App note: The LED versus LCD decision


Choosing between two display types, LED and LCD discussed in this application note from Murata. Link here (PDF)

Users of contemporary digital panel meters (DPMs) have a variety of options available to them. While options are nice, they invariably mean more choices have to be made. After determining what meter resolution one requires, the next most basic decision is usually which type of display to use liquid crystal or light emitting diode?
Traditionally, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) have been the obvious choice for outdoor/daylight applications and/or for applications requiring extremely low power consumption (current drains less than 15mA). Light emitting diode (LED) displays, with their comparatively low light intensities and relatively high current drains, have been excluded from these more demanding applications.
Recent DATEL innovations, most notably the introduction of extremely low-power LED displays, have complicated the once straightforward, LED/LCD decision.

App note: EFM32 Energy Modes


Application note from Silicon Labs on their EFM32 energy saving microcontrollers, some interesting points are discussed how these type of microcontrollers can conserve power. Link here (PDF)

In battery powered microcontroller applications, energy saving is essential. By reducing the current consumption, the mean time between battery charging / replacement can be significantly increased. Following these principles will drastically reduce the current consumption:
• Use appropriate Energy Modes
• Exploit low energy peripherals
• Turn off unused modules / peripherals
• Disable clocks to unused modules / peripherals
• Reduce clock frequency
• Lower the operating voltage
The EFM32 supports extensive usage of all these principles.


App note: LCD screens don’t flicker – or do they?


An old application note from Intersil on comparison of CRT and LCD regarding display flicker. Link here (PDF)

When comparing CRT to LCD screens, one of the most popular differences is the issue of flicker. It is a common assumption that CRT screens flicker while LCD screens do not. In truth, both screens have some amount of flicker. The mechanisms are different and methods for correction have varying amounts of success. This appnote presents the cause of flicker in LCD screens and offers a solution for avoiding flicker by using our ISL45041/2 LCD Module Calibrator in LCD panels.

App note: Interfacing AT84AD001B dual 8-bit 1 Gsps ADC and AVR ATmega128L


e2v’s application note interfacing their 1 Gsps 8-bit ADC to AVR. Link here (PDF)

With its smart feature (3-wire serial interface), e2v’s AT84AD001B dual 8-bit 1 Gsps ADC provides you with digital control over various functions offered with the dual ADC: calibration, gain and offset adjustments, DMUX ratio selection, analog and clock input mode, and partial or full standby mode.

This digital control via the 3-wire serial interface can be managed using Atmel’s ATmega128L AVR. The aim of this application note is to provide you with the relevant information for interfacing these two devices.

App note: WM8731 Suggested power-On/Off sequence


Interesting app note from Cirrus Logic on how to minimize popping sound on the output when turning on/off the DAC on their WM8731 digital to analog converter. Link here (PDF)

As with any consumer audio product, it is important that any on/off power noise be kept to a minimum. Generally, this is done with some sort of external mute circuit at the output socket of the application. Although effective, this does increase the BOM (bill of materials) cost, which in many cases is a critical factor.

With this in mind, the WM8731 DAC signal path may be powered-on in such a way that power on/off noise is kept to a minimum with no need for an external muting circuit, reducing the BOM cost.

App note: CS3001/2/11/12 & CS3003/4/13/14 Chopper-stabilized Operational Amplifiers



Cirrus Logic’s app note, discussing their own designed chopper amps. Link here (PDF)

The chopper-stabilized amplifiers designed at Cirrus Logic are unique. These amplifiers offer performance benefits that combine the best features of bipolar amplifiers with the best features of chopper amplifiers. The intent of this application note is to understand Cirrus Logic’s unique technology and to see how it can be applied in various measurement applications.

App note: WM9712 Jack plug auto-detection, hookswitch detection and microphone headset detection


App note on Cirrus Logic’s WM9712 jack plug auto-detection by monitoring the connected headphone resistance. Link here (PDF)

This application note describes two operations associated with using headset. The first is the facility to automatically switch between a mono ear speaker and stereo headphones for use in a Smartphone, PDA etc. The second operation is a method which can be used to detect if stereo headphones have been attached or if a mono headset with microphone has been attached.

App note: An Introduction to MEMS Microphone Specifications


An application note from Cirrus Logic on their MEMS microphones, which are small and perfect for wearables devices. Link here (PDF)

MEMS microphones are small form factor microphones, which translate acoustic sound pressure input into an electrical output response. They utilise the silicon wafer processes from the microelectronic industry to create high performance microphones of increasingly smaller geometries.

These processes give MEMS microphones a number of advantages over conventional electret condensing microphones (ECM), which has resulted in a general market transition to MEMS technologies for many of the latest consumer applications, including those requiring multi-microphone support or high quality capture.

The aim of this applications note is to enlighten readers with little or no experience of MEMS microphones to a point that they are confident in basic terminology and able to understand datasheet information to make product selections.

App note: Iris Recognition SFH 4780S


This application note from OSRAM describes the use of the SFH 4780S in iris recognition (iris scanning) as illumination module. Link here (PDF)

Personal authentication is becoming a key requirement for various electronic devices. Besides of the pin number, today most systems are based on so called biometric “properties”. Biometrics can include fingerprints, facial features, retina, iris, voice, fingerprint, palmprints, vein structures, handwritten signatures and hand geometry. All these biometrics have various pros and cons. However, only iris recognition claims to be a ‘hard-to-spoof’ system in combination with an ultra-low false acceptance rate (i.e. one in a million). Additionally, it also features greater speed, simplicity and accuracy compared to other biometric systems. The traits of iris recognition systems rely on the unique patterns of the human iris which are used to identify or verify the identity of an individual.

App note: Eye safety of IREDs used in lamp applications


This application note from OSRAM describes the possible hazards of infrared LEDs (IREDs) used for lamp applications with respect to the IEC-62471 standard and how to classify IREDs according to different risk groups. Link here (PDF)

As the radiated optical power of light emitting diodes (LEDs) has increased in recent years, the issue of eye safety has received an ever-increasing amount of attention. Within this context there has been much discussion about the right safety standard either the laser standard IEC-60825 or the lamp safety standard IEC-62471 to apply to the classification of LEDs. Before mid 2006 all LED applications were covered by the IEC-60825. Today most of the LED applications are covered by the lamp standard. Other than lasers, lamps are only generally defined in this standard as sources made to produce optical radiation. Lamp devices may also contain optical components like lenses or reflectors. Examples are lensed LEDs or reflector type lamps which may include lens covers as well. The status quo is, that for different applications of LEDs, like data transmission or irradiation of objects, different standards have to be used: data transmission IEC-60825 & lamp applications IEC-62471. Both safety standards do not cover general exposure scenarios and are not legally binding.