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ADC Sampling Rate and Layout for Mixed Signal Boards
Whenever you’re selecting an ADC, whether it is built into an MCU or as an external component, the sampling rate is a prime consideration, as it will determine how well you can reproduce a measured signal. RF applications, analog sensor boards, and other mixed-signal devices will need at least one ADC with an appropriately chosen ADC sampling rate. If you’re designing with a mixed-signal board, you’ll need to balance the required signal bandwidth
Are We Poised on the Brink of a New Age?
A new material shaped like a one-dimensional DNA helix can be used to build transistors with diameters of only two nanometers.
The Moon by 2024, Mars by 2040, and Then?
It seems the chances are improving that we will one day become a true space-faring species.
Arduino Portenta H7 Brings Dev Boards to Production Grade
When I hear the name “Arduino,” I don’t usually think of production-grade hardware. I’m not talking down to the folks at Arduino, they’ve done an excellent job at invading the educational and proof-of-concept development niches, to the extent that other hardware platforms simply haven’t been able to catch up. Arduino boards are an excellent choice for low volume functional prototyping and embedded software development. But what about production
GaN MMIC Power Amplifier Market Outlook and Applications
The next smartphone you buy is likely to include a GaN MMIC power amplifier for wireless communication. What was formerly relegated to academia is now seeing fast commercialization. These developments aren’t limited to smartphones, although this is expected to account for a significant portion of the growing RF components market. High frequency radar in automotive, aerospace, and even robotics is expected to be a significant driver of further GaN
Thermal Relief Via Design for Proper Impedance
Following DFM guidelines is a critical requirement for ensuring high yields and defect-free boards during fabrication. Most DFM guidelines are well-grounded and do not generally interfere with signal integrity. In the event that they do, most EDA tools include features that can help ensure you won’t sacrifice signal integrity for manufacturability, and the two design aspects often go hand-in-hand. One aspect of routing, signal integrity, and
PCBs vs. Multichip Modules, Chiplets, and Silicon Interconnect Fabric
2019 saw a resurgence in talk of multichip modules, chiplets, and silicon interconnect fabric. An article in the September issue of IEEE Spectrum claimed that silicon interconnect fabric, a method for connecting chiplets on a multichip module, would eliminate PCBs and bulky SoCs for many applications, specifically motherboards. Will any of this ever come to pass? Obviously, we can’t know the future, but designers should be aware of changes in the
PCB Design and Layout for Hyperspectral Imaging Systems
What was once confined to the most advanced aerospace applications is now commonplace enough to be found in our everyday lives. Insulation, CCDs, air purifiers, and other technologies wouldn’t be possible without a robust space program in the 1960s and 1970s. One less well-known technology that deserves such attention is remote sensing, which has been used casually and for scientific research since the first American and Russian space flights
NB-IoT Antenna Design and Layout for Your PCB
With all the possible wireless communication protocols available for use in a mobile device, it can be difficult to keep them straight. Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M are two low-bandwidth protocols that provide remote monitoring capabilities over several miles of distance. While the data rates are quite low in both protocols, these protocols are excellent choices for lightweight embedded systems, such as small sensor arrays, industrial or
Getting Closer to Generating Unlimited Power with Artificial Suns
Graphical representation of a Tokamak fusion reactor (Image source: pixabay.com) Many of us spend a lot of time patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves how clever we are as a species. We often hear claims that the total sum of human knowledge is doubling every ‘X’ years, where the value of ‘X’ depends on who you are talking to. The inventor and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller originated the concept of the “Knowledge Doubling
Smart Tweezers are Cunningly Clever
You think you don't need smart tweezers, until you read this. The problem with engineers is that we can never have too many tools.
The Embedded Vision Alliance is No More
What is “Edge AI”? Powerful new technology had become ready for widespread use, however the companies and developers creating systems and applications are still struggling to figure out how to best incorporate it into their products.
One Step Closer to Mapping the Human Brain
Believe it or not a technology to render 3D map of a brain does exist! Read now to learn more.
The Resurgence of Retro Display Technologies
Let's talk about the evolution of electronics display. From analog to digital display and also retro display and nixie tubes. Do you prefer the old fashion way?
Enterprise IoT Challenges for PCB Designers in 2020
Enterprise IoT became one of the biggest tech buzzwords in 2019, with many analysts promising improvements in business efficiencies and profits simply by connecting everything in the office. As time goes on, real problems that can be solved by connecting business assets start to become clear, and practical opportunities for innovation and problem solving can be identified. I would argue we’re starting to move away from the 1990s-equivalent age of
USB Charger Project in Altium Designer: Part 2
In a previous blog post, I showed the process for building a schematic for a custom USB charger board using Altium Designer. This board requires a small number of components and some particular attention to the power supply design/decoupling networks, but aside from this it’s quite easy to build out the connections you need for the USB A connectors. Here, I’ll show the strategy for translating this schematic into a compact board with a small form
USB Charger Project in Altium Designer: Part 1
When I’m in my office, I keep my pluggable USB charger around, otherwise the battery on my phone is likely to run out. If you want to build your own USB charger, you can create your own USB charger board with the powerful schematic design and layout tools in Altium Designer. Here, I’ll present the overall design process for a portable USB charger. The charger requires 12 V of power and charges two external devices through two USB ports. We’ll