App note: Replacing mechanical potentiometers with digital potentiometers


Another application note from Analog Devices this time about the superiority of digital over mechanical potentionmenters. Link here (PDF)

Potentiometers have been widely used since the early days of electronic circuits, providing a simple way to calibrate a system, adjusting offset voltage or gain in an amplifier, tuning filters, controlling screen brightness, among other uses. Due to their physical construction, mechanical potentiometers have some limitations inherent to their nature, such as size, mechanical wear, wiper contamination, resistance drift, sensitivity to vibration, humidity, and layout inflexibility.

Digital potentiometers are designed to overcome all these problems, offering increased reliability and higher accuracy with smaller voltages glitches. The mechanical potentiometer has now been relegated to environments where the digital potentiometer cannot be a suitable replacement, such as high temperature environments or in high power applications.

Comparing both technologies is the simplest way to discern which is the optimal solution for your system.

App note: Precision signal conditioning for high resolution industrial applications


App note from Analog Devices on robust precision signal conditioning. Link here (PDF)

Industrial measurement and control systems often need to interface to sensors while operating in noisy environments. Because sensors typically generate very small electrical signals, extracting their output from the noise can be challenging. Applying signal conditioning techniques, such as amplification and filtering, can aid in the extraction of the signal because these techniques increase the sensitivity of the system. The signal can then be scaled and shifted to take full advantage of high performance ADCs.

App note: Modern thermocouples and a high-resolution DeltaSigma ADC enable high-precision temperature measurement


Old app note from Maxim Integrated about high-precision temperature measurement. Link here (PDF)

Many industrial and medical applications require temperature measurements with accuracies of ±1°C or better, performed with reasonable cost over a wide range of temperatures (-270°C to +1750°C), and often with low power consumption. Properly selected, standardized, modern thermocouples paired with high-resolution ADC data acquisition systems (DASs) can cover this wide temperature range and ensure reproducible measurements, even in the harshest industrial environments.

App note: Sterilization methods and their impact on medical devices containing electronics

App note from Maxim Integrated on electronic devices sterilization. Link here (PDF)

Although there is considerable literature about sterilization methods and equipment, there is very little written about the impact of sterilization on electronics. This article compares popular sterilization methods and discusses their suitability for objects containing electronics.

App note: Introduction to the silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)


App note from ON Semiconductors about SiPM sensors, explaining the working principle and primary performance parameters. Link here (PDF)

The Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) is a sensor that addresses the challenge of sensing, timing and quantifying low-light signals down to the single-photon level. Traditionally the province of the Photomultiplier Tube (PMT), the Silicon Photomultiplier now offers a highly attractive alternative that combines the low-light detection capabilities of the PMT while offering all the benefits of a solid-state sensor. The SiPM features low-voltage operation, insensitivity to magnetic fields, mechanical robustness and excellent uniformity of response. Due to these traits, the SensL® SiPM has rapidly gained a proven performance in the fields of medical imaging, hazard and threat detection, biophotonics, high energy physics and LiDAR.

App note: USB audio bridge example with STM32F0 MCUs


App note from STMicroelectronics using their STM32F0 microcontrollers to playback audio stream from USB. Link here (PDF)

This application note describes a method and an example of synchronizing audio playback or audio recording with an upstream or downstream USB audio host, ensuring flawless audio listening or recording using only internal MCU resources.

Focusing on specific properties of USB microcontrollers from the STM32F0 family, the application note describes how the CRS unit can be beneficially employed for USB audio streaming synchronization. In particular, it elaborates a method of HSI48 clock frequency trimming to compensate for timing differences due to independent USB host (computer) and device (STM32F0) clock domains.

App note: USB Type-C protection and filtering


STMicroelectronics’ solution for simplifying USB Type-C protection and filtering using transient voltage suppressors, common mode filtering and proper board layout. Link here (PDF)

The USB interface has been present on the market for nearly 2 decades and thanks to that, nowadays it is quite obvious for everybody to connect electronic devices in this manner. However, the presence of different types of connectors: type A, type B, mini USB, micro USB etc., makes difficult and complicated the choice of the right one. For this reason USB Type-C, a unique connector to drive audio and power data up to 5 or 10 Gbps, is now available.

Due to the fact that for its own nature a connector is a link to the outside world, it may be exposed to a lot of disturbances which can ruin the transceivers. Moreover, the high-speed links radiate therefore an efficient filter has to be used to solve antenna desense.

STMicroelectronics has developed some specific protection devices and common mode filters with optimized performance and layout.