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1 Oct 2014


Ioannis Kedros writes:

It’s been a long time since I’ve post a new hobby project of mine! I decided that is time to upload a new one! Like my Sensor Stick module this project will be about sensors as well.

You can find multiple modules out there with various sensing ICs that almost all of them look exactly the same! They are ugly and without properly markings on their surface.

For example, some of those don’t have the input voltage range on the PCB or the pin out names or even the sensor address (in the case of a digital I2C sensors for example). In order to find that info, you have to download files, unzip them, look the schematics of the module then the datasheet of the sensor etc. A time consuming method especially for a quick and dirty prototype!

embeddedday.com – Sensor Modules - [Link]

30 Sep 2014


by ti.com:

The LM43600 SIMPLE SWITCHER® regulator is an easy to use synchronous step-down DC-DC converter capable of driving up to 0.5 A of load current from an input voltage ranging from 3.5 V to 36 V (42 V transient). The LM43600 provides exceptional efficiency, output accuracy and drop-out voltage in a very small solution size. An extended family is available in 1 A, 2 A and 3 A load current options in pin-to-pin compatible packages.

LM43600 – SIMPLE SWITCHER® 3.5V to 36V, 500mA Synchronous Step-Down Voltage Converter - [Link]

29 Sep 2014


A good beginner app note (PDF) from NXP on protecting ICs from ESD.

Integrated circuits are sensitive to electrostatic discharge (a sudden and short-time flow of currents) and electromagnetic fields (at which they can be source or victim of both of it). This application note shall be understood as an introductive basic description of what electrostatic discharge is, how sensitive devices can be protected against electrostatic discharges, what electromagnetic compatibility means and how electromagnetic sensitivity can be tested.


App note: ESD and EMC sensitivity of IC - [Link]

10 Sep 2014
IBM's neurosynaptic processor puts 1 million artificial neurons and 256 million memory synapses on a single CMOS chip.

IBM’s neurosynaptic processor puts 1 million artificial neurons and 256 million memory synapses on a single CMOS chip.

One thing IBM emphasizes about its neurosynaptic chip is that it works like the “right” brain, which means intuition and jumping to conclusions, whereas the “left” brain works more like a traditional computer: R. Colin Johnson

IBM Builds World’s Biggest Brain-Chip - [Link]

20 Aug 2014


Open Analog is an organization dedicated to exciting makers about analog hardware. We make popular ICs into transistor level kits!

 The first Open Source analog IC kit from Open Analog has been created, assembled, and verified. We call it the SevenFortyFun and it is a transistor level op amp kit. You can finally get the chance to understand whats going on inside those ICs! Now we need your help to proto the next revision (I gotta eat somehow!). This Kickstarter campaign is to raise money in order to print the first batch of PCBs and order parts for production volume.

741 Op-Amp Kit - [Link]

22 Jul 2014


by Peter Demchenko @ edn.com:

Low-current switching regulator ICs often use a Darlington as the output switch. The power conversion efficiency in this case can be improved with the help of only two cheap components. To make this possible, the chip should have a separate pin for the collector of the driver transistor Q1 (Figure 1). At startup, D1 forms a path for the collector current of Q1. Later, D1 and C1 comprise a current-additive rectifier which enhances the collector voltage and current of Q1, hence reducing voltage drop on the closed switch Q2.

Improve efficiency of low-cost switcher - [Link]

2 Jul 2014


David Szondy @ gizmag.com writes:

If it weren’t for the microchip, your smartphone would be size of a building and need its own power plant to work. Thanks to the integrated circuit and its modern incarnation in the microchip, electronics are a bit easier to carry around than that, and this week, Christie’s put one of the very first integrated circuits up for auction. Designed and constructed in 1958 by Texas Instruments, it’s one of the three earliest “chips” ever made and went on the block with an estimated value of up to US$2 million.

One of the world’s first integrated circuits goes up for auction - [Link]

26 Jun 2014


This project is a solution to power up most of devices or projects requiring dual (+/-) adjustable power supply. The circuit is based on LM317 positive and LM337 negative voltage regulators. LM317 series of adjustable 3 terminal regulator is capable of supplying in excess of 1.5A over a 1.2V to 30V DC output range, due to TO3 package of IC and large heat sink the power supply can handle maximum load current.

Dual Adjustable Power Supply - [Link]

16 Jun 2014


by Matt Mcgowan @ phys.org:

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have designed integrated circuits that can survive at temperatures greater than 350 degrees Celsius – or roughly 660 degrees Fahrenheit. Their work, funded by the National Science Foundation, will improve the functioning of processors, drivers, controllers and other analog and digital circuits used in power electronics, automobiles and aerospace equipment – all of which must perform at high and often extreme temperatures.

“This ruggedness allows these circuits to be placed in locations where standard silicon-based parts can’t survive,” said Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor. “The circuit blocks we designed contributed to superior performance of signal processing, controllers and driver circuitry. We are extremely excited about the results so far.”

Circuits capable of functioning at temperatures greater than 650 degrees fahrenheit - [Link]

28 May 2014
Interferometric TFT image

Interferometric TFT printed above an oxide covered (blue) metallization layer of a CMOS chip.

Stacking memory is just most obvious application of this ultra-cheap method of stacking 3D circuitry within the metallization layers of standard CMOS chips, but I’m sure that when designers put on their thinking cap they’ll find many more useful applications.: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Chips On-the-Cheap Funded by SRC – [Link]





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