Editors' Note—Volume 42, Number 4, 2008

 

At the time of this writing, Dan Sheingold, our friend and colleague, and Editor of this publication, is home recuperating from a lower back injury. The staff and readers of Analog Dialogue want to extend our best wishes to Dan for his swift, easy, and complete recovery, and for his quick return to work. In the meantime, I hope that I have been able to adequately fill his rather large shoes over the past few months.

TECHNOLOGY AND HAPPINESS
In his 1902 lecture on the Principles of Mechanics, Ludwig Boltzmann responded to the question “Has mankind been made happier by all the advances in culture and technology?” by saying:

Indeed, a ticklish question. Certainly a mechanism for making humans happy has not yet been invented. Each must seek and find happiness within himself. However, science and civilization have succeeded in eliminating influences disturbing happiness by overcoming the danger of lightning, national plagues, and illnesses of individuals in many cases. Furthermore, it has been made easier to journey over, and to come to know, our beautiful Earth, to imagine vividly the structure of the starred skies, and to glean dimly at least the eternal laws of Nature as a whole. In this way it [science] has allowed an ever greater development of the physical and mental powers of mankind and an ever-growing dominion over all the rest of Nature; and it has enabled those who found inner peace to enjoy it in a heightened unfolding of life and a greater perfection.

Although Boltzmann believed that people must seek happiness within themselves, he proposed that technology makes it easier by providing improved safety, better medical care, and easier methods of transportation.

With its integrated circuits, Analog Devices seeks to improve our quality of life and to protect our environment. In audio/video applications, for example, ADI’s precision amplifiers, converters, digital signal processors, and MEMS devices allow viewers and listeners to experience vivid, lifelike pictures and sound from their high-definition home theater systems, cell phones, and automotive infotainment systems.

In automobiles, our devices enhance safety by implementing functions such as adaptive cruise control, advanced driver assistance, crash detection, electronic stability control, intelligent battery monitoring, navigation systems, remote keyless entry, and security systems.

In medical instrumentation, our analog, digital, and mixed-signal processing and MEMS technologies are delivering better resolution in MRI and CT scanners, lower power ultrasound systems, and more accurate and reliable home monitoring equipment.

In industrial applications, ADI’s ICs are used to monitor and control solar and wind power systems, water desalinization plants, and nuclear power plants; and smart metering technologies result in more efficient energy utilization. In addition, each generation of devices consumes less power than the previous generation, contributing to a greener environment.

These are but a few examples of the wide variety of products that use Analog Devices’ components. The average person might not buy our ICs, but they are likely to buy or use a piece of equipment that does, to gain the benefits of these devices, and hopefully, to lead happier lives.

FEMTOCELLS, MULTIPLIERS, AND SHORT-RANGE WIRELESS
Imagine a device that can provide high-quality cellular reception within your home, allowing you and your family unlimited voice and data usage for a low monthly fee. A femto base station, usually referred to as a femtocell, provides all that and more. This small wireless device, which improves local wireless coverage when placed in a home or office, is poised to dramatically change the wireless infrastructure landscape. Read about femtocells in the article on page x.

Multipliers exploiting translinear loops, current-mirrors, current conveyors, and linear gm cells continue to be indispensable more than sixty years since the very first fully monolithic ICs were fabricated in 1967. In this futuristic tale, Drs. Newton Leif and Niku Chen discuss multiplier topologies, uses, and history. Leif also provides some hints as to how neurons, which are translinear, behave exactly like bipolar junction transistors. Consider multipliers when implementing your next design. Read more in the article on page x. In case you missed any of the earlier articles, the complete Wit and Wisdom of Dr. Leif series can be found in the Analog Dialogue online archives at http://www.analog.com/library/analogDialogue/archives.html#leif.

The broad acceptance of standards developed for short range wireless connectivity has been one of the notable features of the semiconductor market in the past few years. These standards include Bluetooth, various flavors of Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and new emerging standards, such as Wibree/Bluetooth ULP and Ultra Wideband. The available wireless standards are not always the best fit for the application’s requirements, however. The article on page x shows you how to design, simulate, and document your own proprietary wireless system.

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
Over the past year, Analog Dialogue articles have covered products and applications ranging from motor control to inductive cooking, from biometric identification to blood analysis, and from cell phone base stations to in-home femtocells. Over the next year, look forward to reading articles about smart metering technologies, MEMS microphones, industrial process control, base station power monitoring, and automotive video systems. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

 

Scott Wayne [scott.wayne@analog.com]

 

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