Recent blog posts
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Jul 25, 2017

    How to create your own low-power telemetry logger for a drone

    What does it take to build a compact data logger to measure six axes of acceleration plus altitude for a hobbyist drone project? After a few weeks of design effort and some careful soldering, I have the answer: 1in 2 of printed circuit board (PCB) space, a couple of microelectrical mechanical system (MEMS) sensors, an MSP430™ ferroelectric random...
  • Power House
    • Jul 25, 2017

    LDO basics: noise – part 2

    In my last blog, LDO basics: noise – part 1 , I discussed how to lower output noise and control the slew rate by using a capacitor in parallel with the reference voltage (C NR/SS ). In this post, I’d like to discuss another method to lower output noise: using a feed-forward capacitor (C FF ). What is a feed-forward capacitor? A feed...
  • Power House
    • Jul 24, 2017

    The story behind "Fundamentals of Power Supply Design"

    I joined Texas Instruments in July 2003, working in marketing for power management. During my first week on the job, my boss introduced me to Bob Mammano like this: “Tim, I’d like to introduce you to Bob Mammano, the inventor of the first integrated circuit [IC] designed for switch-mode power-supply control.” Bob was managing TI’s...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Jul 24, 2017

    Let the loop current flow, but only 4-20mA

    The simplicity and robustness of 4-20mA current loops in factory automation and control systems is remarkable. They even deliver power to the field transmitter, which converts the measure and sets the current in the loop from 4-20mA accordingly. An analog input module then measures the current. Measuring a 4-20mA loop current is quite simple. The...
  • Power House
    • Jul 20, 2017

    How to approach a power-supply design – part 3

    In the second installment of this blog series, I discussed how to choose the best-fitting topology from the parameters of your power-supply specification. In this third installment, I’ll describe different in-depth aspects for buck, boost and buck-boost topologies. Buck converters Figure 1 shows the schematic of a nonsynchronous buck converter...
  • Analog Wire
    • Jul 19, 2017

    Be smart: select digital isolators for your smart meter

    (Vikas Kumar Thawani co-authored this blog post.) All major countries are investing in the smart grid and are committed to making it a success. Why? Because power demand is going up, grid and power distribution will be critical. As demand increases, the cost of power increases because the resources to generate electricity are limited, resulting in...
  • Motor Drive & Control
    • Jul 19, 2017

    A basic brushless gate driver design – part 2

    Before we jump into the fun, let’s recap from part 1 : Brushless DC motors are cool (and can help you make friends). No one likes talking about the actual hardware (but I’m going to do it anyway). There are advantages and disadvantages to both discrete and integrated gate drivers. I can talk about features and benefits...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Jul 19, 2017

    Protecting your software investment

    After years of work, way too little sleep and way too much coffee, you’ve developed an innovative new product that will disrupt the market and change the world. How do you protect the code that you’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into developing? While there is no perfect solution to protect against unauthorized access or reverse...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Jul 19, 2017

    Designing a building security system with the Sub-1 GHz sensor-to-cloud reference design

    Building security systems come in many system topologies, ranging from a simple alarm system to a complicated network of sensors that all report to a main security panel acting as a hub. These systems are either wired or wireless based on their deployment, and when wireless leverage many different types of connectivity to achieve their specific application...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Jul 18, 2017

    Peter Balyta: Want to make a difference in STEM? Become a robotics mentor

    In Peter Balyta’s unique role as president of Education Technology and vice president of Academic Engagement and Corporate Citizenship, he interacts with students and educators at all levels. In this second in a series of “Inspire STEM&rd...
  • Power House
    • Jul 18, 2017

    Transform the way you charge your devices with USB Type-C and PD

    Nowadays, we see more and more electronics with USB Type-C™ and USB Power Delivery (PD) ports on the market. They range from cellphones, laptops and power banks to drones, power tools, and smart home and portable applications. The USB...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Jul 17, 2017

    How to design an efficient and cost-competitive choke in PFC applications

    As losses in the grid increase due to bad power factor (PF), mandates call for more and more end equipment to comply with stringent target values. Air conditioners are already fully regulated, but other motorized appliances such as ceiling fans, vacuum cleaners or refrigerators will likely be next. Power-supply unit (PSU) efficiency enhancement...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Jul 17, 2017

    The importance of frequency hopping

    Are you a fan of those 1940s black-and-white movies where a damsel in distress gets rescued by a rough-and-ready private eye? If so, then you’ve probably seen actress Hedy Lamarr. In real life, Hedy was no damsel in distress. She was one of the primary inventors of technology now seen in Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth® and code-division multiple access...
  • Enlightened: The TI DLP® Blog
    • Jul 14, 2017

    Visualize new possibilities for digital signage

    Digital signage is changing the way consumers receive information. Companies are actively looking for new techniques to engage and attract people to their products and services. However, many businesses and consumers think digital signage is limited to flat-panel displays. Flat-panel displays do have several limitations – particularly size and...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Jul 13, 2017

    Sensor-to-cloud: sending all data to one place

    In my last post, “ Collecting environmental data with less energy and wiring ,” I discussed making more applications wireless, but how can all this data be collected and manipulated in one place? The solution is the SimpleLink™ Sub-1 GHz Sensor to Cloud, so today I will discuss how to easily set up a sensor-to-cloud network. The...