As system speeds increase and designs shrink, it’s becoming harder for circuit designers to preserve a signal’s ideal digital characteristics. The higher speeds and denser designs introduce unintended anomalies that impact a circuit’s operation.
If you ask most engineers to tell you the “banner specs” of their favorite digital oscilloscope, you’ll hear about bandwidth, sample Rate, and memory depth. For many years, these were THE critical figures that would indicate the right scope for the job.
Regardless of the system topology and application domain, the development, maintenance and monitoring of electronic system architectures using mixed protocols requires tools able to straddle several busses, at various speeds and with different line characteristics.
Timing and synchronization are crucial in building test and measurement (T&M) systems, which makes the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol’s ease of use and high performance especially attractive to system designers. This article offers an overview of the benefits IEEE 1588 brings to T&M systems...
Engineers instinctively trust oscilloscopes and rely on a scope’s measurement accuracy as the ultimate authority for problem resolution. Choosing which oscilloscope to use often comes down to basic specification such as bandwidth, sample rate, and memory depth.
The integration of sensors and actuators into encapsulated multi-chip modules creates formidable challenges to characterizing and controlling process pressure. However, a new measurement method developed by Fraunhofer IZM shows that pressure-indicating sensor film can fully characterize the area pressure distribution on the cavity and on substrate surfaces within a mold cavity during encapsulation.
One key to great performance in a high-speed ADC is the linearity and noise of the input sample/hold circuit, involving a capacitor, amplifier and high-speed switches. To drive performance and speed, the capacitor needs to be somewhat large and the switches fast.
In industrial, or data-acquisition projects, designers are likely to confront one or more of these issues...
Electrical currents can either be measured by resistive shunts or by magnetic sensors. Magnetic sensors offer system level advantages, such as contactless operation, and no requirement for galvanic isolation between the current conductor and the sensor.
In-system programming is the ability of programming an IC which is already soldered into the circuit using serial programming algorithms. The major advantage of ISP programming is that the manufacturer can have a single production phase, eliminating the programming stage prior to assembling the system.
As computing power and speed increase, solid-state storage device (SSD) drives are gaining traction in the marketplace against hard disk drives (HDD). Technological improvements, including connector advances, have helped mitigate many of the cost and capacity disadvantages associated with early iterations of SSD.
While a number of applications have come to rely on standard connectors, the consumer electronics industry is continuously developing new and innovative products that require specialized components to meet enhanced functionality, performance, and miniaturization requirements.
Electronic product designers are often asked to add more features and redesign for lighter, smaller formats. Therefore, signal integrity, durability, and long-term reliability are key factors...
The mobile handheld device (MHH) has three “Big Design Islands” that are most commonly visited for next generation improvement. The “Big” MHH islands most visited in the journey to next generation devices include projected Capacitive (PROCAP) touch sensors...
A recent engineering design challenge asked FPGA experts to design a “Logic Analyzer in a Day” using off-the-shelf Opal Kelly FPGA-USB modules and its Front Panel SDK. The objective was to showcase the design capabilities of these engineering experts...
When HDMI version 1.4 was publicly released in October 2009, it included a number of new features. Most of the new features are barely moving the needle on the consumer electronics industry's Richter scale. But one new HDMI 1.4 feature -- the implementation of 3D video mode -- is about to buckle the pavement of the status quo.
Characterizing devices at low current levels requires knowledge, skill, and the right test equipment. Even with all three, achieving accuracy at low current levels can be a challenge because the level of the current is often at or below the noise level of the test setup. To ensure success in low-level current measurements, it is important to know the type of test equipment to use, the different sources of measurement error, and the appropriate techniques to minimize these errors.
“Global Warming, Carbon Footprint, and Energy Efficiency” are becoming mantras for the industrial manufacturing sector. With energy costs constantly rising leading to increased overhead costs, the need to use electrical energy in a more efficient manner by reducing the amount is at the fundamental basis of this crisis.
A growing number of applications require linear motion sensing, including X-Y tooling tables, pneumatic pistons, automatic sliding doors and zoom lenses. One commonly used technique involves resistive strips (potentiometers). While this approach is simple and inexpensive, it depends on mechanical contacts so it is prone to wearing out.
Gyroscopes are often used for inertial navigation or other applications where high accuracy or stability is required. To maximize performance, the gyros used in these applications are generally calibrated and externally temperature compensated. This article outlines a method for performing calibration and temperature compensation.
A continuing trend among OEM’s and design engineers has been increased reliance upon mechanical impact testing of product prototypes and packaging, as a means of simulating the ruggedness, durability and performance of materials and structures within their intended usage environment.
The ability to monitor product inventory has always been a primary concern for companies. When the product is not a fixed, physical unit of measure, but a volume of liquid; the challenge increases. The evolvement of wireless technology presents an exciting opportunity for remote monitoring.
The 2010 Sensors Expo & Conference was held June 7-9 in Rosemont, IL. Rain put a damper on things outside the Donald Stevens Convention Center on Tuesday. But inside, the sun, wind, and all manner of alternative energy sources were on the minds of attendees as products based on energy harvesting continued to play a prominent role at the show.
Some of the avoidable stress factors effecting semiconductor reliability have led many fabricators to choose fused quartz as the material of choice for semiconductor wafer processing as well as laboratory and testing applications.
A handheld battery operated spirometry device, for example, must be able to be turned on and off quickly and instantly, while continuously recording data over a 20-second period with optimized use of available power, thus requiring a low-voltage pressure sensor which is able to use power only as needed.