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Rarely Asked Questions Ė Issue 98, October 2013

Design Tools and Support Communities Make Analog Fun, not Fearful

design tools 

Q: Dear James, Iím well versed with digital design, but have been asked to add thermocouple based temperature measurement to our system. My tie is beginning to curl from fright. Where should I start? Bert.

A: Dear Bert, Donít panic! With its history of providing ďaugmentedĒ products, ADI delivers more than silicon, offering a wealth of application notes, reference circuits, and design expertise. Our newest design tool, Signal Chain Designer, provides a complete selection and design environment with everything you need to create sensor based designs, faster and more effectively.

You can create your own design, choosing devices using the parametric search engines, or start with one found in the library, which comprises over 200 reference circuits and verified product combinations, including those optimized for conditioning sensor outputs and driving analog-to-digital converters. After choosing a circuit design, you can customize it to your specifications, and download complete documentation including schematics, bill of materials, and PCB layout files. Signal Chain Designer, which is currently in Beta testing, is fully integrated with the newly released Analog Filter Wizard.

Analog Devices supports design tools for every phase of your design. These are grouped into: Amplifier and Linear Design Tools, Data Converter Design Tools, RF Design Tools, and Power Management Design Tools. Amongst the many linear tools, youíll find SPICE simulation using Multisim, the ADI DiffAmpCalc downloadable calculator for designing differential amplifier circuits, and the newly redesigned Photodiode Wizard, whose beta version will be released on October 10. For ADCs, try ADIsimADC, a web-based application that allows control of test conditions and provides design-specific performance plots. In the RF domain, youíll have the opportunity to calculate important parameters within the RF signal chain, including cascaded gain, noise figure, IP3, P1dB, and power consumption using ADIsimRF, or evaluate high-performance PLLs using ADIsimPLL. And with ADIsimPower, youíll find spreadsheets that produce complete power designs optimized to your design goals.

In addition, ADI provides tutorials and educational opportunities via its Engineering University program, webcasts, and videos; FPGA reference designs through its Alliance Program; and personalized support via the EngineerZone Support Community and Technical Support.

These design tools and support communities combine to lower your development risk, shorten your design cycle, and accelerate your productís time to market. So donít fear your next analog design. Use it as an opportunity to learn a new skill while also having fun!

I invite you to comment on Design Tools in the Analog Dialogue Community on EngineerZone.

Signal Chain Designer -- Video Tutorial

Analog Devices' Engineering University--Why YOU Should Attend

Author
james bryant  James Bryant [james@jbryant.eu] has been a European applications manager with Analog Devices since 1982. He holds a degree in physics and philosophy from the University of Leeds. He is also C.Eng., Eur. Eng., MIEE, and an FBIS. In addition to his passion for engineering, James is a radio ham and holds the call sign G4CLF.

 Have a question involving a perplexing or unusual analog problem?

Submit your question to: www.analog.com/askjames

 

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