basics -- then go to a company to do an apprenticship in a specific field.

Our new analog mentors are guys like Max and others in the electronics publication indutry

@Sheepdoll  "Are we too dependent on such tools such as Matlab, and pSpice"

Try this one: I asked two engineering managers - one HW and one SW, what they thought of the concept of going on line to find canned solutions.  I was astonished that both of them answered very positively about that prospect.  My response: then why bother hiring/paying engineers?  Just find the most resourceful and computer savy seekers of information you can find for min wage.  They're reply: And then what?  Hmmmm.

@Kevin Linear Systems: The "Kevin Linear Systems" moniker is a tad unwieldy -- can we just call you "Linear" or "Systems" for short? LOL

@Kfield "Or companies need to offer apprenticeships"  think you've hit something there - companies these days are too lean and mean

 

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@kfield--Wow you should publish a guide to "Finding gold in those analog hills" for engineers, both new and seasoned who want to stay more relevant.

Come and visit my Planet Analog and EDN Analog and Power Design Centers

 

One big trend is the Internet of Things (IoT) -- I think we are poised on the bring of an exponential explosion in the use of sensors -- and many of these sensors are analog in nature and are measuting analog quantities -- someone has to knwo how to design these sensors, model them, and process the information coming out of them.

There's also a trend to pussing intelligence as far out to the edge of the net as possible -- don;t send huge amounts of raw data back to a central location -- process it at the sensor and then send information back -- this all goes to Steve's point about analog engineers also having to knwo microcontrollers and suchlike...

Or companies need to offer apprenticeships

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@kfield---the problem young engineers, who want to be analog, have is they want to specialize---that's OK, but also know and learn more about the other parts of engineering design like digital and power

@steve.taranovich "Not if engineers find the golden nuggets of analog engineering---there are great sources out there on the internet and live seminars, etc."

Wow you should publish a guide to "Finding gold in those analog hills" for engineers, both new and seasoned who want to stay more relevant.

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@Max you wouldn't eat Martin's Bagels - they wouldn't have bacon on them......

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@kfield--So we have young engineers who can't get into the field and presumably learn from the generation retiring out, isn't this going to leave a big gaping hole?

 

Not if engineers find the golden nuggets of analog engineering---there are great sources out there on the internet and live seminars, etc.

@kfield: ...isn't this going to leave a big gaping hole?

Like the hole in my tummy where the bagel MeasurementBlues was supposed to bring ... isn't?

@Steve analog circuits like the example posted are easy to solve with field equations in a simulator (Ironically digitally implemented.)

I still have my analog calculator - its called a "slipstick".

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@prateekvr "For students, its extremely hard to get into the Analog industry, most positions requires experience! 2+ years. With debt, many are spooked and end up focusing on Programming to fill their stomachs and clear the debt. More opportunities for freshers needed. Will there be?"

So we have young engineers who can't get into the field and presumably learn from the generation retiring out, isn't this going to leave a big gaping hole?

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@Harvey: Today's fads are RF, ADC, and power-supply design.  Meanwhile the rest of the technology is allowed to fade,,,

 

Yes---that's exactly the opportunity for those who want to be analog designers---learn the non-sexy analog and then understand the whole picture including micros and software

@kfield: ...isn't the problem with some of these tools is that they can encourage plugging-and-chugging without any real understanding of the basic principles?

That's sort of true of any tool -- a lot of today's "digital designers" wouldn't know the difference between a ripple adder and a fast-carrty adder if one were to crawl up their leg and bit them on a very unfortunate part of their anatomy

@kfield - without any real understanding of the basic principles? My point exactly.

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@Zeeglen 'Or amplify the output from a photodiode in an optical fiber data receiver.'

nice example

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@sheepdoll--To your point"Regarding the demise of analog engineering.  It seems that analog circuits like the example posted are easy to solve with field equations in a simulator (Ironically digitally implemented.)  Are we too dependent on such tools such as Matlab, and pSpice which can add to the cost of the project?"

Expertise in analog layout and design is still the key to a good analog designer. My analogy of a doctor: you go to medical school and learn it all and then you specialize----engineers need to do that better than we do now and continue to learn always

Or amplify the output from a photodiode in an optical fiber data receiver.

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@Harvey: Today's fads are RF, ADC, and power-supply design.  Meanwhile the rest of the technology is allowed to fade,,,

Sad, but not untrue

@Sheepdoll  "Are we too dependent on such tools such as Matlab, and pSpice"

But isn't the problem with some of these tools is that they can encourage plugging-and-chugging without any real understanding of the basic principles?

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A gate is not gonna help you interface a thermocuople or a strain guage to a uC

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@Zeeglen...."In this company we don't use transistors.  We use GATES."   And what's your opinion of this company?

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@zeelan Guitar players prefer tubes....and pay handsomely for them.  All tube signal paths are 1) in the design spec.

Overheard from a manager - "In this company we don't use transistors.  We use GATES."

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It still is amazing the variety of responses one gets in asking a group of analog engineers if they can do something like a codec with a given set of spec's and a certain power budget

Manager

I was reading the other day about some uC chip - I think from Maxim or Mictochip - with a fair bit of analog stuff on the edge.  Nice stuff, but you gotta have guys who know what to do with it.

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Regarding the demise of analog engineering.  It seems that analog circuits like the example posted are easy to solve with field equations in a simulator (Ironically digitally implemented.)  Are we too dependent on such tools such as Matlab, and pSpice which can add to the cost of the project?

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Soon an understaning of programmable logic will become more and more of a necessity as well.

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It's evolution leading to demise.  Remember the "logic designers"?  They were replaced by Verilog and fpga's.  That job is gone, but engineers moved forward to higher level design.  Analog design has suffered from fads, mostly the fads of college instruction.  Today's fads are RF, ADC, and power-supply design.  Meanwhile the rest of the technology is allowed to fade,,,

Rookie
For students, its extremely hard to get into the Analog industry, most positions requires experience! 2+ years. With debt, many are spooked and end up focusing on Programming to fill their stomachs and clear the debt. More opportunities for freshers needed. Will there be?
Rookie

@Max Sorry Max, I just submitted the copyright.

@C VanDorne  In Baxandall's original NFB tube tone control circuit (~1952) I'm thinking that an LC circuit could be substituted in there for mid range control.

I still have a Heathkit audio equalizer that uses LC tanks.  Today that is done with opamp filters.

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If by digital engineer, you mean logic gates and nothing else, then, yes. I'd agree. Purity in electrical engineering is probably a lost concept. You need to understand digital, analog and software to reall get by.

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@kfield---I was solely an analog designer for 28 years until I joined TI in 2000 and was forced to look at the bigger picture----How microcontrollers, DSP, software and power management fit into the design. There are very few experts just analog today

@Wintz "Experience in the field of power electronics controls and applications" 

Glad you mentioned this. Power is a biggie for analog engineers.

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@kfield: Brute-force Bloatware is a nice turn of phrase! I might crib that one for my next article!

Hey -- I called dibbs on that LOL

@kfield "in demand & what I often need"

BSEE/BSCE Degree (Graduate a plus)

Experience in the field of power electronics controls and applications, with a focus on avionics or military applications

Experience with PWB design techniques for signal integrity and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) compliance

 

Rookie

@steve.taranovich In Baxandall's original NFB tube tone control circuit (~1952) I'm thinking that an LC circuit could be substituted in there for mid range control.  What say you?

I came a little late, and haven't had time to read everything, so hopefully, I won't be speaking from a place of too much ignorance.

re: "No one wants to take on an employee they have to train" I don't really see a scenerio where I can hires someone and not need to train them

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@sheepdoll Brute-force Bloatware is a nice turn of phrase! I might crib that one for my next article!

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I think the evolution of engineering is a great topic, especially given all of the advancements in technology and tools with the generation of engineers that started their careers during the digital revolution

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Glory days of Analog are over and now this--Demise of Digital Engineers? Lengthy reply to both points needed!
Rookie

Hand rasied.  Most modern programmers are script writers who brute force bloatware with make work.

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Analog and Digital engineers: Demise or evolution of a craft?

@Yoshida "is there the demise of digital engineers?" I was playing too the analog crowd here. :-)

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@kfields Did you see my opinion in the trail of that artical on the term "digital designer".  It's a misnomer.  Digital designer = coder of reference designs.

The demise of the digital eng sounds interesting

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@kfield---We need to discuss not the demise of the digital engineer, but the evolution

@kfield: ...please raise your hand...

How many fingers am I holding up?

is there the demise of digital engineers?

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Hi David, what time is it in your neck of the world?

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@Zeeglen: And making (and learning from!) your design mistakes

YES YES YES -- That's why I'm such an expert now (well, at least according to my mother)

@zeeglen---yes, you are always learning from your mistakes---I was am and analog engineer for 42 years and I am still learning

Back to the discussion at hand, please raise your hand if you would like a follow-up article on EETimes about the demise of the digital engineer.

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@kfield: Shame on you, recycling old jokes!

What are you talking about? Those are his good trousers! LOL

@Steve the proctice comes with using evaluation boards, reference design boards, etc.

And making (and learning from!) your design mistakes

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@MeasurementBlues: I told you I'm off bagels, remember?

I didn't ask you to eat them -- just to bring them!

@Kfield - looking for donuts for myself and David.

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@measurement.blues Shame on your, recycling old jokes!

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@C VanDorne: I think you are relevant Max.  Uh, well...feeling's gone.  Sorry, dude.

No worries -- maybe it will come back when we all meet on the flip-side

@Max "we asked for bagels and coffee!"

I told you I'm off bagels, remember?

@David Ashton How's your hangover?

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@Wintz Can you share with us the analog skills that are the most in demand right now? What do you look for in a candidate?

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G'day all...brought some coffee but no donuts (I'm round enough as it is :-)  gimme a minute to catch up

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@MeasurementBlues: How's this for an analog circuit given to a high school physics class?

We didn't ask for old chestnuts -- we asked for bagels and coffee!

I think you are relevant Max.  Uh, well...feeling's gone.  Sorry, dude.

@Harvey---the proctice comes with using evaluation boards, reference design boards, etc. And call the tech line at the companies that supply these----ultimately, if you can---go to seminars and electronics shows with good tech sessions----the analog mentors are few and far between nowadays

Howdy Duane! What's a nice guy like you doing in a discussion like this?

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@Max You have to really understand the characteristics of the various circuit elements (resistors, capacitors, inductors -- and diodes, transistors, etc.)

So true!

 

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@measurementblues "How's this for an analog circuit given to a high school physics class?"

Warning: Trick question!

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@Sheepdoll: I find analog engineering like plumbing.  I can do it but would rather not unless absolutely necessary.

ROFLOL

@zeeglen @kfield: ...hope like mad you stay relevant throughout your career!

I'm hoping like mad to stay relevant until the end of today :-)

I find analog engineering like plumbing.  I can do it but would rather not unless absolutely necessary.

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@kfield "chicken or the egg"

At this point it makes more sense to learn analog and then double back for digital - get the strong analog training and knowledge transfer while you can. I learned a lot in college but it's the hands on training and "rubbing elbows with other engineers" that will allow you to gain the engineering "wisdom."

Rookie

If the advice is learn everything, on your time, and you get no practice just design it now dude, well this really doesn't work...

Rookie

The answer to young people interested in electronics is to be a more well-rounded designer but specialize in an area as well---like a doctor!

How's this for an analog circuit given to a high school physics class?

@prateekvar: So for someone who is planning to specialize in Analog Design, what skills are a must then?

You have to really understand the characteristics of the various circuit elements (resistors, capacitors, inductors -- and diodes, transistors, etc.). You also have to understand that in the analog world you also have to deal with these things as parasitic elements associated with interconnect and package pins and voas on circuit boards and stuff. You also have to be able to use tools like analog simulators (an art in itself)

@Maxthemagnificent Did Dave Potts also train you to sass off to management?

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We're all focusing on employment.  Isn't there anything that can be done in the analog world that is currently done in digital?  Then maybe we do the hiring.

@prateekvr---be a strong analog engineer, but understand how to design with microcontrollers and to use software---most analog demo boards out there have all of this

@docdivakar I'm okay with that, though I wish I could get involved in actual designs they are working on. Experience is the greatest teacher.

Rookie

@zeeglen A power clap for you..do what you like and hope like mad you stay relevant throughout your career!

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even digital signals are analog

Yup, during the transistion and after the transients had died out.  Then und\til the next edge digital is almost DC.

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@kcarreon "That's exactly how I feel..."

 

That's exactly how companies are shooting themselves in the feet. There is no serious focus on knowledge transfer or cross-training. One day, a function/task will make more sense via analog and there'll be no one who can make that happen.

Rookie

@maxthemagnificent "So when we talk about "analog designers" here -- are we talking about people creating analog circuits like audio amplifiers (hence working at the board level with discrete parts) -- or people creating the PHY interfaces on ASICs/ASSPs/SoCs ... or the people creating MEMS components ... or."

I think you hit the nail on the head here, all analog engineers are not the same.  But as @prateekvr asks below, what does an engineer need to know today to stay relevant?

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Its also a question of job enjoyment.  I like to design digital and analog on pcb, but I tried my hand at coding a long time ago and hated it.

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@kfield "No one wants to take on an employee they have to train"

When I started my first job as a member of a team designing CPUS for mainframes at International Computers Limited (ICL) in the UK, each new engineer was assigned to an older engineer who was to be his/her mentor -- I have to say that I learned a HUGE amount from my mrentor -- Dave Potts was his name

@kfield--The foundations for analog nowadays are being made from the ground up, not in engineering schools, but online with webcasts, white papers, live seminars, etc. The audience is usually not analog engineers anymore but designers who need to know analog

In the end, even digital signals are analog. Ask any of those "digital" designers at DesignCon.

@steve So for someone who is planning to specialize in Analog Design, what skills are a must then?
Rookie

@kcarreon Now a days companies expect you to train on your own / time!

MP Divakar

Manager

@Wintz "The problem is that companies are requiring the "Classic" Analog engineers to design Digital circuits (and oftentimes write code) as well."

What comes first, the chicken or the egg, meaning does one need to learn analog before digital or the other way around? It reminds me of Paul Rako saying that's too much information for any one person to hold in their head

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So when we talk about "analog designers" here -- are we talking about people creating analog circuits like audio amplifiers (hence working at the board level with discrete parts) -- or people creating the PHY interfaces on ASICs/ASSPs/SoCs ... or the people creating MEMS components ... or...

Analog suppliers have teamed up with software and microcontroller companies or have acquired or become acquired to have the complete solution---these companies ar creating the great tools needed for analog design

@kfield "No one wants to take on an employee they have to train" 

 

That's exactly how I feel. I am just starting working in a semiconductor company, hoping to learn, but I feel the company is unable to invest training in me. I am in applications and yes I am learning, but I'm interested in analog design, and the designers tell me "Oh well, it takes years of experience to get a position." I don't even know how to get in.

Rookie

@steve.taranovich But to do analog design using software tools, one still needs a solid foundation in classic analog don't they?

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@Max---your slip is showing

@steve.taranovich "Sorry---The "Analog" engineers you speak of who cannot find jobs are NOT  familiar with micrcontrollers or software programming"

The problem is that companies are requiring the "Classic" Analog engineers to design Digital circuits (and oftentimes write code) as well.

Rookie

@All -- when I said "is still right in your phase" that was a Freudian slip -- I meant "in your face"

Anyone have any idea how many analog engineers are out there?

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A good programmer must be able to do analog design with all the new tools out there

@MeasurrementBlues: Hello Bagel Boy

@measurementblues  An apt statement by an editor who covers test and measurement!

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The area where analog is still right in your phase is the physical layer (PHY) in communications interfacese , like USB and high-speed serial interfaces -- this is eye-watering analog

@steve Good Analog Designer must be a good programmer? Is that what you meant?
Rookie

And employers don't want to or cannot train.

Rookie

We keep finding more things to measure and measurement is purely analog. It's all about measurement. Everything else is just support. There are no measurments in digial, only counts.

Answer is that the engineers doing analog nowadays are microcontroller designers and even software engineers who are not analog engineers, but need to design analog circuits

Tell me about.  Today's project is hacking in a 5V/3.3V translator into my new test fixture because the digital guy who designed the interface was not aware that his PIC microcontrollerf analod/digital inputs are not 5V tolerant.

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There are still systems that are almost completely analog -- like audio amplifiers -- also I guess there are still analog filters and signal conditioning circuits -- but the vast amount of signal processing is now performed in the digital domain (DSP) and there is relatively little analog signal processing (ASP) these days

@Harvey "The shortage is in ready-to-design engineers who are already trained" I agree, this is a problem in many fields today. No one wants to take on an employee they have to train and if they do they're scared stiff that person will leave and someone else will benefit from the investment in training.

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I'd like to pose that there is simply a gap in mindset between A folks and D folks.  We think continuously and we're happy in the shades of gray.  Many of the people who work in our field, and hire us, are not.  They're more comfortable with discrete thinking where only logical conclusions are welcome: one-zero, yes-no, up-down, here-there, now-then.

Sorry---The "Analog" engineers you speak of who cannot find jobs are NOT  familiar with micrcontrollers or software programming

@Max "let me throw out a few random thoughts..."

Be afraid everyone, be very afraid :-)

The "Analog" engineers you speak of who cannot find jobs are familiar with micrcontrollers or software programming

Well not the grads themselves (although wouldn't that be cool?) but their numbers!

Blogger

T omy mind, the "high-end" of analog is RF and microwave -- that area really is something of a black art ... let's not even go there.

@Maxthemagnificent To your point, engineers not only didn't learn analog, they didn't learn electrical engineering either. BSEEs awarded in the US have dropped by 50% in this last generation, while computer science grads have soared through the roof

Blogger

When business is easy, companies treat people well, generally.  Now, competition is intense and there is no time for innovation- just product design.  Companies now want analog design to be turnkey- like digital design has largely become. The shortage is in ready-to-design engineers who are already trained.

Rookie

@zeeglen "taking a lunch break for once"

How career limiting :-)

I heard similar - "the world is going digital".  Funny, analog is still around.

Blogger

I think the big issue is specifying exactly what we mean by "analog" (or analogue in the UK) -- let me throw out a few random thoughts...

Is it just anecdotal thing?

Blogger

@kfield--"Analog is not dead or dying"  Then why are there so many analog enginers having trouble finding jobs?"

Answer is that the engineers doing analog nowadays are microcontroller designers and even software engineers who are not analog engineers, but need to design analog circuits

I've had the pleasure of spending some time with our analog engineers and I appreciatae what they bring to the table. Unfortunately, I'm not certain that industry will be able to replace many of the "Greats" when they retire.

 

Rookie

I get that shortage part, but what I don't get is why analog engineers are having hard time finding jobs?

Blogger

HI @CvanDorn.  Glad to be here.  I'm from www.LinearSystems.com 

The glory days were back when headhunters were as ubiquitous as telemarketers, and almost as annoying.

Blogger

I remember 20+ years ago everyonre saying "analog is dead -- it's all going to be digital" -- as a result a lot of young folks didn't learn analog electronics ... hence the shortage

Sorry, I suck at copy editing: I meant Analog engineers

Blogger

@steve.taranovich "Analog is not dead or dying"  Then why are there so many analog enginers having trouble finding jobs?

Blogger

Hello Kevin.  Blanket apology here folks: I'm a slow typer.

@Harvey: Thirty years ago there weren't enough IC's to go around.  High prices, nicer customers.

LOL

I thought that this industry has always been looking for more analog engineers.. I don't understand the glory days are over statement.

Blogger

To a degree, yes the glory days are over.  Thirty years ago there weren't enough IC's to go around.  High prices, nicer customers.

Rookie

Indeed it is, my magnificent friend.

@zeeglen: taking a lunch break for once

I've heard the term "lunch" and also the term "break" ... bur neither in the same sentence as my name (sob sob)

LOL @Max the Magnificent

 

Hi C VanDorne and Kevin Linear Systems

Blogger

The existence of the A to D and the D to A converter tells me that Analog is not dead or dying---it is evolving. We will always need to signal-condition the world around us so that the digital realm can further act upon it (I'm the Shakespeare of Analog electronics)

Not my assertion - the assertion of some analog engineers themselves.

Blogger

Hi C VanDorne -- Happy Friday!

Hi Kevin Linear Systems (that's a strange name -- I bet the other kids laughed at you at school :-)

Hi Max - taking a lunch break for once

Blogger

Hello everyone.

Rookie

I'll kick things off here by giving you some context to this chat: My original idea for an article was to write about the toughest engineering jobs to fill, inspired by a trip to Bangkok where I met an engineer who said they could not find any C programmers to hire. But in researching more jobs, what kept coming up was analog, analog, analog. So I published the article recently on EETimes, Analog Engineers: Too Many or Too Few? and stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest with the assertion by some that the glory days of analog were over.

Blogger

@prateekvr: I'm here to soak in your words!

Soak away old friend :-)

@Max---great analogy---yes!

Hi Zeeglen -- what's happenin'

Hi Junko -- whereabouts in the world are you today?

@Steve: So would you describe MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) as being 3D analog systems?

I'm here to soak in your words! What is all this talk about Glory Days of Analog Engg over? Please elaborate. :)
Rookie

@Steve: Now I'm getting teary-eyed!

I hate allergies :-)

Analog is the sounds we hear, the sights we see, the heat or cold we feel, the vibration we sense, the fragrance of a flower (Now I'm getting teary-eyed!)

Ah -- I remember (re the old speech synthesiser chip) it was the SP0256 -- did anyone else ever play with one of these?

@kfield: I am too young to remember that

I'm too young for all of this excitement :-)

I am too young to remember that

Blogger

@kfield: Welcome! What's your interest in analog?

What's your definition of analog?

What was that old SP.... speech synthesis chip from the 1980s?

@prateekvr  Welcome! What's your interest in analog?

 

Blogger

And wasn;t David Ashton supposed to handle the coffee and donuts?

I thought the "Keeper of the Bagels" -- Martin Rowe -- was in charge of the bagles

I'll take a cinnamon-and-raisin bagel, toasted with cream cheese on the side. Gotta fortify myself for this chat!

Blogger

Max and I never forget food :)

Hello! Ten minutes until we go live! Hoping that Max didn't forget the bagels and coffee!

Blogger

Are the Glory Days of Analog Engineering Over?

 

 

Our next live online chat will commence on Friday June 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time). You'll have to work out your local time from these clues (you can always use this handy-dandy Time Zone Converter).

Your hosts will be Karen Field (EETimes) and Steve Taranovich (Planet Analog), along with Max Maxfield (EETimes) making a guest appearance. The topic of conversation will be anything and everything to do with analog engineering and the simultaneous dwindling in and rising demand for analog skills.

As always, we will be following our usual practice of leaping from topic to topic with the agility of young, fearless mountain goats, so make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing!



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