Recent blog posts
  • Industrial Strength
    • Oct 20, 2017

    Never lose your luggage again with a smart tracker design

    Many of you may have experienced lost luggage when traveling by plane. Statistics say that more than six pieces of luggage out of every 1,000 shipped do not reach their correct destination airport. That’s 60,000 pieces of lost luggage a day, or 23 million pieces a year. Container logistics have a similar record with an even greater financial...
  • Motor Drive & Control
    • Oct 19, 2017

    Cycle scavenging on C2000™ MCUs, part 2: ADC zero-wait-state and multiport reads

    As I explained in the first installment of this series , the idea of cycle scavenging is built into C2000™ microcontrollers (MCUs), enabling them to minimize latency at every stage of real-time control without compromising performance. I introduced the concept of real-time control and talked about minimizing the time delay between the sensing...
  • Analog Wire
    • Oct 19, 2017

    Body control modules – invisible but fundamental for every car

    Electronics in vehicles are taking on more and more functions (safety, driver assistance, more driver information) and the demand for greater electronics content overall continues to accelerate. As features related to comfort, safety, equipment and a...
  • Behind the Wheel
    • Oct 18, 2017

    Next-generation FPD-Link III devices add speed and flexibility to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

    As advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) applications such as front camera and camera-monitoring systems (CMS) use camera imagers above a 2MP resolution more widely, video data-transfer speed requirements increase. These ADAS architecture shifts are driving the next generation of Flat Panel Display (FPD)-Link™ III devices. FPD-Link III serializer...
  • Industrial Strength
    • Oct 18, 2017

    How energy harvesting can extend the life of your fault indicator on the grid

    Fault indicators are extensively used in grid infrastructure for monitoring overhead and underground transmission lines. These indicators monitor the current flowing in each phase and send commands to circuit breakers upstream to trip when they detect the passage of faulty currents. While some fault indicators flash light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to...
  • Power House
    • Oct 18, 2017

    Power management: the big picture

    Figure 1: Remote lake in central Canada Every few years, my friends and I canoe in the Canadian wilderness for a week, eating only what we can catch (fish) or carry in with us. We cook over a fire and wash dishes with water collected from the lake (trust me, leaving dirty dishes by a campfire is a really bad idea). We are at the mercy of the weather;...
  • ConnecTIng Wirelessly
    • Oct 18, 2017

    Smart Wi-Fi® locks will soon open many doors

    Intelligence can take you a long way in the world. But in many cases, it’s one of your networking connections that will get you where you want to go. Such is the case with smart electronic locks (e-locks). Because of TI’s recent innovatio...
  • Power House
    • Oct 17, 2017

    Powering up the performance of sensitive test and measurement systems

    When creating high-performance test and measurement equipment, the last thing on your mind is what is powering the board. It may be hard to believe, but the power supply can have a drastic impact on the performance of high-precision successive-appro...
  • Think. Innovate
    • Oct 17, 2017

    Smart robots: Machine learning drives collaboration, continual improvement

    This edition of Chief Technologist Ahmad Bahai’s quarterly Tech Trends column features a conversation about the future of robotics and machine learning in the factory of the future. Robots have operated in manufacturing environments for decade...
  • 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 repeat...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...