A Note From the Editor

Welcome to the March Issue of Analog Dialogue.

I hope you are enjoying the first warmer and longer days outside after a cold winter. While writing these notes here in Germany, our buildings are covered with snow. Fire departments, military, and other organizations are helping with snow removal in the Alps. In some areas, there are 1.8 m of heavy snow threatening to collapse roofs. But as cold as it is now, I think back to the very hot summer of 2018. There was nearly no rain and temperatures were above 35°C for a long period of time, which made me feel even more uneasy. I hope the summer of 2019 will be a return to normality. Before we move to the articles, I want to thank everyone for emailing me about their Christmas and New Year customs. I received many emails from across the world. It is nice to see how different and, at the same time, similar the regional customs are—for example, people playing traditional Christmas songs with family or friends in all combinations of instruments. Some new bands were founded. Readers also told me about their holiday dish customs—from traditional goose to sausages, all the way up to sushi (including a recipe—thank you, David). Keep reading and emailing to continue participating in the dialogue.

And now, back to the featured technologies in this month’s Analog Dialogue.

In the last Analog Dialogue issue we introduced you to the article “Synchronization of Multiaxis Motion Control Over Real-Time Networks.” Now let’s take a close look inside real-time Ethernet. Real time means safely and reliably reaching cycle times in the range of less than ten milliseconds down to microseconds. That’s mainly a requirement for factory automation applications. Such real-time requirements paved the way for advancements in Ethernet. Volker Goller discusses these developments in this month’s issue. Volker is a systems applications engineer who has over 30 years of experience with a diverse set of industrial applications ranging from complex motion control and embedded sensors to time sensitive networking technology.

Have you ever thought about how all the new service robots and drones will navigate in the future? How do they know where to go and how to get back? Typically, certain smaller systems require a strapped-down and lower cost navigation solution compared to the stable navigation systems used in ships, cars, or aircraft. Joel Li and Van Yang will introduce you to a strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS) built using ADI’s IMU sensor, ADIS16470. Li and Yang, both located in Shanghai, China, are applications engineers at Analog Devices.

The next generation of cars requires more batteries to fuel them. There is a need for bidirectional buck-boost dc-to-dc converters that are located between the two batteries. Such a dc-to-dc converter could be used to charge either battery and allows both batteries to supply current to the same load. Furthermore, if one of these batteries should fail, that failure needs to be detected and isolated from the other battery so that the other battery continues to provide power to the load without any disruption. In this article, Bruce Haug explains a single bidirectional IC solution with a new IC where two batteries work together in a system.

For applications requiring a high dynamic range, a Σ-Δ converter is often used. These applications can mainly be found in the fields of chemical analysis, healthcare, and weight management. However, if you require a higher sampling rate, a Σ-Δ converter may not be the best choice. Could a 16-bit SAR converter application reach a dynamic range of 125 dB at 600 kSPS? Thomas Tzscheetzsch answers this question in his role as a field applications engineer. The complete circuit note, including the design files, is available as CN-0260.

Impedance is the resistance to the flow of alternating current. It is the total opposition that a circuit offers to the flow of current at a particular frequency. Impedance (Z) is expressed as a combination of resistance (R) and reactance (X) and is measured in ohms (Ω). The impedance is represented on a 2D polar plot that has x as the real axis and y as the imaginary axis. The resistive component is a line along the real axis and the reactive component is a line along the imaginary axis. That’s common engineering knowledge. Nevertheless, this next article shows how easily impedance can be measured with the ADALM1000. We continue exploring this topic in the ADALM1000 series written by Doug Mercer and Antoniu Miclaus.

And as we have for 52 years, we invite you to be part of the “dialogue” inAnalog Dialogue. You can get in touch through our blog, Facebook page, or email. Let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see from us in the coming months.