ULN2003 – practical example of «reading» microchip schematic via Evil Mad Scientist
We often receive comments that while out microchip photos are beautiful and interesting, it is completely unclear how integrated circuit implements basic elements and form larger circuit. Of course it is impossible to do a detailed review of an 1’000’000 transistor chip, so we’ve found simpler example: ULN2003 – array ofDarlington transistors.
Despite it’s simplicity this microchip is still widely used and mass manufactured. ULN2003 contains 21 resistors, 14 BJT transistors and 7 diodes. It is used to control relatively high load (up to 50V/0.5A) from microcontroller pin. Canonical use case – to control segments of large 7-segment LED displays.
What’s inside the ULN2003 Darlington driver chip - [Link]
The TS3004 is a single-supply, timer IC fully specified to operate over a supply voltage range of 1.55V to 5.25V while consuming 1.9μA supply current. Requiring only a resistor to set the base output frequency (or output period) at 25kHz (or 40µs) with a 50% duty cycle, the TS3004 timer/oscillator is compact, easy-to-use, and versatile. Optimized for ultra-long life, low frequency, battery-powered/portable applications, the TS3004 joins the TS3001, TS3002, TS3003, TS3005, and TS3006 in Touchstone’s CMOS timer family.
TS3004: A 1.55V TO 5.25V, 1.9µA, 0.005Hz TO 300kHz RESISTOR-TUNABLE TIMER IC - [Link]
Occupying a footprint of just 2.57×3.24 mm, the STA333IS single-chip digital audio system from STMicroelectronics furnishes up to 20 W of audio output power for use in space-constrained LCD and LED televisions, docking stations, and digital wireless speaker systems. With is wide operating voltage range of 4.5 V to 18 V, the device is also suitable for battery-operated equipment.
Part of ST’s SoundTerminal family, the STA333IS combines digital audio IP, such as FFX full flexible amplification, along with signal processing and power circuitry in a chip-scale package to create a high-power, single-chip solution for all-digital amplification. Its power section consists of four independent half-bridge stages. Two channels can be provided by two full bridges capable of delivering up to 10 W + 10 W of power.
Tiny digital audio SoC delivers up to 20 W - [Link]
VHF FM Aircraft receiver:
VHF FM Aircraft Receiver is a superregenative receiver developed for listening to FM transmitters but also tunes the aircraft band and the top portion of the FM broadcast band. Receives both AM and FM (107mHz to 135 MHz). You can use this receiver with the any FM transmitter. The receiver is amazingly simple using only one transistor for the receiver section and one IC for the audio section. This circuit is a self-quenching regenerative RF receiver also known as a superregenerative receiver.
VHF FM Aircraft receiver - [Link]
Here’s an amazing new DNA testing chip by Panasonic together with the Belgium-based research institution IMEC. It delivers DNA results within an hour:
This is the chip we’ve actually developed. As you can see, it’s less than half the size of a business card. It contains everything needed for testing DNA. Once a drop of blood is inserted, the chip completes the entire process, up to SNP detection.
New chip delivers DNA results within an hour - [Link]
sigalabs.com have designed and build a great OBD2 Arduino Shield using STN110 IC :
The STN110 is a multiprotocol OBD to UART interpreter IC. It provides an easy means of accessing vehicle data, including diagnostic trouble codes, MIL status, VIN, Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) information, In-use Performance Tracking (IPT), and hundreds of real-time parameters.
It is compatible with famous ELM327 commands but introduce many new great features.
Vehicle OBD2 Arduino Shield with STN1110 IC - [Link]
Imec demonstrated a low-power (20µW), intra-cardiac signal processing chip for the detection of ventricular fibrillation at this week’s International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC 2013) in San Francisco with Olympus. An important step toward next-generation Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy solutions, the new chip delivers innovative signal processing functionalities and consumes only 20µW when all channels are active, enabling the miniaturization of implantable devices. [via]
Robust and accurate heart rate monitoring of the right and left ventricles and the right atrium is essential for implantable devices used in cardiac resynchronization therapy, and accurate motion sensor and thoracic impedance measurements to analyze intrathoracic fluid are critical for improving clinical research and analysis of intracardiac rhythm. Extremely low power consumption is also necessary to reduce the size of cardiac implants and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Carry a Chip in your Heart - [Link]
State-of-Charge Measurement for Lithium-Ion Batteries is an advanced task, but can be simplified using specific ICs able to measure accurate SOC of Li-Ion batteries. Stephen Evanczuk writes:
All energy-harvesting-based systems need energy storage for times when the energy cannot be harvested (e.g., at night for solar-powered systems). Rechargeable batteries ‒ known as “secondary” cells to differentiate them from “primary” or single-use cells ‒ are usually specified for this task.
For rechargeable batteries, however, battery management depends on the best possible measurement of what is known as the state-of-charge (SOC) of battery cells. For lithium-ion batteries, the characteristics of Li-ion cells complicate SOC measurement and can challenge engineers looking to maximize Li-ion battery lifetime. To simplify design of Li-ion battery management systems, engineers can leverage a variety of SOC measurement techniques supported in ICs from Atmel, Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.
Advanced ICs Simplify Accurate State-of-Charge Measurement for Lithium-Ion Batteries - [Link]
Researchers at Rice University (USA) have developed a micron-scale spatial light modulator (SLM) similar to those currently used in sensing and imaging devices, but with the potential to run several orders of magnitude faster. Their ‘antenna on a chip’ operates in 3D ‘free space’ instead of the two-dimensional space of conventional semiconductor devices.
A device that looks like a tiny washboard may clean the clocks of current commercial products used to manipulate infrared light.
New research by the Rice University lab of Qianfan Xu has produced a micron-scale spatial light modulator (SLM) like those used in sensing and imaging devices, but with the potential to run orders of magnitude faster. Unlike other devices in two-dimensional semiconducting chips, the Rice chips work in three-dimensional “free space.”
In current optical computing devices, light is confined to two-dimensional circuitry and travels in waveguides from point to point. According to the researchers, 2D systems ignore the massive multiplexing capability of optical systems arising from the fact that multiple light beams can propagate in the same space without affecting each other. [via]
“Antenna on Chip” Manipulates Light at Warp Speed - [Link]
This app note describes the common IC interface protocols like I2C, SPI, and GPIO. Also some problems covered with these interfaces that turn happy faces to sad. [via]
How can an interface change a happy face to a sad face? Engineers have happy faces when an interface works properly. Sad faces indicate failure somewhere. Because interfaces between microprocessors and ICs are simple—even easy—they are often ignored until interface failure causes sad faces all around. In this article, we discuss a common SPI error that can be almost impossible to find in a large system. Links to interface tutorial information are provided for complete information. Noise as a system issue and ICs to minimize its effects are also described.
Common IC interface problems - [Link]