A Note From the Editor

Welcome to the July issue of Analog Dialogue.

Talking about the 5G network standard and the data rate reminds me of previous cellular network technologies, and the challenges and achievements of each generation. If you think back, the first generation (1G) of analog wireless cellular technology standards were implemented in 1981. Digital cellular technology (2G) followed in 1991, mainly for mobile calls, but it also enabled texting for the first time. 3G enabled mobile internet in 2001, while the mobile broadband standard and speed we have today began with 4G around 2010. There are many new challenges today, but the need for more data is most prominent as the number of users and applications increases. Now, even automobiles can connect to wireless networks. Hence, new technology is required as the 4G network reaches its limits. 5G needs to enable 1000 times more data traffic. One component requirement for this new standard is a high speed interface between the converter and the processor. JESD204C opens one bottleneck and enables a high data rate to and from the processor via the receive and transmit path. If you think about autonomous driving, virtual reality, IoT, and other new technologies we cannot yet imagine, you will understand that a new high speed network is required and a high speed network solution like the JESD204C is one small but important piece for the future of 5G.

Back to the Analog Dialogue and the articles for July.

In part two of the JESD204C series, Del Jones will introduce you to the key elements of the JESD204C standard that enable this problem-solving technology. The bandwidth efficiency improvements enabled by the 64b/66b encoding scheme are given a closer look, as is the bandwidth-increasing 32 Gbps physical layer specification. More in-depth detail is also provided on the new synchronization process, as well as the optional forward error correction aspect of the standard that improves link robustness. If you missed part 1, please find it here.

Precision signals are required in a wide area of applications. The complete signal chain needs to be considered to achieve an accuracy and repeatability of 18 bits or more. One key component for a precision system is the op amp. Barry Harvey raises an interesting question: “Can you really get PPM accuracies from op amps?” I do not know how many hundreds of different op amps exist, but it seems there are only a handful that could be good candidates for high precision. Is there one available to reach the PPM accuracy goal? You will know the answer after reading Barry’s article.

Our Power by Linear™ article addresses applications with high voltage requirements. Sometimes you need a high voltage source (for example, ±250 V) with just a few mA of current to power high voltage devices. There is an increasing number of devices requiring a high voltage supply. In most cases you need a boost converter with a step-up ratio >1:40. Jesus Rosales will explain an easy approach with the LT8365.

When designing a PCB power supply, a designer’s wish list includes: small size, ease of use, reliability, and efficiency. While PCBs are in development, lab supplies are used to power them. When it comes to series production, the powertrain itself must be developed and PCB space is always limited. Power modules are the perfect solution. Frederik Dostal explains the advantages of a really small power module.

We continue our StudentZone series with the first experiment using the ADALM2000 (M2K) active learning module. Measuring loop gain using the voltage injection method is the topic of this experiment. The loop gain of a system can be derived from a mathematical model of the system. Such models often do not consider all the parasitics and unwanted effects that might exist in the real system. It can be very useful to measure the real loop gain of a negative feedback system during the design process.

Don’t miss the chance to follow along. There’s still time to order the student version of the ADALM2000 at Digi-Key or Mouser.

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