Tag Archives: ic

Software Defined Radio IC Decap

Software Defined Radio teardown: R820/RTL2832U Decap

Recently there has been much interest in two integrated circuit which were originally designed to receive FM radio and DVB-T TV (as used in Europe).
Some enterprising people quickly realised that since they were based on software-defined techniques they could be quickly re purposed for all sorts of clever things.

Software Defined Radio IC Decap – [Link]

MAX11311 – The Powerful Configurable Mixed Signal I/O

The MAX11311 is industry’s first configurable high-voltage mixed-signal I/O that allows user-defined ADC, DAC, or GPIO functionality.

Programming MAX11311 is very easy. A nice GUI tool helps to generate the right register values. If you want to make a universal signal processing board with a good number of I/O, it often gets very difficult to select a correct microcontroller. Finally, when you select one, it either has less I/O than you need or has fair enough number of I/O but burns your pocket. But if you know about MAX11311, then you’ve got a perfect solution.

Description:

The MAX11311 integrates a PIXI™, a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and a 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in a single integrated circuit. This device offers 12 high voltage, bipolar ports. Each of the ports is configurable as an ADC analog input, a DAC analog output, a general-purpose input output (GPIO), or an analog switch terminal. One internal and two external temperature sensors track junction and environmental temperature. This feature prevents thermal runaway. Adjacent pairs of ports are configurable as a logic-level translator for open-drain devices or an analog switch.

MAX11311 MIcrocontroller Block Diagram
MAX11311 Mixed Signal I/O Block Diagram

Features:

  • Up to 12 12-Bit ADC Inputs
    • Single-Ended, Differential, or Pseudo-Differential Range Options: 0 to 2.5V, ±5V, 0 to +10V, -10V to 0V
    • Programmable sample averaging per ADC port
    • Unique voltage reference for each ADC PIXI port
  • Up to 12 12-Bit DAC Outputs
    • Range options: ±5V, 0 to +10V, -10V to 0V
    • 25mA current drive capability with over-current protection
  • Up to 12 General-Purpose Digital I/Os (GPIO)
    • 0 to +5V GPI input range
    • 0 to +2.5V GPI programmable threshold range
    • 0 to +10V GPO programmable output range
    • Logic-Level Shifting Between any two pins
  • 60Ω analog switch between adjacent PIXI Ports
  • Internal/External temperature sensors with ±1°C Accuracy

Applications:

You can use this chip as an expansion module to MCUs in various applications. Let’s see the list:

  • Base station RF power device bias controllers
  • Control for optical components
  • Industrial control and automation
  • Power supply monitoring
  • System supervision and control
  • Universal signal processing

Conclusion:

The MAX11311 adapts perfectly to specific application requirements and allows for easy reconfiguration as the system needs further change. It also reduces BOM (Bill of Materials) cost with fewer external components in a small footprint.

To know more about this awesome chip, refer to the datasheet.

Keeping up with Moore’s Law

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by Clemens Valens @ elektormagazine.com:

There was a time that every extra storage byte crammed into a chip was greeted with cheers and applause but today only few people will get the champagne out when an extra gigabyte or so is announced. We have become so used to the ever growing capacity of memory chips that new product launches in this area do not create much excitement anymore. Yet sometimes an event manages to stir things up a bit, like a few weeks ago when a major semiconductor manufacturer announced that it started sampling its new 32 gigabyte flash memory chip.

Keeping up with Moore’s Law – [Link]

From Sand to Circuits – How Intel makes integrated circuits [PDF]

intel

Here is a nice PDF document from Intel explaining how integrated circuits are made.

From Sand to Circuits – How Intel makes integrated circuits [PDF] – [Link]

AEM10940, A High Efficient Power Management IC From e-peas

AEM10940 is a power management IC designed by e-peas to store power from photovoltaics (PVs) cells and thermoelectric generator (TEGs) into rechargeable power sources, such as Li-Ion batteries and thin film batteries. At the same time, it supplies the system with two different regulated voltages, the charging voltage and the system supply voltage.

e-peas is a startup based in Liège, Belgium. It works towards solutions to extend batteries life-time for IoT applications, by increasing the amount of harvested energy and reducing power consumption for each element in the system.

AEM10940 Block Diagram
AEM10940 Block Diagram

The AEM10940 features are:

  • Ultra low power start-up, which gives it the ability to operate with just 380 mV input voltages and 1 μW input power.
  • Ultra-low-power Boost regulator, whit operates with input voltages in a range of 100 mV to 2.5 V.
  • Integrated Low Drop-Out (LDO) regulator, drives a microcontroller at 1.8 V with up to 10 mA load current at low voltage supply, and drives a radio transceiver at configurable voltage from 2.2 V to 4.2 V with 80 mA load current.
  • Programmable overcharge and overdischarge protection
  • Suitable for any type of rechargeable battery or supercapacitor
The AEM10940 Evaluation Board
The AEM10940 Evaluation Board

e-peas introduces AEM10040 as an evaluation board that provides a laboratory-like environment for testing and analysing. It also simplifies the connections with power sources, storage elements, and the different loads. However, the evaluation board is not suitable for end-user applications.

More detailed information is reachable at the datasheet and the product official page.

OEMsecrets.com – Electronic Component Suppliers Price Comparison Search Engine

oemsecrets

There are a number of electronic component search engines in the industry, but finding the best price can often be time intensive. Quite often purchasers are simply looking to locate the most competitive price from suppliers and fast!

OEMsecrets has launched the first price comparison search engine in the electronics market.  The UK shopping site helps you to find the best prices and compare inventory availability from dozens of the industry’s largest authorised distributors. By entering a manufacturer part number, buyers can save both time and money when searching to purchase electronic components online. OEMsecrets compares prices on over 15 million electronic component products from suppliers such as Digikey, Mouser, Avnet, Arrow, Farnell, TTI, Buerklin and many more. Suppliers are categorised into authorised and non-authorised divisions for ease of use.

Buyers are able enter a quantity to find the total cost of the product, change currency and filter by region. ‘Buy Now’ links can be clicked, which sends users directly into the shopping cart of distributors ready to order. Datasheets, reference designs, images and samples from suppliers such as Texas Instruments to confirm product specifications are also accessible on the search results page. Compare prices of part number OPA333AID as an example.

The shopping site is also close to launching a price comparison BOM tool which auto selects the best prices from suppliers for hundreds of line items on a components list from authorised distributors.

For those buyers looking to save time locating components and finding the best price online, take a look at OEMsecrets.com

Power supply IC packs eight buck regulators

36334

Aimed at systems requiring multiple low-voltage supplies, Linear Technology’s LTC3374A can be configured to supply two to eight independent regulated outputs with 15 possible output-current configurations. Each of the eight synchronous 1-A buck converters is powered from an independent 2.25-V to 5.5-V input supply. Output voltage range is 0.8 V to VIN. by @ edn.com

The LTC3374A is well-suited for a variety of multichannel applications, including industrial, automotive, and communication systems. Along with a peak efficiency of 94%, the device provides one output with ±1% voltage accuracy and up to seven additional outputs with ±2% accuracy. Up to four adjacent buck regulators can be combined in parallel to provide up to 4 A of output current with a single shared inductor by connecting their VIN pins together, their SW pins together, and by connecting the slave bucks’ FB pins to the input supply.

Power supply IC packs eight buck regulators – [Link]

A1367 – Field programmable linear Hall-effect sensor IC

160728edne-allegro_microsystems_-_a1367

Allegro MicroSystems Europe has added a field programmable precision linear Hall-effect current sensor IC with features including a 240 kHz bandwidth, integrated voltage regulator, reverse battery protection, user-selectable ratiometry, and uni- or bi-directional output options. By Graham Prophet

The user can configure the sensitivity and quiescent (zero field) output voltage through programming on the VCC and output pins, to optimise performance in the end application. The quiescent output voltage is user-adjustable, around 50% (bidirectional configuration) or 10% (unidirectional configuration) of the supply voltage, VCC, and the output sensitivity is adjustable within the range of 0.6 to 6.4 mV/G (Gauss).

A1367 – Field programmable linear Hall-effect sensor IC – [Link]

The future of IC design

D-Wave_Quantum_Computer

R Colin Johnson @ edn.com discuss about the future of IC design and the different technologies that can extend Moore Law. Such technologies include 3D memories, superconducting, quantum, neuromorphic and photonic mixed-signal devices.

To celebrate 60 years of EDN, we’re looking into the future to predict what advancements will be made in IC Design in the next 60 years. By 2076 3-D room-temperature, superconducting, quantum, neuromorphic, and photonic mixed-signal devices will be the common denominator for all integrated circuit designs. Design tools will be so sophisticated that even novice designers will be able to mix and match these technologies into system-in-package designs that solve all application problems behind the scenes. Users will be so used to extensions to their innate brain capabilities that the technologies which perform the tasks will be taken for granted, leaving the engineering community—and its robotic assistants—on a unique echelon of society that actually understands how the world works.

The future of IC design – [Link]

Memory upgrade for ESP8266

ESP-01-on-motherboard

Pete show us how to upgrade your ESP8266 with 32Mbit memory chip.

Some time ago I passed comment in here about converting an ESP-01 to 32Mb  (or 4MB).  And here it is in the flesh – a 32Mb ESP-01 – and also – at last – Sonoff Upgrades.

Now, why would you want to do all of that? I would suggest only if you happen to have lots of ESP-01 units lying around – and I’ll bet quiet a lot of you do. As for the Sonoffs – well, put it this way, I just ordered another 10 chips!

Memory upgrade for ESP8266 – [Link]