Common-impedance coupling occurs when two or more circuits share a common ground and is the result of a shared impedance in a shared ground path. The best way to explain it is by way of a common example, such as when the lights dim when an air conditioner is turned on; they probably share the […]
Transients are sudden high-frequency overvoltages that can destroy a chip. A silicon Transient Voltage Suppressor (TVS) is a circuit protection component that either attenuates (reduces) or filters a transient voltage spike (overvoltage), thus protecting your circuit. Another type of TVS diverts a voltage spike away from your circuit (also known as shunting, clamping, or bypassing.) […]
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FPGAs are highly configurable, general purpose integrated circuits (ICs) filled with small programmable digital logic building blocks called “logic cells” (by Altera) or “logic elements” (by Xilinx). A custom IC, or Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), is very similar but with ASICs, a custom circuit design is set in silicon and is difficult to change […]
“Supercapacitors” (or electric double layer capacitors) have been around for a long time. Early uses were as an alternative to rechargeable batteries for retaining memory contents in domestic equipment. They were even made to look a bit like batteries in some cases, rather than electrolytic capacitors, such as these Panasonic RG series ones: This particular […]
If you want to measure the current taken by some circuitry, the normal way is to use a small resistance in the circuit and measure the voltage drop across the resistor. For AC currents, you can use a current transformer, but that is a bulky approach for AC applications. For DC current, particularly where you […]
Microcontrollers act upon instructions a few bits at a time, collecting the next batch of bits at regular intervals. Those regular intervals need to have a regular cadence…
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Following on from previous discussions on the problems of analog signal integrity and isolation, I came across the Linear Technology LTM2886 for isolation of SPI or I2C interfaces. This is one of a range of isolated transceivers from Linear Technology covering RS422, RS485, RS232, SPI, I2C and USB. A clear advantage of digital rather than […]
We often discuss signal integrity in relation to digital data and communications — trying to ensure a high-speed digital signal isn’t corrupted during transmission— but analog signal integrity is also important. It could be simply trying to preserve the signal quality and accuracy within a PCB, or it could also cover the problem of transmitting an […]
Modulation is considered to be a radio frequency (RF) technique which refers to modifying a periodic waveform with another waveform. For example, frequency modulation takes an RF “carrier” signal (sine wave) at say 88MHz and varies the frequency slightly, based on your “modulating” signal which will most likely be an audio signal up to 15kHz […]
In battery operated devices which have removable batteries, you usually need to prevent the batteries from being connected the wrong way round to prevent damage to the electronics. If that is not possible by physical means you need to include some electronic protection. Physical protection can simply mean a polarized connector or a battery with […]