As an analog applications engineer, much of my problem-solving involves recommending application circuits for customers to use as subcircuits in their overall product design. Thus, I understand the need for standard values, formulas, printed circuit board (PCB) characteristics and shortcuts for predicting performance.

A colleague of mine, Tim Green, has about 32 years of experience, of which 16 are in board-/system-level design. When I asked him how he handled these common design aids, he opened his file cabinet and pulled out a folder stuffed full of dog-eared and well-worn papers he’d collected over the years of his favorite design collateral. One of the things that fell out was a small 25-page booklet called “The Burr-Brown Electronic Engineers Pocket Reference,” published in 1994.

That booklet was the motivation for Tim and I to modernize, simplify, organize and electronically publish the Texas Instruments Analog Engineer’s Pocket Reference Guide (Figure 1).

Figure 1: TI’s new Analog Engineer’s Pocket Reference inspired by a 1994 Burr-Brown booklet

One general problem with pocket references is that you have to be really familiar with them. In other words, when confronted with a difficult problem, you might resort to a Web search before using the pocket reference if you don’t know that the answer is in the pocket reference.

So in order to help familiarize you with the new TI pocket reference, I have put together some questions. Try to answer the questions using the pocket reference and you will gain a much deeper understanding of the book’s powerful content.

Question 1 (hint: Analog section):

Referring to the circuit below, what is the phase shift at 100kHz?

Question 2 (hint: Amplifier section):

Referring to the circuit below, what is the rise time for the 20mVpp step wave input? Note that this is a small signal step and the OPA209 has a gain bandwidth product (GBW) of 18MHz (data sheet SBOS426).

Question 3 (hint: Amplifier section):

What is the noise spectral density of a 10kΩ resistor?

Question 4 (hint: Amplifier section):

Given the transient closed-loop waveform shown below, what is the loop gain phase margin?

Question 5 (hint: PCB and Wire section):

Referring to the figure below, what type of package is this?

Question 6 (hint: Sensor section):

What is the resistance for a PT100 resistance temperature detectors (RTD) at 100℃? Assume that the RTD adheres to the ITS-90 standard.

Question 7 (hint: A/D Converter section):

Calculate the effective number of bits (ENOB) for an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter assuming signal-to-noise and distortion (SINAD) (dB) of 75dB.

For the benefit of those who are still working through the problems, please do not post answers in the comments. I will post the answers next week. Good luck! 

  • I found a small error on page 53. The text for equations (80) and (81) appears to be transposed.

  • Magnus,

    Thanks for the feedback!  We recently did an update on the pocket reference, so make sure you have the fourth edition (see link below).  Unfortunately, we didn’t add the definition of dBc to the fourth edition.  We plan on continuing to update this, so we will get it in the next edition.  Also, another resource to look at is precision labs.  Precision labs is a series of training videos on amplifier topics (see link below).

    Thanks, Art Kay

  • Great reference, it really covers much of what I've learned Sophomore and Junior year studying Electrical Engineering, from coaxial cable physics to Bode plots, to THD, to ADCs. Amazing.

    Would it be possible to include a definition for 'dBc'?  I discovered it means dB relative to a carrier signal.

    For many young people like myself, much explanation of shorthand taken for granted by older engineers is entirely necessary.

    One thing I would like to see is a guide to typical analog applications - as if someone compiled a bunch of example circuits from the bottom of TI datasheets and generalized them so that construction of almost any analog configuration was almost effortless.  It's impossible to take the grunt work out of building circuits, and there will never be an engineer who didn't spend hours frustrated because of a problem that was staring them in the face.

    I think this guide's logical next step is expansion into practical usefulness for someone trying to design complete analog systems.

  • I too would be willing to purchase printed color copies.  If so, please add several  extra notes pages at the end of the book, graph paper (won't ask for green ;).  Great work, thanks!

  • Thanks for all of the feedback.  As an op amp stability guy I am only stable with negative feedback! But seriously, we do appreciate your finding and reporting errors.  We are making corrections and will also post an errata for the Third Edition in case you have a printed copy.  We are also working on making printed copies available for printing plus shipping cost only.  We are investigating some copyright permissions so stay tuned.