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Untitled Document
Jen Lloyd

Jen Lloyd

Vice President, Precision Technology and Platforms

DIGITAL ISOLATION TECHNOLOGY: PUTTING SAFETY AND DATA INTEGRITY FIRST, LAST, AND ALWAYS


In our increasingly electrified and digitalized world, it’s more important than ever to protect people, expensive assets, and critical data from high voltages and other disruptions. Digital isolation technology is the answer to that challenge. With the rapid escalation of factory automation, electric mobility, and advanced, digital medical equipment, trusted safety and data integrity is vital.

Due to the increasingly high performance and sensitive electronic systems that are used in many applications, digital isolation must be built into every design, every time. Digital isolation technology provides an electrical barrier to protect data from disruptive electromagnetic interference (EMI) and forms a safety boundary between high voltages and people, assets, and data. This isolation technology is required by many applications, including medical devices, electric vehicles, and industrial equipment. The isolation boundary enables engineers to design with confidence knowing that the application will meet targets for both functionality and safety.

Digital isolation technology is an uncompromising element that must be built into every design, every time.

DIGITAL ISOLATION TECHNOLOGY PROTECTS:

Icon of person in an m.r.i. machine

PEOPLE

People working on electronic designs and technology end users will be safe, whether working with industrial robots, charging their EV, or getting a CAT scan.

Icon of three wind turbines on a platform with trees

ASSETS

Valuable equipment is protected from electrical surges and harsh environmental conditions.

Icon of various data servers connected in a blockchain

DATA

Data will remain intact and uncorrupted when transmitted between devices—especially in the harsh environments of industrial settings.


Digital isolation technology provides an electrical barrier to protect data from disruptive EMI, and a safety boundary between high voltages and people, assets, and data.

Worker and robot are protected by digital isolation

TRUSTED PATIENT DATA ENABLES QUALITY HEALTHCARE DIAGNOSES

Technician reviews patient’s m.r.i. brain scan results

From medical instrumentation to vital signs monitoring to defibrillation devices, digital healthcare technologies are growing exponentially. With this growth comes more sophisticated measurement, but also the need for digital isolation technology to protect those measurements and the people taking the measurements, from high voltages and EMI. Proper transmission of these measurements, without interference from high voltage and EMI, results in greater data integrity. Better data translates into a more accurate diagnosis, better insights, and ultimately better care.

Digital isolation technology, with its high RF immunity, ensures that this critical healthcare data used in medical systems accurately reflects the patient’s health.

Electronic medical devices are susceptible to electrostatic discharge (ESD), rendering the devices unreliable and, in some cases, unsafe.1

This technology plays a critical role in ensuring the healthcare data results in accurate insights for physicians. By helping physicians “first do no harm” to patients, it allows the safe operation of high voltage diagnostic systems by technicians.

Looking toward the future, gigabit isolation will enable higher image quality and faster test times. It will offer less intrusive tests for patients and greater flexibility in testing locations/ system design, leading to even higher quality diagnosis.

ACCURATE, ON-TIME DATA FOR THE MOST CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS

Worker standing next to industrial robots welding

The modern-day factory has been revolutionized through digital transformation and enabled by accurate data throughout the factory to drive decisions that increase automation, flexibility, and customization to meet new demands. Manufacturers need to have a complete understanding of the health of these expensive manufacturing lines. To ensure consistent, reliable, and long operating life, the integrity of machine health data used to schedule downtime and implement predictive maintenance is vital. This business-critical data must reach its destination complete and unharmed. Digital isolation technology, a critical element in such systems, ensures optimal noise immunity for reliable data communication that results in accurate and robust system operation with maximum uptime.

Advanced gigabit isolation will allow larger volumes of data to be distributed faster between analog front ends and processing nodes, enabling increased robustness to interference in the harsh industrial environments.

$5 Billion
COST OF ESD DAMAGE TO THE ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY PER YEAR²

What’s more, digital isolation technology ensures people’s safety in these industrial environments. Technical advancements have enabled robots and collaborative robots (cobots), to work alongside humans on the factory floor, but many of these machines require advanced isolation technology to keep the people alongside them safe. These machines are supported by highly advanced sensing solutions that send and receive reliable data so robots/cobots move in a predictable manner, and workers maintain a high degree of safety.

HELPING BUILD A SAFE, SUSTAINABLE, AND CLEAN FUTURE

Electric car charging next to wind turbines

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on electrification, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are experiencing rapid deployment and continued innovation in improving performance. These renewable energy sources are increasingly being combined with the latest advances in storage and battery technologies, thereby eliminating the day/night or wind/no wind intermittency challenges with solar and wind. With increased power density in inverters used in solar PV generation and the need for energy storage balancing, this generation of solar power drives the need to extensively monitor and control all elements of such systems. Isolation technology provides a safe, reliable, and robust solution for communication interfaces and power conversion control.

Isolation embedded into gate driver technology—being driven by new wide band gap materials including silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN)—is a critical building block for power conversion in renewable applications and associated battery energy storage. Battery-based energy storage will be central in allowing these intermittent sources of energy to power our homes, as well as more quickly charge our electric cars while also increasing the time between such charges.

400-800 V
AVERAGE OPERATING VOLTAGE OF AN EV BATTERY³

In its fundamental form, digital isolation technology protects people when we interact with electric vehicles, ensuring that we can safely drive and charge them while feeling good that we are reducing harmful emissions.

Today, more than ever, our electrified and automated digital future demands the highest levels of safety and data integrity to protect the increasingly sophisticated and sensitive electronics at its heart. Digital isolation technology protects people and assets from high voltages and shields critical data from disruptive electric interference.

When designing the next breakthrough, look to ADI—inventor and undisputed leader in digital isolators—for the most innovative solution. Let us concentrate on the digital isolation technology, so you can focus on creating a sustainable future.


1Mehdi Kohani and Michael Pecht. Malfunctions of Medical Devices Due to Electrostatic Occurrences: Big Data Analysis of 10 Years of the FDA’s Reports. IEEE.org, March 9, 2018.

2Richard Strube. Challenges of Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) in the Electronics Industry. Universal Instruments, July 6, 2015.

3Erik Johnson. Introduction to Electric Vehicle Battery Systems. All About Circuits, July 31, 2019