Recent blog posts
  • Analog Wire
    • Feb 5, 2016

    Disentangling RF amplifier specs: amplifier spot noise vs. noise figure

    In the world of high-speed amplifiers, noise is commonly represented one of two ways. For radio frequency (RF)-oriented amplifiers, such as low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), radio frequency power amplifiers (PAs) and RF gain blocks, noise is usually given as a noise figure value. For high-speed operational amplifiers (op amps) and fully differential amplifiers...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Feb 4, 2016

    A battery driver you can count on to keep you going

    When that fancy new drone of yours is busy capturing 4K ultra-high-definition video 2,000 feet in the air, the last thing you want to worry about is whether it has enough “juice” to finish your new YouTube masterpiece or land safely. We’ve got your back – a solution that minimizes power drain, voltage spikes and overheating...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Feb 4, 2016

    WiLink™ 8 modules light up the industrial IoT night

    Wireless connectivity technologies are widely used in consumer market all around us. Today, these opportunities are also in reach of the industrial market, replacing the standard cables of the past. The concept of the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Recently, the TI WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Feb 4, 2016

    Energy harvesting solutions enable expanded 4-20mA current loop functionality

    Sensing and measurement is becoming more and more important in the industrial sector. From both a factory and process automation standpoint, sensor transmitters are being added to improve system intelligence, detect faults and drive efficiency. In process automation specifically, 80 percent of the sensors have a HART 4-20mA interface. Current loops...
  • Power House
    • Feb 3, 2016

    When to use load switches in place of discrete MOSFETs

    Before people knew about electricity, they used candles for light. While this was a common way to see in the dark, the invention of the light bulb proved to be a better solution. Much like a candle, the most common approach to switching a load is to use a power MOSFET surrounded by discrete resistors and capacitors (and a bipolar junction transistor...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Feb 3, 2016

    The value of wettable flank-plated QFN packaging for automotive applications

    To ensure that cars meet today’s demand for safety and high reliability, the automotive industry requires original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to perform 100% automatic visual inspection (AVI) post-assembly. In the case of quad-flat no-lead ...
  • Power House
    • Feb 2, 2016

    Power Tips: Multiphase supplies can save space

    When I started at TI, one of the first power supplies that I worked on was a high-current two-phase buck power supply for a processor core. The current was 40A – pretty large at the time, and too high to implement in a single stage. Most power-supply designers look to multiphase applications to split up high-current rails into stages that are...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Feb 2, 2016

    The top 6 challenges facing IoT – and how we are overcoming them

    Smart homes. Connected cars. Intelligent factories. At the heart of all of these clever technologies is an interconnected network of devices known as the Internet of Things (IoT) . The IoT is headed for a tipping point. By some estimates, there will be 50 billion ‘things ’ communicating with each other or the Internet by 2020. So a challenge...
  • Power House
    • Feb 1, 2016

    How to use an LDO as a load switch

    Can a low-dropout regulator (LDO) make a good load switch? Isn’t that like putting a round peg in a square hole? Well, yes, but an LDO can be a good choice if two or three of these conditions apply: The input voltage is >15V (this eliminate...
  • Analog Wire
    • Feb 1, 2016

    Designing a 25G system: 5 tips to balance power, performance and price

    When transitioning from 10G to 25G for next-generation servers and switches, hardware design engineers have to satisfy competing objectives: minimize data latency, maintain or reduce power consumption, and keep costs as low as possible. You essential...
  • Power House
    • Feb 1, 2016

    Pump it up with charge pumps – Part 1

    Life was simple when I first became interested in electronics. Components were so big I could solder them without a microscope. Switching converters switched at a whopping 25 kHz, digital circuits all used a 5-V supply voltage and all the computers I came across used the RS-232 serial interface to communicate. The RS-232 standard specifies that a...
  • Fully Charged
    • Feb 1, 2016

    Big batteries? Take a walk on the (high) side

    It’s a spectacular time to be working in the world of batteries these days — sure, we hear a lot about wearables, smartphones and improbably tiny wireless headphones, but there’s an equally fascinating bloom of innovation happening at the other end of the portables spectrum. I’m talking big battery applications like delivery...
  • Analog Wire
    • Jan 29, 2016

    Selecting the right inductor for ultra-low distortion Class-D audio amplifiers

    Selecting the inductance value for the output filter of a Class-D audio amplifier is always a critical design decision. With next-generation ultra-low-distortion Class-D amplifiers, selecting an inductor with poor electrical properties can severely limit the audio performance. My colleague Brian talked about how high-definition audio is changing the...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Jan 28, 2016

    Top three reasons to include proximity sensing in your human interface design

    One of the benefits of automating control systems within buildings is the ability to customize services and personalize a user’s environment; the human machine interface (HMI) is the gateway to such controls. The addition of proximity sensing is an underutilized improvement to many interfaces in an automated building ecosystem, including thermostats...
  • Motor Drive & Control
    • Jan 28, 2016

    Protect your BLDC motor drive with cycle-by-cycle current limit control – part 2

    Welcome back! If you missed part 1 of this series, I discussed the necessity of cycle-by-cycle over current protection in BLDC motor drives and how to sense the motor winding current. In part 2, I will discuss on how to implement the cycle-...