A Note From the Editor

It is fascinating that humans are able to look back in time. As you may know, the light of our own Sun takes approximately 8 minutes to reach the Earth. This means we see the Sun’s rays from 8 minutes ago; a view into the past. The nearest galaxy, Andromeda, is 2.5 million light years away, which means we see as it as it was 2.5 million years ago. If you study the graphic, you see that we can see back in time to when the first stars appeared (about 400 million years ago). A few million years more would indicate the begin of time. In case you are interested, you can read more about the James Webb Space Telescope and our own contributions to it in the article “James Webb Space Telescope: First Light Machine.”

And now, we return to Earth and look at new topics in this month’s Analog Dialogue!

Our first article, “A Highly Integrated, System-Level Approach to Ease Design of Isolated Software Configurable I/O Channels,” presents a solution that helps solve the design challenges in system-level industrial application designs. This article explains the benefits of system-level thinking when designing a single IC. The focus of the article is the design of power optimization and functionality.

We also discuss RF design and prototyping, which can be a challenge as RF signals and frequencies require specific handling and equipment. There is often a need to reduce prototyping time and the related costs. The X-Microwave modular system and ADI’s bridge board enable the quick buildout of clean, modifiable, near-PCB prototypes through 60 GHz. This system offers significantly better performance and less headache than traditional prototyping methods. “A Better Way to Prototype RF Designs, Using X-Microwave” provides an overview of the X-Microwave platform and its advantages, as well as a step-by-step guide to getting started.

Our next article, “The Internet from Space: RFIC Advances in High Capacity, Low Latency LEO Satellite User and Ground Terminals,” discusses key trends driving LEO satellite deployments. LEO satellites will play an important role in the continuing rollout of 5G cellular connectivity. The next generation of LEO systems will orbit between 500 km to 2000 km above the Earth’s surface and will deliver a technically superior solution to satellite networks of the past. This article explains the basic operation of an LEO Satellite system and presents some of the semiconductor RFIC advances that are enabling the next generation of Ku and Ka band LEO user and ground terminals.

The article “How to Optimize Switching Power Supply Layout by Minimizing Hot Loop PCB ESRs and ESLs” investigates and compares decoupling capacitor positions, power FET sizes and positions, and via placements. Experiments are conducted to verify the analysis and effective methods are summarized. For power converters, hot loop PCB layout with minimum parasitic parameters can improve the power efficiency, lower the voltage ringing, and reduce the EMI.

Lastly, we feature the article, “ADALM2000 Activity: CMOS Logic Circuits, D-Type Latch” to continue our ADALM200 series with the CD4007 CMOS Logic IC to build a D-type flip-flop or latch. Flip-flops are widely used in general electronics. You will learn about their main function and how they work.

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And as we have for 55 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.