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Semiconductors

16 posts
When we are taught about op amps, the usual starting point is a perfect op amp. That amplifier has infinite gain, infinite input resistance on the two inputs, zero output resistance, and so forth. That's done so that the focus can be on understanding the basic operation and how the feedback operates with the various common circuit configurations, without all the messy real- world details that apply to an actual physical circuit. Although real op amps can be very, very good (exceptionally so ...
Electro-mobility, advanced driver assistance systems, connected driving – the demand for functionally safe electrical and electronic systems in cars is increasing. Infineon Technologies second generation AURIX™ (TC3xx) microcontrollers are the first embedded safety controllers worldwide to be certified for the highest automotive safety integrity level (ASIL D) according to the latest version of the ISO 26262 standard. This standard describes a globally binding procedure for the devel ...
Silicon Labs' new Bluetooth® system-on-chip (SoC), the BG22 family, combines an ultra-low transmit and receive power (3.6 mA TX at 0 dBm, 2.6 mA RX) and a high-performance, low-power Arm® Cortex®-M33 core (27 µA/MHz active, 1.2 µA sleep), and delivers energy efficiency that can extend coin cell battery life up to ten years.   Expanding Silicon Labs' secure, ultra-low-power Wireless Gecko Series 2 platform, the EFR32BG22 (BG22) SoCs provide developers with an opti ...
Big data, IoT, 5G, and AI are often touted to transform the semiconductors industry. Clearly, new chipsets are being developed and tailored for compute-intensive processing. But transformations are often predictions directed to the future. What about now? How will the global pandemic of 2020 transform the semiconductors industry? This question could go many directions from actual innovations in chipsets to supply chain issues. To company consolidations (mergers and acquisitions to career changes ...
Silicon Labs announced a new family of secure, ultra-low-power Zigbee® system-on-chip (SoC) devices designed for eco-friendly IoT products deployed in mesh networks. The EFR32MG22 (MG22) family delivers the smallest, lowest power SoCs optimized for Zigbee Green Power applications. Based on Silicon Labs' Wireless Gecko Series 2 platform, the MG22 SoCs are an ideal choice for Zigbee devices powered by coin cell batteries or energy-harvesting sources. Target applications include smart home sen ...
Introduction   More experimenting. This time I thought I'd have a look at the output characteristics of a JFET. Sometimes these things go well and sometimes they don't. This one didn't go too well but, for all that, I'm going to blog it as I did it rather than try and tidy it up.   The output characteristic is how the drain current behaves with changing drain voltage and is usually shown for a series of fixed gate voltages. Here is an example from a datasheet. This is for a 2SK355 ...
Introduction   Having used JFETs (type BF256B) in some of my test circuits whilst experimenting with MOSFETs, I thought it might be interesting to look at the transfer function and see if I could recreate the curve you sometimes see on a datasheet which relates the gate voltage to the drain current.   If you're not used to JFETs (Junction Field-Effect Transistors), they're similar to MOSFETs but the insulation between the gate and the channel is provided not by an actual insula ...
Introduction   More experimenting with MOSFETs. This time I'm going to have a look at the output characteristics.   On a datasheet, output characteristics are usually drawn something like the following two graphs. The first is for the IRF730 part that I have been experimenting with extensively in this series of blogs and the second is for a small-signal part, a BS170:   Curves of drain current against drain-source voltage are drawn for a set of fixed Vgs voltages. The Vgs ...
ADCs play a pivotal role in almost all electronic digital products where analog data must be converted to digital data.  They are vital in data acquisition systems employed in instrumentation, industrial, and medical equipment.  ADCs are a must if there is a need for high dynamic range, high performance, and accurate signal measurements constrained by space restrictions, power, and thermal design challenges.  Multiple types of ADCs are available in the market, and it is recommende ...
The LPC552x/S2x is a mainstream family in LPC5500 series, providing a balance between security, performance efficiency and system integration for general embedded and industrial IoT markets. The LPC552x/S2x MCU family combines the high-performance efficiency of the Cortex-M33 core with multiple high-speed interfaces, an integrated power management IC, and rich analog integration. The LPC5500 MCU series offers significant advantages for developers, including cost-effective 40-nm NVM process tec ...
Crossover processors are built using applications processors chassis, delivering a high level of integration, high speed peripherals, enhanced security, and engines for enhanced user experience (for example, 2D/3D graphics); but also utilizing a low-power MCU core running a real-time operating system like RTOS. Crossover processing helps MCU customers move up to applications processor-level of performance while staying with their current tool chain.   Crossover processors is a term defined ...
Verizon just rolled out 5G service in Chicago, most notably at Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears.   But this appears to be just the beginning of 5G firsts. There are high expectations that 5G-enabled smartphones with high-speed internet connectivity will make the 5G market explode with growth as the 5G networks are rolled out and consumers are eager to upgrade their phones.   All this recent buzz made me think about what 5G chipsets are being rolled out by semiconductor m ...
Silicon has been the kingpin of the semiconductor industry for a long time. And it should be: it has an ideal crystal structure for use as a semiconductor, But in today's world where ultra-low power and an extremely small package are two important factors in electronics design, maybe silicon has sort of reached its limits. What's the alternative?   As a semiconductor material, gallium nitride (GaN) is getting the attention that silicon once had. GaN works will in high voltage and high temp ...
  Previous blogs:   Experimenting with MOSFETS: Total Gate Charge Experimenting with MOSFETs: Transfer Characteristic   Introduction   More experimenting with MOSFETs. In the last blog I looked at the transfer characteristics but it wasn't very easy to see from the graph I plotted where the threshold was. The threshold is measured at a drain current of 250uA and that is down in the noise for the current probe I was using. So this is a different approach to finding the ...
This is a short follow-up to Experimenting with MOSFETS: Total Gate Charge where I looked at 'total gate charge' for an IRF730, an n-channel power MOSFET.   Since I still had the test board wired up, I thought it might be interesting to see if could get a quick plot of the transfer characteristic - the way that the drain current varies with gate voltage.   I've taken the previous circuit, bypassed the constant current generator in the drain and then plotted the drain current against ...