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Recent blog posts
  • Analog Wire
    • Aug 17, 2017

    Debugging an integrated ADC in a microcontroller using an oscilloscope

    You probably don’t reach for an oscilloscope first when debugging an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) integrated into a microcontroller (MCU). But an oscilloscope can help you make sure that the ADC operates as expected. In this blog post, I’ll use the C2000™ Piccolo™ F28027 MCU as an example to show you how. The precise timing of the ADC is important, especially for closed-loop control systems...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Aug 16, 2017

    The seat remembers: Brushed DC motor ripple counting drives innovation in full-featured memory seats

    My parents have an SUV that they share between them. When I go home, I might also use their car to visit old friends or run errands. When all three of us are using the same car, we each have to adjust the driver’s seat height, the distance from the steering wheel and the pedals, the steering wheel height, the angle of the chair back, and the angle of the rearview and side mirrors. Many high-end luxury automobiles...
  • Power House
    • Aug 16, 2017

    Extra tricks to increase battery life

    In my previous blog post, “ Power topology choices for power-hungry devices ,” I discussed power topology choices to help conserve battery life. Today, I want to discuss other ways to extend battery life for power-hungry designs, including different software improvements and device options. Depending on the end-equipment characteristics, software can make or break your battery-life expectations. Wirelessly...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Aug 16, 2017

    Design of a camera-friendly, wide-color-gamut, color-tunable RGBW LED light source – part 2

    In part 1 of this series, we discussed a few challenges associated with a color-tunable, dimmable light-emitting diode (LED) light source and the various advantages and disadvantages of dimming methods such as analog, pulse-width modulation (PWM) and shunt FET dimming. In this installment, we will discuss the need for high PWM frequency as well as high resolution in stage-lighting applications, along with a design...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Aug 15, 2017

    4 ways we’re investing $6.2 million in STEM education

    STEM skills are survival skills for students today. That’s why we are committed to improving STEM education by arming teachers and students with the resources they need to succeed. TI and the TI Foundation have committed $6.2 million in ...
  • Power House
    • Aug 14, 2017

    Create a power supply for a MRI application

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a large magnet and radio waves to look at organs and structures inside your body. There are a number of challenging design requirements when designing a power supply for MRI applications. Because of the sensitivity of the measurements made by an MRI machine, the oscillator frequency of the power supplies needs to be precisely placed at a frequency that will not corrupt the MRI image...
  • Power House
    • Aug 11, 2017

    Decoding power module derating curves

    As electronics get smaller and smaller, power-supply designers must consider thermal limits when designing their power supplies. A smaller power supply is not useful if it cannot operate at a heavy load inside a specific application environment, which includes the ambient temperature. One common thermal limit is represented in a derating curve, which you’ll find in most power-module data sheets. The derating...
  • Motor Drive & Control
    • Aug 10, 2017

    Integrated intelligence part 1: EMI management

    Intelligent integrated motor drivers and brushless DC (BLDC) motors can both help electric vehicles and next-generation automobiles become more attractive, viable, and reliable. Integrated motor drivers combine everything required to drive a motor, such as field-effect transistors (FETs), gate drivers, and state machines, as shown in Figure 1. Integration prevents long routing of wires from the electronic control unit...
  • Analog Wire
    • Aug 10, 2017

    Transimpedance amplifier designs for high-performance, cost-sensitive smoke detector applications

    This post is co-authored by Collin Wells . Photodiode-based light sensing is a common technique where operational amplifiers (op amps) are used to condition a photodiode sensor for a wide range of applications. An example of this is in smoke detectors, where a photoelectric smoke alarm is used to identify the presence of smoke in the chamber. A photodiode sensor produces a current proportional to the light level...
  • University Program
    • Aug 10, 2017

    Teaching IoT with the TI LaunchPad™ development kit

    It’s no secret that when students get into the industry, they will need to have a basic understanding of IoT and how it works within embedded systems. Below we’ve compiled resources and materials to help you teach IoT in your courses using the TI LaunchPad™ development kit, ARM® Cortex®-M and TI's Real-Time Operating System. Below we’ve included resources and tutorials that will...
  • Power House
    • Aug 10, 2017

    Another chance to catch the 2016/2017 Power Supply Design Seminar

    For nearly four decades, the Texas Instruments Power Supply Design Seminar has brought in-person training from power-supply experts directly to customers. For each seminar, we carefully choose topics under guidelines set by Bob Mammano. Ultimately, each topic selected must be useful, educational and interesting. We take pride in the fact that the seminar is not a sales pitch, but truly an educational experience. ...
  • Power House
    • Aug 9, 2017

    Power topology choices for power-hungry devices

    It is hard to choose a power topology for a wireless design when there are so many power-management integrated circuits (IC) out there. It may be hard to tell where to start, so I always start at the selection basics. The application of the design and onboard devices will determine the different voltage rails needed for operation. Consider a smart lock or a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) damper control...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Aug 8, 2017

    One to Watch: For Darnell Moore, community involvement means full STEAM ahead

    In our ongoing series, ‘One to Watch,’ we profile TIers who are making a difference through innovation or citizenship. For Darnell Moore – a technology leader, mentor, and champion of diversity and inclusion – traditional ST...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Aug 7, 2017

    Quantifying harmonic distortion - Effect of sinc3 filter roll off (part 3)

    In the second installment of this series , I briefly talked about the attenuation of frequencies due to the sinc 3 digital filter. In this installment, I’ll quantify the theoretical degradation due to a sinc 3 filter and talk about how the Multiphase Power Quality Measurement with Isolated Shunt Sensors Reference Design reduces this degradation when calculating total harmonic distortion (THD). First, let’s...
  • Analog Wire
    • Aug 7, 2017

    How to deliver clean USB Type-C™ signals

    The rapid growth of USB Type-C enables a unified interface to deliver data, video, audio and power through a single connector. USB Type-C ™ not only supports the latest USB data rate of 10Gbps, it also enables up to 100W power delivery through the same cable carrying the data traffic simultaneously. Type-C has reversible plug orientation; it also allows host and device to perform data role swap and power role swap...
  • Power House
    • Aug 4, 2017

    Help! My power supply unit is unstable – part 2

    In the first installment of this series, I stated that there are many reasons for switched-mode power supply (SMPS) instability, only one of which is that the control loop has insufficient gain or phase margin. In this installment, I will offer some tips about identifying and curing subharmonic oscillations in peak current mode (PCM)-controlled SMPS systems and talk briefly about input-filter oscillations. Subharmonic...
  • Power House
    • Aug 3, 2017

    How to use a boost bypass as the pre-regulator in a smartphone

    A typical power source for a portable device like a smartphone is a single lithium-ion battery. With the development of silicon anode material and maximizing the battery energy as much as possible, the minimum operating voltage in a smartphone application for example, is usually lower, for instance 2.7V. Some load configurations, such as Wi-Fi® modules, embedded multimedia cards (eMMC) and Secure Digital (SD) cards...
  • Analog Wire
    • Aug 3, 2017

    How to implement FM modulation

    For most people, listening to frequency modulation (FM) radio is a part of their life. But what is FM exactly? It’s simply a popular modulation scheme used to embed information on a high-frequency radio carrier. The hardware requirements for im...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Aug 3, 2017

    Color the world with what’s next in RGBW LED light source technology – part 1

    Red, green, blue and white (RGBW) light emitting diode (LED)-based color-tunable luminaires are very common in applications such as stage lighting, entertainment lighting and architectural lighting; Figure 1 shows a couple of examples. In this blog post, we will discuss the key challenges associated with designing such LED light sources and how to resolve them. Figure 1: Stage and architectural lighting In stage...
  • Enlightened: The TI DLP® Blog
    • Aug 2, 2017

    Plug, play and display with the most affordable TI DLP® Pico™ display EVM

    Texas Instruments has taken large steps to enable its groundbreaking DLP® projection display technology. Over five years ago, we released DLP Light Commander, which was our first effort to address developers who wanted easier access to our technology. We now support evaluation modules (EVMs) that include our DLP Pico™ display TRP product line, including the DLP2010 (wide video graphics array [WVGA]), DLP3010...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Aug 2, 2017

    Understanding current sensing in HEV/EV batteries

    When I was six years old, I got a remote-control car as a present from my dad. With just a click of a button, I was able to control the car and it was running all around my home. One day, my brother and I suddenly got into a fight and broke the remote-control car into pieces. I was curious to look inside and see how it worked. I learned that remote-control cars used batteries as their main source of energy. I went to...
  • Analog Wire
    • Aug 1, 2017

    Do-it-yourself: Three ways to stabilize op amp capacitive loads

    Capacitive loads can cause stability problems in operational amplifier (op amp) circuits, resulting in large overshoots, ringing, long settling times – and in severe cases, sustained oscillations. These issues occur because the capacitive load ...
  • Power House
    • Aug 1, 2017

    Making a solar inverter more reliable than the sun

    Like most people on a wicked hot sunny day, all I can think about is how to beat the heat, which more often than not involves hiding in an air-conditioned room in my home. Later – on almost always a cooler day, with open windows – I’ll receive the electric bill and ask myself whether that temporary comfort was really worth it. The air conditioner can only achieve a pyrrhic victory against the sun...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Aug 1, 2017

    Technology takes root on a traditional farm near Barcelona

    Xavier Pedrosa, a hard-working farmer whose family has lived near Barcelona since the Middle Ages, never had much need for technology. In an age when many farmers have gone high tech, he still favors traditional, organic methods to grow cereal crops,...
  • MSP Low-Power Plays
    • Aug 1, 2017

    Step 6 to build a smart thermostat using an MCU: energy optimization

    Co-authored by Bhargavi Nisarga , Systems Engineer at TI In the first five installments of this series, we’ve helped you build a fully featured and network-connected smart thermostat. In this installment, we will focus on how you can best optimize power and energy consumption to extend the battery life of your thermostat. A battery-powered wireless thermostat gives you “peel-and-stick” flexibility...