Recent blog posts
  • Industrial Strength
    • Apr 17, 2017

    Moving to the next level of factory automation

    My last post on robotics was all about which types of robots exist and how they are different. To quickly recap: Industrial robots are normally fixed to a position and designed to perform repetitive tasks quickly and with high accuracy. They are controlled by a robot controller placed in the base of, or next to, a robot arm. Collaborative robots...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Apr 14, 2017

    Latest Energia version brings Arduino-compatible APIs to the SimpleLink™ MCU platform

    Energia is a TI and community-driven software framework integrated development environment (IDE) that provides Wiring/Arduino-compatible application program interfaces (APIs) to various TI microcontrollers (MCUs), including those found in the newly expanded SimpleLink™ platform. By adopting the Wiring/Arduino framework, you can leverage a large...
  • Power House
    • Apr 13, 2017

    Design advantage of D-CAP control topology

    Texas Instruments first implemented the D-CAP™ control topology in 2004 on a double-data-rate (DDR) controller, the TPS51116 . TI developed D-CAP technology as a form of current-mode control using the output capacitor equivalent series resistance (ESR) as the sense element. The name “D-CAP” refers to the current information that’s...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Apr 13, 2017

    Understanding flap actuators and what drives them in automotive HVAC systems

    Whether it’s hot or cold outside, passengers inside a car are comfortable thanks to automotive heating and cooling systems. These heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems vary in complexity and level of automation depending on the vehicle class. While an economy car requires that a driver manually turn knobs to control the temperature...
  • University Program
    • Apr 13, 2017

    How to build a microcontroller robot

    This tutorial is designed to help those looking to build a basic microcontroller robot using off the shelf components. Learn how to build and program an MSP430™ MCU LaunchPad™ development kit plus Sub-1 GHz RF CC110L BoosterPack plu...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Apr 12, 2017

    SimpleLink™ MCU SDKs: Breaking down TI Drivers

    Welcome to the first installment in a series of blog posts that will review the major components of the SimpleLink™ microcontroller (MCU) platform’s software development kits (SDKs). These SDKs feature common components and device-specific middleware that speed time to market and provide a unified development experience across the entire...
  • Power House
    • Apr 11, 2017

    The effects of gate-driver strength in synchronous buck converters

    The peak voltage at phase node, VPH, in a synchronous buck converter is one of the main specifications to determine converter reliability. Designers usually allow phase-node ringing to be as much as 85% to 90% of the MOSFET data sheet’s absolut...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Apr 11, 2017

    Smart sensing with ultra-low-power MCUs – part 2: smart fault indicators

    Now that we’ve discussed smart sensing in relation to glass break detector , in part two of this series, I’ll discuss another type of application: fault indicators. A fault indicator is a device widely used in electric power distribution networks on overhead lines and underground cables to detect and indicate fault conditions. At the bottom...
  • Power House
    • Apr 10, 2017

    A handy tool for power-supply designs

    Versatility is a good thing. You probably have one of those tools in your toolbox – probably not advertised as such, but something that just ended up being good for everything from prying and bending, to loosening stuff. You reach for that tool repeatedly because you’re comfortable with it and you know that it’s going to do the job...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Apr 10, 2017

    Peter Balyta: 'We must act; STEM skills are survival skills for students today'

    In Peter Balyta’s unique role as president of Education Technology and vice president of academic engagements and corporate citizenship, he interacts with students and educators at all levels. In this “Inspire STEM” series, he addre...
  • Analog Wire
    • Apr 10, 2017

    TI resolver interface offers integration benefits in industrial drives and HEV/EV

    Many motor-drive applications (see Figure 1) typically need a position/speed feedback loop to ensure efficient system performance. For users to meet their accuracy needs there are many different technologies for position/speed sensing on the market today. In this blog post, I’ll discuss one of these technologies – the resolver sensor –...
  • Power House
    • Apr 7, 2017

    Managing power scaling and sequencing the analog way

    With the emergence of Internet of Things (IOT) applications , more and more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are being deployed into cloud computing and server system applications. These high-performance end applications demand higher processing power and ever-increasing clock speeds. Voltage...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Apr 7, 2017

    Well-pad automation through the CC1310 wireless MCU

    Oil companies use high-tech radios to automate production sites in cool new ways. Competition in oil production can get pretty ugly, especially when the price of oil is low, as it has been for the past several years. To stay competitive against big players, smaller regional oil and gas companies are turning to well-pad automation practices to keep their...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Apr 6, 2017

    Designing wireless motion-detector systems with Sub-1 GHz

    Widely deployed in households, commercial buildings and other facilities, motion detectors issue notifications when they sense the presence of people in designated areas. The detector shares these notifications through sound, light, or wired and wireless transmissions to other units like control panels, alarms or cloud applications. Systems based...
  • Power House
    • Apr 5, 2017

    It's a wrap at APEC – power trends, friends and automobiles

    The 2017 Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) did not disappoint. The annual pilgrimage to the premier global event in power electronics was full of ideas, implementations and illuminations. Let me share some of the key takeaways from the energizing week. Data center power delivery could see some major restructuring. Two plenary talks (one...