Analog Signal Chain real world problem solutions: Technology and Tools
    • Mar 25, 2015

    How to protect USB host ports with ESD current-limit protection devices

    One of the hottest topics regarding interface technology today is the universal serial bus (USB) Type-C connector, popular for its reversibility, higher data transfer, power delivery and additional protocols. While there is much excitement over the new standard, the reality is that the USB Type-A connector is still prominent and is being designed into...
    • Mar 23, 2015

    The future of data converter interfaces

    I’m a very direct individual, and when I think of data-conversion technology, I quickly categorize it into buckets: Precision: Typically less than 1 Msps with a high dynamic range (+20 bits). General purpose: Anywhere from 1 Msps to 20 Msps with a moderate dynamic range (12-16 bits). High speed: 20 Msps to 1 Gsps with a good dynamic...
    • Mar 20, 2015

    JESD204B: Serial link quality tradeoffs and tools for optimization

    One of the most important goals in a JESD204B system design is achieving good signal quality in the serial data link. The signal quality is determined by the circuit board dielectrics, the quality of the signal routing, any connectors in the signal p...
    • Mar 18, 2015

    Don’t procrastinate, isolate! The need for a basic galvanic isolator

    Digital galvanic isolation has an important part to play in the world. It does an amazing thing: it protects precarious products from unscheduled electrical blowback like a suit of armor might against an unsuspected ricochet on the battlefield. In addition to this protection, it also facilitates communication between devices. Sometimes two devices...
    • Mar 13, 2015

    On Board with Bonnie: ADC noise from the inside out

    I must apologize. I am going to approach analog-to-digital converter (ADC) noise from an analog perspective. You may be surprised about this view because this discussion usually focuses on a digital perspective, but the analog outlook does work out quite elegantly. Delta-sigma ADCs such as the ADS1220 (Figure 1) give you detailed information about...
    • Mar 12, 2015

    Extending battery life for IoT applications

    As the world constantly evolves to keep everything and everyone connected, wireless sensors are becoming more and more popular in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. Several definitions for the IoT exist, but one simply defines it as keeping up to date with our surroundings by measuring the environment with remote sensors. Figure 1: IoT system...
    • Mar 6, 2015

    A race against the clock: how to determine the power-up states of clocked devices

    Many engineers choose flip-flops, shift registers, or other clocked devices for temporary storage and moving small amounts of data. These clocked devices have one or more clock-input pins, typically designated CLK or CP. A clock edge will determine when a specific function occurs; for example, the data may be clocked to an output, or data may be moved...
    • Mar 4, 2015

    Differential to single ended: What happens when you use only one differential amplifier output

    Many applications require the conversion of a differential signal to single ended. Some common examples are an RF DAC buffer or a coaxial cable driver. Most of the time you can accomplish this with a magnetic transformer, but sometimes a transformer won’t work. If that’s the case, can you use a fully differential amplifier (FDA)? The answer...
    • Feb 27, 2015

    JESD204B: How to measure and verify your deterministic latency

    In my last post, I presented a three-step process for calculating the deterministic latency of a JESD204B link. In this post, I’ll explain: 1) how to choose your release buffer delay (RBD) to ensure a deterministic latency, and 2) how to measure and verify the expected deterministic latency. Choosing the appropriate RBD value As discussed...
    • Feb 25, 2015

    What are you sensing? Active shielding for capacitive sensing, part 2

    Thanks for tuning into part 2 of this series on active shielding. In my last post , I talked about the benefits of shielding and how it helps mitigate parasitic-capacitance interference from your capacitance measurements. Today, I’ll discuss shield sensor designs and how the size and placement of the shield in relation to the sensor electrode...