Recent blog posts
  • Analog Wire
    • Feb 21, 2017

    What are the building blocks of Bluetooth speakers?

    Bluetooth® speakers are now fairly common in the marketplace. Many manufacturers offer very basic systems selling for a few dollars to high-end systems selling for hundreds, with varying degrees of audio performance. The Bluetooth market is highl...
  • University Program
    • Feb 21, 2017

    Students build electric motorcycle & travel the world in 80 days

    The gist: twenty-three students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands banded together to become team STORM Eindhoven. Their mission: spread the importance of sustainable energy by designing and building the world’s fir...
  • Power House
    • Feb 20, 2017

    Four-switch buck-boost layout tip No. 1: identifying the critical parts for layout

    Layout is very critical to the successful operation of a buck-boost converter. A good layout begins by identifying these critical components, as shown in Figure 1: High di/dt loops or hot loops. High dv/dt nodes. Sensitive traces. Figure 1: Identi...
  • Precision Hub
    • Feb 17, 2017

    Detecting pesky failing batteries before they cause a problem

    As battery-powered systems become more common, quickly identifying a failing battery so that it can be replaced is becoming increasingly important. From an individual battery powering a mobile phone to a bank of batteries used to store renewable ene...
  • Power House
    • Feb 16, 2017

    Make your PSE system smarter and more efficient

    Power over Ethernet (PoE) enables Ethernet cables to carry electrical power as well as data. For example, old Internet protocol (IP) phones usually needed a DC power supply and Ethernet cable to deliver power and data, respectively. With PoE implemented in an Ethernet switch, power is delivered through the Ethernet cable to the IP phone, eliminating...
  • Power House
    • Feb 15, 2017

    Power Tips: How to use Nyquist plots to assess system stability

    A Bode plot is a very popular way to determine a dynamic system’s stability. However, there are times, when a Bode plot is not a straightforward stability indicator. Figure 1 shows a Bode plot of TI’s TPS40425synchronous buck converter w...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Feb 15, 2017

    Packing more performance into space-constrained embedded applications

    Sensing applications are getting physically smaller and smaller. Whether you’re designing a remote industrial sensor node that needs to be tucked away in a factory (Figure 1) or a sensor for the next smart wearable device, space is becoming a scarce resource. On the other hand, there is an increasing need for integration and processing to be...
  • Power House
    • Feb 14, 2017

    USB Type-C™ power: Should your next device have USB Type-C?

    As USB Type-C ports continue to rise in popularity in laptops, tablets and smartphones, so do the number of failures that early adopters experience. These failures are frequently due to the new USB Type-C cables, many of which are not compliant with the official USB 3.1 specification. With previous USB implementations (common ones shown in Figure...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Feb 14, 2017

    MSP430™ MCU, I heart you: How a community of innovators has formed around these little microcontrollers

    It’s not every day that a development board gets a marriage proposal. But when it comes to the MSP430™ MCU LaunchPad™ development kit, it’s just another day in the life of this little red rectangle of possibility that&rsq...
  • Analog Wire
    • Feb 13, 2017

    Digital signal processing in RF sampling DACs

    In this blog post, I will discuss the important digital signal processing (DSP) blocks that create all of the magic in direct RF sampling DACs. These blocks include interpolation filters, mixers, numerically controlled oscillators (NCOs), summers and inverse sinc filters. What makes RF sampling devices magical is that they combine digital interpolation...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Feb 13, 2017

    Celebrating #MSP430love

    One of the things that makes MSP430™ microcontrollers (MCUs) great is the worldwide community and how much love they show for the platform with their designs, external forum and TI E2E™ community posts and conversations on social media. T...
  • Power House
    • Feb 10, 2017

    Deciphering module data sheets – efficiency

    In my blog, Deciphering module data sheets – size , I discussed how it’s critical to go beyond just the front page of the data sheet to get the full story about a power module’s integration and solution size. In this installment, I’ll talk about similar issues with power module transient response and efficiency. Transient...
  • Analog Wire
    • Feb 9, 2017

    RF sampling: Learning more about Latency

    In this post, I’m going to discuss latency in an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Latency is the time it takes for a signal to travel from point A to point B. In an ADC, latency is how long it takes from the time that an analog input is applied to the time that the digital output word becomes available. Why is latency important? Regardless...
  • University Program
    • Feb 9, 2017

    Steps toward getting a job offer

    You just finished a big interview with the company of your dreams. You and the prospective employer had a great discussion on how your skills and abilities match their business needs. You also proved your capability and achieved likability. Now you just wait until the phone rings and the offer rolls in – right? Not quite. Here are a few tips...
  • Power House
    • Feb 8, 2017

    Deciphering module data sheets – size

    I’m sure at some point or another, we’ve all agreed to terms and conditions that we haven’t really read. Why bother spending so much time reading fine print? Like any important document, data sheets also have fine print – one page of flashy specs, but upwards of 20 pages of fine print. This is especially true for power modules...