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Drive in to see how TI is engineering the future of automotive...
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ConnecTIng Wirelessly

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Enlightened: The TI DLP® Blog

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Fully Charged

The latest power trends for battery-powered designs.
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Industrial Strength

The latest from TI experts on our innovative industrial...
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Across the smart grid application spectrum, TI supports every...
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Recent blog posts
  • Power House
    • Dec 8, 2016

    Biasing an SR controller IC in USB smartphone charging applications

    With the increased interest in energy efficiency and energy conservation, a synchronous rectifier (SR) helps boost efficiency when converting offline AC power into 5V for USB smartphone battery charging. During this conversion, an SR controller integrated circuit (IC) needs proper biasing in order to provide the adequate drive to the SR MOSFET. The bias voltage is typically above 4V in USB applications. Because the BC1...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Dec 8, 2016

    Predictive maintenance solutions for HVAC filter replacement – part 2

    In part one of this series, I discussed a TI reference design used for predictive maintenance with respect to filter changes. One of the most obvious questions that comes to mind is, “How can this design be implemented on any system and still give accurate results?” The most logical way (no pun intended) is to implement a software-based algorithm that is directly responsible for defining the typical operating...
  • University Program
    • Dec 8, 2016

    How to light up the holidays with your own TI LaunchPad development kit circuit!

    As finals are impending and the holiday is approaching, bring a little cheer by making your own electronic circuit that lights up LEDs and jingles a holiday tune. For this project, we will use a Texas Instruments (TI) LaunchPad™ development kit and the versatile Sidekick Basic kit for TI LaunchPad kit. The TI LaunchPad kit is our programmable processor that is capable of very complex to very simple embedded...
  • Analog Wire
    • Dec 8, 2016

    What you need to know about input bias current – and why

    One of my standard interview questions for new college graduates is to describe the non-ideal aspects of an operational amplifier (op amp ). While most candidates start with open-loop gain, offset voltage, bandwidth and noise, only a few mention input bias current. Even experienced circuit designers often have questions about input bias current and its effects. In this post, I’ll answer some of these questions and...
  • Power House
    • Dec 7, 2016

    Stack current with PowerStack packages for higher power POL

    Voltage regulators, particularly DC/DC converters with integrated MOSFETs, have evolved from being simple, low-power supplies defined by input voltage, output voltage and current to now being capable of delivering much higher power, monitoring ...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Dec 6, 2016

    RS-485 basics: two ways to fail-safe bias your network

    In the last installment of this series , I discussed when you need terminations in an RS-485 network and how to implement both standard and AC termination schemes. In this installment, I will explore two common ways to handle idle bus conditions so that there is a guaranteed logical state on the bus. Because RS-485 is a multipoint topology network and is not able to handle contention, there will be times where all...
  • Fully Charged
    • Dec 6, 2016

    Make your power bank more reliable with output short-circuit protection

    Lithium ion (Li-Ion) or lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries are key components in some portable systems, especially power banks. But on rare occasions, these batteries have the potential risk of catching on fire or even exploding in short-circuit, overvoltage or high-temperature conditions. An increasing number of such incidences are occurring even today. To hel p safeguard consumers against these conditions, Underwriters...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Dec 5, 2016

    Engineer thrives on solving big-picture challenges

    In our ongoing series, “One to Watch,” we profile TIers who are making a difference through innovation or citizenship. When Chris Kraft accepts a challenge, he digs deep into the data, identifies patterns and often finds solutions that el...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Dec 5, 2016

    Industrial innovation on display at SPS IPC Drives

    German design engineers often associate November with electronica (even though it's an every other year event), but the "other big industrial conference" designers anticipate is the SPS IPC Drives show in Nürnberg. TI recently showed off several innovative technologies to thousands of attendees, including eye-catcher demos such as its I ndustry 4.0 – Smart Factory demo wall or the Industrial Ethernet...
  • Analog Wire
    • Dec 5, 2016

    How switching above the AM band eases automotive Class-D amplifier EMC designs

    As I recall riding in my dad’s 1957 Chevy, every time he would change the radio to a new station in the AM band, I could hear a lot of static. This loud buzzing sound represents noise from the car’s alternator or ignition system, which either gets transferred into the power supply of the radio or interferes with the radio’s antenna. The noise naturally interferes with the AM broadcast radio signal, which...
  • Power House
    • Dec 2, 2016

    When should you use PWM controllers?

    PWM is a control method that can be applied to many power-supply topologies. And because power supplies, regardless of topology, are used in an endless set of applications, they have the reputation of being used everywhere; PWMs are used in a wide variety of applications. PWM is short for pulse-width modulation. In the context of a switched-mode power supply, PWM is the scheme used to regulate an output such as an...
  • Enlightened: The TI DLP® Blog
    • Dec 1, 2016

    What to consider when developing an aftermarket head-up display (HUD)

    Demand for automotive displays that go beyond traditional dashboards, instrument clusters and center cluster is growing as head-up display (HUD) innovation accelerates from a proven concept to commercial reality. Integrated HUD solutions offered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) continue to appear in new automobiles. Aftermarket HUD solutions for vehicles already on the road are another potentially lucrative...
  • Analog Wire
    • Dec 1, 2016

    How to correct 10Gbps performance issues with a USB Type-C™ active redriver multiplexer

    With today’s 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) TVs (and future 8K UHD TVs), as well as solid-state storage speeds, more video and data bandwidth is a must. Interface standards groups in the industry are addressing this trend by enabling more video and data bandwidth. For example, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) DisplayPort 1.4 standard enables 4K and 8K video via four 8.1Gbps (known as high bit rate...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Nov 30, 2016

    White paper: Electrifying automotive to accelerate a greener planet

    Imagine a future in which cities are bustling with self-driven, zero-emission vehicles that communicate to each other and the roads as part of a greener, more efficient environment. Cars will park themselves and recharge themselves. They’ll be ...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Nov 30, 2016

    Bluetooth® low energy multi-role demystified

    I’ve been hearing a buzz word lately in the Bluetooth ® low energy realm: Multi-role. I had a few suspicions but I wasn’t quite sure what everyone was talking about. This called for further investigation, and like any curious Millennial, I quickly “Googled it.” But I realized instead of learning this information second hand, I can go straight to the source. I sat down with some of TI’s...
  • Analog Wire
    • Nov 29, 2016

    How you can use the LDC racetrack inductor designer tool

    In my previous post, I introduced the LDC calculator tool, which you can download here . It can calculate a number of useful parameters for an Inductive Sensing application. LDC devices use inductors to sense the movement of conductive targets. At TI, we commonly use spiral traces routed on a printed circuit board (PCB) to form sensing inductors. WEBENCH® Coil Designer is a useful online tool that can help you...
  • Power House
    • Nov 29, 2016

    Four tips to debug a boost converter

    The most efficient way to solve a problem with a converter such as failure to startup, output voltage unstable, etc. is to do some basic debugging. Basic debugging would rule out some obvious problems, like fault assembling or the wrong components and, the debugging data can help support engineers of TI to find the root cause quickly. In this blog post, we will talk about tips for debugging a boost converter. Check...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Nov 28, 2016

    Here we grow again

    I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “two heads are better than one.” The truth of this statement is evident when you consider the increase in efficiency and productivity when tasks are shared between two individuals. Would...
  • Analog Wire
    • Nov 28, 2016

    Why phase noise matters in RF sampling converters

    ** This is the 16th post in an Analog Wire RF sampling blog series . ** Radio frequency (RF) sampling data converters support very wide signal bandwidths and a variety of modulation schemes. The clocking performance for the RF sampling data converter is very important. I previously discussed the importance of the sampling clock and the implications of clock jitter in RF sampling data converters. Now, I want to look...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Nov 28, 2016

    Rain on this touch panel parade won’t matter

    Capacitive touch panels can be touchy, especially in the rain when a drop of water can look a lot like a fingertip and the swipe of a drying towel can drive lesser microcontrollers (MCUs) crazy. The problem can be particularly troublesome for applications like electronic locks (e-locks) or an outdoor security panel that might, for example, open and close gates around an apartment complex. In addition to rain, such...
  • Power House
    • Nov 25, 2016

    Layout considerations for a synchronous buck converter

    Buck DC/DC converters (see Figure 1) are a very popular switching DC/DC regulator topology in many electrical and electronic applications, from cloud infrastructure to personal electronics to factory and building automation. They represent >75% of all nonisolated switching regulator topologies today. The layout of a buck converter is just as important as the simulation and design, but the lack of good layout practices...
  • Power House
    • Nov 24, 2016

    Flyback converters: two outputs are better than one

    Flyback converters are widely used for applications that require isolation between the primary and secondary. The flyback converter’s single primary switch and output rectifier provide a cost effective solution for a single output. Often times, more than one output voltage is required. Typically the flyback converter generates an isolated output, say 5V, and a point-of-load (POL) nonisolated converter generates...
  • Analog Wire
    • Nov 24, 2016

    Intro to I2C: what the Internet doesn’t tell you

    I trust Internet search engines as my first source to provide me with reliable and quick answers, so when I first encountered the I 2 C protocol , I asked my trusted-source to help out. My search responded with: the Inter-Integrated Circuit (I 2 C) protocol is a bi-directional two-wire serial bus that provides a communication link between integrated circuits. This stated the obvious, but I still had so many more questions...
  • Power House
    • Nov 22, 2016

    How to determine bandwidth from the transient-response measurement

    I’ve often thought there must be an easy way to relate the bandwidth of a power-supply control loop to its transient response, but never really found a good reference that defined this in simple terms. It seems like a straightforward problem, w...
  • Analog Wire
    • Nov 22, 2016

    A survival guide to scaling your PLL loop filter design

    Let’s say that you have already spent some time optimizing your phase-locked loop (PLL) by iteratively massaging the phase margin and loop bandwidth. Unfortunately, you may still be unable to get a good compromise between phase noise, spurs and lock time. Frustrated? Ready to give up? Wait! Have you ever played around with the gamma optimization parameter? Gamma optimization parameter Gamma is a variable with...