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Recent blog posts
  • Motor Drive & Control
    • Oct 17, 2017

    Cycle scavenging on C2000™ MCUs, part 1: introduction

    Many engineers in the field of power electronics are developing closed-loop control systems for applications needing real-time motor control and power conversion technology. A closed-loop control system consists of three main stages that repea...
  • Power House
    • Oct 16, 2017

    Finding the maximum adapter power for the fastest battery charging

    Figure 1: Smartphone charging When you plug in your smartphone to charge, you want it to charge as fast and safely as possible. The integrated circuit (IC) that a smartphone (or other mobile device) cable plugs into is typically a battery-charger IC like the one shown in Figure 2. This IC powers the phone and charges the battery so that it can power the system in the absence of an adapter. Figure 2: Wall adapter...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Oct 16, 2017

    Visualizing the performance of the low-energy accelerator

    Today’s electronics engineers are constantly challenged with the need for high performance while maintaining low power. The balance between these two seemingly conflicting ideas is at the heart of every design and is crucial to success in today’s market. Consider a gas-metering application, for example. These devices are often located in remote areas and require long battery life, high accuracy and high reliability...
  • Power House
    • Oct 13, 2017

    How to approach a power-supply design – part 4

    In the previous installments of this series, I focused on specification , transfer ratios and basic power ratings , and buck, boost and buck-boost topologies . In this installment, I’ll introduce the single-ended primary inductance converter (SEPIC) and Zeta converter. Both topologies can be a cost-effective alternative to a buck-boost converter in the power range up to 25W. SEPICs The SEPIC topology can step...
  • Analog Wire
    • Oct 12, 2017

    Forget the tiny homes craze – Have you heard about tiny inductors for automotive Class-D amplifiers?

    You can’t turn on the TV or open a website lately without seeing or reading about the tiny home craze. Smaller is supposedly better, right? Similarly, mobile phone manufacturers tout how small, slim or lightweight their next-generation phone is. It just seems natural that this trend would spill over into the automotive audio Class-D amplifier space. So in this post, I’ll talk about how tiny inductors are...
  • Power House
    • Oct 12, 2017

    Vary the output voltage in an inverting buck-boost topology

    In this blog post, I’d like to discuss a methodology for providing a variable output voltage in an inverting buck-boost topology. In this topology, the choice of resistors on the feedback voltage divider network defines the output voltage, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1: Configuration of an inverting buck-boost converter For a different output voltage, you will need to use a different set of resistor values...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Oct 11, 2017

    Step 7 to build a smart thermostat using an MCU: how to pick the right MCU

    You made it to the last post in this series . Congratulations! You should have almost everything you need to get your smart thermostat application up and running, and you’ve learned how to tailor it to your application needs. In this last installment, I will summarize what you’ve learned so far and give you some tips and tricks on how to best choose a microcontroller (MCU) that fits your application needs...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Oct 11, 2017

    SimpleLink™ MCU SDKs: making time-to-market windows a breeze

    Welcome to the latest installment in a series of blog posts that review the major components of SimpleLink™ microcontroller (MCU) 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 SimpleLink MCU portfolio of wired and wireless devices. Time-to-market pressures for embedded...
  • Power House
    • Oct 11, 2017

    An easy power-module reference design for RF data converter negative voltages

    Do you have a need for a negative voltage rail to bias a radio frequency (RF) sampling data converter such as the DAC38RF80 ? Most applications don’t require the generation of a negative voltage, but you do need it to bias the current sinks in many types of high performance digital-to-analog converters (DACs). In a multi-channel, multi-device system the total negative supply current requirements can add up; a critical...
  • Analog Wire
    • Oct 10, 2017

    Unique active mux capability combines buffer and switch into one solution

    This post is co-authored by Anthony Vaughan . Designers often run into the problem of selecting one of two (or several) inputs to pass on to the next stage. While a plethora of multiplexer (mux)-type devices use a modified impedance approach to select which input passes to a single output, a new high-speed precision operational amplifier (op amp) adds this capability internally. The OPA837 single-channel op amp...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Oct 10, 2017

    Educational robot puts STEM into motion

    Hope Stanley, an eighth-grader at Travis Vanguard Academy in Dallas, says she’s not the most tech-savvy student at her school. But that may change after she learned to program using our new educational robot. “This was really easy an...
  • Power House
    • Oct 10, 2017

    Signal integrity in multiphase, smart power-stage applications

    While a proper high-current power-stage layout is always important in DC/DC applications, paying attention to regulator signal routing during printed circuit board (PCB) layout is more important than ever. Revision 1.3 of the popular PMBus protocol brings with it faster 1MHz clock speeds as well as the option of a high-speed 50MHz AVSBus. These digital lines, along with the quick edged pulse-width modulation (PWM) signals...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Oct 10, 2017

    The multi-switch detection interface: integrated features for smaller, more efficient designs

    Automotive body control modules (BCMs) are electronic control units that manage numerous vehicle comfort, convenience and lighting functions, including door locks, windows, chimes, closure sensors, interior and exterior lighting, wipers, and turn signals. Specifically, BCMs monitor different driver switches and control power to corresponding loads in a car, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1: BCM block diagram A...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Oct 9, 2017

    Temboo makes it easy to interface with hundreds of REST-ful web services with the SimpleLink SDK

    With internet-connected embedded devices, developers have the ability to tap into a massive offering of representational state transfer (REST)-ful application programming interfaces (APIs). REST-ful APIs are “hooks” that websites and serv...
  • Analog Wire
    • Oct 5, 2017

    How ultrasonic technology improves convenience and performance in home automation

    Homeowners are becoming more interested in automating the control of lights, fans, thermostats, TVs, music equipment, garage doors, doorbells and much more, leading to a growing trend of bringing commercial building automation technologies home. Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod and HomeKit, Wink, and a multitude of other central hubs control and monitor various electrical/electronic devices in a home, as shown...
  • Enlightened: The TI DLP® Blog
    • Oct 4, 2017

    Lincoln brings crisp Head-Up Displays to its Continental sedan with TI technology

    After a 15-year hiatus, Lincoln is back with the new Continental. The luxury vehicle has quite a few advanced features, including the unique new Head-Up Display (HUD) utilizing DLP® technology offered in its technology package. Originally a technology reserved for aviation, HUDs have now found their way into some mid- to premium-class automobiles. These systems project graphics onto a car’s windshield so...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Oct 4, 2017

    Bluetooth® low energy makes automotive systems more automatic

    It’s 7 a.m. on a Monday morning. You’re walking toward your car with coffee and lunch in one hand while on a phone call with the other hand. Now, where are those keys, and how are you going to reach them with your hands full? No worries! Your smartphone’s got you covered. Your phone connects to your vehicle using Bluetooth low energy technology. As you approach, the vehicle immediately knows your...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Oct 3, 2017

    Drones are delivering more than you can imagine

    Countless heroes jumped into action in the wake of natural disasters around the world in recent weeks. Among them: drone operators. Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, drones have been deployed to help restore the electrical grid. In Mexic...
  • The Process
    • Sep 29, 2017

    New industrial Ethernet protocol: CC-Link IE Field Basic

    There are a multitude of industrial protocols to handle communication between devices for Industry 4.0. One new protocol designed to connect your factory floor is CC-Link IE Field Basic, and TI just added support for it on Sitara™ processors. ...
  • Analog Wire
    • Sep 28, 2017

    Is your factory smarter than a fifth grader?

    In my last post , I discussed the future of factory automation and how IO-Link is an enabling interface for Industry 4.0. You can use the IO-Link bidirectional, manufacturer-independent communication protocol to develop highly efficient and scalable &...
  • Power House
    • Sep 27, 2017

    Sequencing solutions: simple, reliable and cost-effective

    As electronics increase in complexity, designers of even simple systems are running into issues associated with multiple power rails. One challenge with having multiple power rails is often the sequencing of the enable signals, because the startup order and timing of these rails can be strict. The LM3880 and LM3881 analog power-supply sequencers offer a simple method to control the power-up and power-down sequencing...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Sep 26, 2017

    Ultrasonic meter makes every drop count

    Drip. Drip. Drip. With leaks as slow as one drop a second flowing down the drain – along with the streams of revenue that they might have generated − utility companies around the world have been searching for ways to measure w...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Sep 26, 2017

    Using ultrasonic technology for flow measurement

    Ultrasonic technology has been in use for over a hundred years in several civil, medical and military applications. Almost everyone in the developed world has experienced medical ultrasonic technology (even before birth!); however, most recent advancements and use cases have been in automation for industrial and automotive markets. It’s amazing to see this technology find its place in a diverse set of applications...
  • Motor Drive & Control
    • Sep 25, 2017

    Top design challenges in precise motor control for industrial robotics

    Industrial automation applications are incorporating more industrial robots and automated machinery. For example, robots can pick up an engine block, place it into a car chassis exactly, and return to their original position to perform another task with identical precision every time. But this would be impossible without precise motor-drive control. Design challenges for precise motor control To achieve precise...
  • Power House
    • Sep 22, 2017

    Upgrade your TO-220 linear regulator with a pin-compatible buck power module

    Designers have used linear regulators for decades in electronic applications because of their simplicity and low cost. For a complete step-down power supply, you only need an input and output capacitor along with a linear regulator, which is much simpler to design and has lower noise when compared to a switching regulator. In applications where the input voltage (V IN ) is close to the output voltage (V OUT ), its efficiency...