IC category

LT8362 – Low IQ Boost/SEPIC/Inverting Converter with 2A, 60V Switch

The LT8362 is a current mode, 2MHz step-up DC/DC converter with an internal 2A, 60V switch. It operates from an input voltage range of 2.8V to 60V, suitable for applications with input sources ranging from a single-cell Li-Ion battery to automotive and industrial inputs. The LT8362 can be configured as either a boost, SEPIC or an inverting converter. Its switching frequency can be programmed between 300kHz and 2MHz, enabling designers to minimize external component sizes and avoid critical frequency bands, such as AM radio. Furthermore, it offers over 90% efficiency while switching at 2MHz. Burst Mode operation reduces quiescent current to only 9μA while keeping output ripple below 15mVP-P. The combination of a 3mm x 3mm DFN or high voltage MSOP-16E package and tiny externals ensures a highly compact footprint while minimizing solution cost.

LT8362 – Low IQ Boost/SEPIC/Inverting Converter with 2A, 60V Switch – [Link]

OSD335x-SM & OSD3358-SM-RED Dev Board

Austin, Texas (September 19, 2017) – Octavo Systems LLC (Octavo) announced the production release and immediate availability of its highly anticipated OSD335x-SM System-In-Package (SiP) device.  The OSD335x-SM, like the entire OSD335x family, integrates the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara™ AM335x processor with an ARM® Cortex®-A8 core running at 1GHz, DDR3 memory, a TPS65217C power management IC (PMIC), a TL5209 low-dropout (LDO) regulator, and passive components into a single wide pitch (1.27mm) BGA package.  The OSD335x-SM enhances this integration by adding EEPROM as well and reducing the package size by 40%.

The OSD335x-SM comes in a 21mm x 21mm (0.83in x 0.83in) 256 Ball wide pitch (1.27mm) BGA. Occupying 441 square millimeters, the OSD335x-SM uses 60% less space than the equivalent system designed with discrete components.  It is the smallest AM335x processor-based module on the market today that still allows complete access to all the AM335x device I/Os including the PRUs.

“The OSD335x-SM was built to allow system designers to quickly create the smallest possible ARM Cortex®-A8 system and then easily transition into production,” says Bill Heye, President of Octavo Systems.  “By removing the need for DDR routing, power sequencing, complex supply chains and larger PCBs, the OSD335x-SM provides value across the entire life cycle of a design.  We are excited to finally release it to the market and we can’t wait to see the innovative ways people leverage this technology.”

The first 21mm device in the family, the OSD3358-512M-BSM, can be purchased today through Octavo’s distribution partners, Digi-Key Electronics and Mouser Electronics.

The OSD3358-SM-RED Platform

enlarged cross-section of an experimental chip made of ultrathin semiconductors

New Ultrathin Semiconductors Can Make More Efficient and Ten Times Smaller Transistors Than Silicon

The researchers at Stanford University have discovered two ultrathin semiconductors – hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide. They share or even exceed some of the very important characteristics of silicon. Silicon has a great property of forming “rust” or silicon dioxide (SiO2) by reacting with oxygen. As the SiO2 acts as an insulator, chip manufacturers implement this property to isolate their circuits on a die. The most interesting fact about these newly discovered semiconductors is, they also form “rust” just like silicon.

enlarged cross-section of an experimental chip made of ultrathin semiconductors
An enlarged cross-section of an experimental chip made of ultrathin semiconductors

The new materials can also be contracted to functional circuits just three atoms thick and they require much less energy than silicon circuits. Hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide “rust” even better than silicon and form so-called high-K insulator. The researchers hope to use these materials to design thinner and more energy-efficient chips for satisfying the needs of future devices.

Apart from having the ability to “rust”, the newly discovered ultrathin semiconductors also have the perfect range of energy band gap – a secret feature of silicon. The band gap is the energy needed to switch transistors on and it is a critical factor in computing. Too low band gap causes the circuits to leak and make unreliable. Too high and the chip takes excessive energy to operate and becomes inefficient. Surprisingly, Hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide are in the same optimal range of band gap as silicon.

All this and the diselenides can also be used to make circuits which are just three atoms thick, or about two-thirds of a nanometer, something silicon can never do. Eric Pop, an associate professor of electrical engineering, who co-authored with post-doctoral scholar Michal Mleczko in a study paper, said,

Engineers have been unable to make silicon transistors thinner than about five nanometers, before the material properties begin to change in undesirable ways.

If these semiconductors can be integrated with silicon, much longer battery life and much more complex functionality can be achieved in consumer electronics. The combination of thinner circuits and desirable high-K insulation means that these ultrathin semiconductors could be made into transistors 10 times tinier than anything possible with silicon today. As Eric Pop said,

There’s more research to do, but a new path to thinner, smaller circuits – and more energy-efficient electronics – is within reach.

Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip

SST26WF064C – Low-voltage 64-Megabit SuperFlash® Memory Device From Microchip

Microchip introduced a new 64Mbit Serial Quad I/O memory device—SST26WF064C with proprietary SuperFlash® technology. The SST26WF064C writes with a single power supply of 1.65-1.95V and significantly lower power consumption. This makes it ideal for wireless, mobile, and battery-powered applications.

Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip
Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip

This 64Mbit memory device also features DTR or Dual Transfer Rate technology. DTR lets the user access data of the chip on both rising and falling edges of the clock, reducing overall data access time and power consumption significantly. The SST26WF064C utilizes a 4-bit multiplexed I/O serial interface to boost performance while maintaining the tiny form factor of standard serial flash devices.

Microchip’s high-performance CMOS SuperFlash technology provides the fastest chip erase time, consequently, reduces overall power consumption. It also improves performance and reliability of the memory chip. The SST26WF064C’s typical chip-erase time is 35-50 milliseconds, where other chips take nearly 30 seconds to be completely erased.

This chip combines a hardware controlled RESET function which is not present in common flash chips available in the market due to their limited pin count. In SST26WF064C, the user can program the HOLD pin to use for the RESET function. This feature lets the host microcontroller to reset the chip by sending a pulse to it.

SST26WF064C supports full command-set compatibility with traditional Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) protocol. Operating at frequencies reaching 104 MHz, the SST26WF064C enables minimum latency execute-in-place (XIP) capability without the need for code shadowing on a SRAM. To learn about code shadowing, read this article.

The key features of the SST26WF064C are:

  • Single Voltage Read and Write Operations – 1.65-1.95V
  • Serial Interface Architecture
  • High-Speed Clock Frequency (104 MHz max.)
  • Burst Modes
  • Superior Reliability
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Fast Erase Time
  • Flexible Erase Capability
  • Suspend Program or Erase operation to access another block/sector
  • Software and Hardware Reset mode
  • Software Protection
  • Security ID
  • One-Time Programmable (OTP) 2KByte Secure ID
  • 64 bit unique, factory pre-programmed identifier
  • User-programmable area

To learn more about this memory chip or to purchase some, visit http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/SST26WF064C.

LiPo breadboard power supply

Versatile And Open Source LiPo bBattery Breadboard Power Supply

Orlando Hoilett from Calvary Engineering LLC designed a  versatile Li-Po battery breadboard power supply and wrote an Instructables on it. This power supply outputs 3.3V to the breadboard and takes input from a single-cell LiPo battery. The breadboard power supply also has the ability to charge the battery without needing to separate it from the circuit board. More importantly, this project is licensed under Open Source Hardware which means anyone can modify, distribute, make, and sell this design.

LiPo bread board power supply
LiPo breadboard power supply

Key Components

The complete BOM is available at the GitHub repository.

  • JST connector
    This connector connects directly to the LiPo battery.
  • 3.3V regulator, AP2210K
    3.3V logic is getting increasingly popular among electronics hobbyists and engineers. Also, boosting 3.7V of a LiPo battery to 5V can induce quite a bit of switching noise on the power supply. Linearly converting 3.7V to 3.3V is the best way to avoid this problem.
  • Battery Charger, MCP73831T
    This power supply has a charger built into the board so you can charge the battery without removing it from the power supply.
  • Voltage Selection Jumper
    The voltage selection headers are 3 pin male headers and they are labeled as 3.3V (or VReg) and VRAW (or LiPo). Connect the center pin to 3.3V to get power from the regulator. Connect the center pin to VRAW to get power directly from the LiPo battery.
  • DPDT Switch
    This switch lets you power down the board without removing the battery.
  • LED indicators
    LEDs are used to indicate the current status of the board.


This board breaks out the LiPo battery to the breadboard power rails on both sides. It has a DPDT switch to power down the board. The AP2210K IC has an ENABLE pin which is pulled down to the ground using the DPDT switch in order to enter the low power mode. In low power mode, the regulator and all the LEDs get disabled and draws almost no current from the LiPo. More about the AP2210K regulator IC is on this datasheet.

LiPo breadboard power supply schematic
LiPo breadboard power supply schematic

Another great feature of this breadboard power supply as mentioned earlier is, it incorporates an MCP73831T LiPo battery charger IC. It is a widely used PMIC (power management integrated circuit) for charging LiPo batteries. The LiPo battery should be connected to pin 3 (VBAT) and 5V should be applied to pin 4 (VDD).

The chip starts charging as soon as it detects 5V input and stops charging when the battery is full. Charging current is limited to USB standard i.e. 100mA by connecting a 10.2K resistor between pin 5 (PROG) and ground. So, it’s completely safe to charge the battery from your laptops USB port. Other host microcontrollers can check the battery status using pin 1 (status pin) of MCP73831T.

LTC7003 – Fast 60V Protected High Side NMOS Static Switch Driver

The LTC7003 is a fast high side N-channel MOSFET gate driver that operates from input voltages up to 60V. It contains an internal charge pump that fully enhances an external N-channel MOSFET switch, allowing it to remain on indefinitely. Its powerful driver can easily drive large gate capacitances with very short transition times, making it well suited for both high frequency switching applications or static switch applications that require a fast turn-on and/or turn-off time. When an internal comparator senses that the switch current has exceeded a preset level, a fault flag is asserted and the switch is turned off after a period of time set by an external timing capacitor. After a cooldown period, the LTC7003 automatically retries.

LTC7003 – Fast 60V Protected High Side NMOS Static Switch Driver – [Link]

Integrated 36V buck battery charger provides seamless backup power

By Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com:

LTC4091 is a complete lithium-ion battery backup management system for 3.45V to 4.45V supply rails that must be kept active during a long duration main power failure. The LTC4091 employs a 36V monolithic buck converter with adaptive output control to provide power to a system load and enable high efficiency battery charging from the buck output.

Integrated 36V buck battery charger provides seamless backup power – [Link]

Inside Intel’s first product: the 3101 RAM chip held just 64 bits

Ken Shirriff takes a look inside the 3110 RAM chip from Intel. He writes:

Intel’s first product was not a processor, but a memory chip: the 31011 RAM chip, released in April 1969. This chip held just 64 bits of data (equivalent to 8 letters or 16 digits) and had the steep price tag of $99.50. The chip’s capacity was way too small to replace core memory, the dominant storage technology at the time, which stored bits in tiny magnetized ferrite cores. However, the 3101 performed at high speed due to its special Schottky transistors, making it useful in minicomputers where CPU registers required fast storage. The overthrow of core memory would require a different technology—MOS DRAM chips—and the 3101 remained in use in the 1980s.3

Inside Intel’s first product: the 3101 RAM chip held just 64 bits – [Link]

MEMS — A 22-billion-dollar-worth industry by 2018

Thanks to Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems MEMS technology, which will be a 22-billion-dollar-worth industry by 2018, our mobile phones are equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes so they know the direction and rotate our mobile screen as needed. The applications of MEMS had expanded a lot in various fields like: energy harvesting using piezoelectric effect, microphones, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, accelerometers and many more. Moreover, this micro-level technology is going to be nano-level with Nano-Electro-Mechanical-Systems NEMS.

Image is adapted from HowToMechatronics.com YouTube channel

The basic idea behind MEMS is about having moving parts inside the silicon chip. Accelerometers for example, one of the most famous applications of MEMS, sense the acceleration by measuring the change of the capacitance C1, C2 between a moving part/mass and fixed plates. So when acceleration is applied in a particular direction it can be detected and measured.

Image is adapted from engineerguy YouTube channel

The amazing “How a smartphone knows up from down” video presented by Bill Hammack (engineerguy) can demonstrate in a clear way the principle of MEMS.

Last but not least, MEMS has applications in medical and health related technologies like Lab-On-Chip. LOCs can integrate a laboratory function in a single chip. So MEMS may not only solve technical problems, but they may also play an important role in solving problems in human health field.

“Genotyper” device. via NIAID