MarkU
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Why do ADCs use 10 bit rather than 8 or 16?
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42 votes

There's no major technical problem with extending a SAR (successive approximation) ADC to convert 16 bits, but the issue is that you start to see the noise floor of the analog front-end. This tends to ...

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Parts shortage, no stock, what now? (canonical reference question)
40 votes

I work at a major analog IC manufacturer since 1990, and I have seen these kind of supply shortage cycles. These cycles come and they go, like the weather. From an IC manufacturer's perspective, the ...

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How does electricty flow in a flip-flop circuit? I can't understand how memory bits work with NAND gates
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23 votes

As a software guy, I had the same kinds of problems with HDL/Verilog... the hardware does not run in in any order, everything happens continuously, all at the same time. Your idea that "logic ...

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Where exactly is the USB spec that explains what to do when the cable is first connected?
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22 votes

USB has several layers, which are described in the USB 2.0 Specification. If you're familiar with the OSI layered network model, you can think of it like this: Session layer = Chapter 10 USB Host ...

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How To Know If a Fuse Will Work Properly?
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21 votes

I think maybe you misunderstand how a fuse behaves. A fuse doesn't instantly open when current meets the Ampere Rating. There is a minimum Opening Time at 100% of Ampere Rating, and there will also ...

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Using decapped ICs in production
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20 votes

I can't speak for all manufacturers or all product lines, but I've worked as an applications engineer at Maxim Integrated Products for 25+ years. You mention that the product in question is some kind ...

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Maximum Typical and minimum into datasheets. What is the distribution?
19 votes

Speaking as an application engineer with 20+ years at an analog semiconductor manufacturer... What is the probability of having a component with the minimum and maximum specified value into the ...

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What is the lowest voltage that a microcontroller can successfully read on the analog pin?
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19 votes

See data sheet section 28.8 ADC Characteristics: typical offset error 2 LSB and typical gain error 2 LSB. Absolute accuracy (INL, DNL, gain error, offset error, etc) could be typically 4.5 LSB under ...

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What does "rail to rail output opamp" mean?
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18 votes

"Rail-to-rail" is a marketing term used to describe an op amp whose dynamic range is able to reach the extremes of the supply voltage. This can refer to either the output or both the input and output. ...

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What do HDLs compile/synthesize to?
16 votes

Register Transfer Logic (RTL) is the result of the first translation phase, before it is mapped to the vendor-specific resources, which are not portable between vendors or even between different FPGA ...

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Debugging a multilayer PCB?
14 votes

Find a spot that is clear on all layers, such as a via that is not connected to power or ground; there should be an annular ring visible if you shine a light through the back of the board. (Not all ...

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USB, UART, SPI difference and usage?
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14 votes

Those are three different types of serial interfaces. SPI has a master clock and synchronous master-in-slave-out and master-out-slave-in data: a total of 3 wires plus ground/power and optional chip-...

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In an ADC what are the units of resolution called?
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14 votes

Speaking as an applications engineer at a company that makes ADC chips... the unit is called LSB (least significant bit), so in your example the ADC output code would be 4000 LSB. (A commenter notes ...

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How do we know that voltmeters are accurate?
12 votes

Specific to a Digital Multi-Meter (DMM): the type of Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) used inside a typical DMM, is called a dual-slope integrating ADC. This technology has been around since the 1970s, ...

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ADC first transition at 1/2 LSB - is that not a non-linearity?
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12 votes

Unlike the LSB code, which can only have certain discrete values, the analog input is a real, physical, continuous voltage input, which can go above full scale and below zero (even if that violates ...

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Why are SMT electrolyic capacitors so much more expensive than their through-hole counterparts?
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12 votes

Through-hole components are assembled by hand-soldering with a soldering iron, or by using a wave solder process. But surface-mount components must withstand IR reflow soldering, which applies heat ...

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Why can't my 555-based DC-DC boost converter supply even 3 milliamps at 12V?
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11 votes

Design Requirements restated from the question: - Vin = 5V nominal (I assume 4.75V minimum) - Vout = 12V nominal, +/- 0.5V ripple - Iout = 15mA peak Since I'm an applications engineer at Maxim ...

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STM32 crashes when FreeRTOS project is converted to C++
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11 votes

FreeRTOS wasn't designed to support C++. https://interactive.freertos.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/210028906-Using-FreeRTOS-with-C- Since I don't see any other references to USART3_EXTI28_IRQHandler ...

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ICs ("chips") are typically packaged in what material?
11 votes

Just to add to Spehro's answer, you can usually request the materials composition of a specific IC directly from the manufacturer, if you know where to look. They won't give away the complete recipie ...

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External ADC Vs. Internal ADC
11 votes

Usually the kind of ADC integrated on-chip within a microcontroller, is typically a capacitive charge-balancing successive-approximation type (SAR), and usually no more than 12 bits resolution. ...

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custom FPGA PCB Design tips
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11 votes

At my company, we've previously designed some custom FPGA boards, and have recently started using commercial off-the-shelf ("COTS") FPGA boards with custom FMC daughterboards. Prototype stage If you'...

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555 timer - large inaccuracies with precision components
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10 votes

The 555 timer uses an analog RC as its timebase, but that's never going to be very stable. Even with high precision resistor (0.01%) and capacitor (10%), there is poor initial accuracy and significant ...

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How do I produce a 1Hz clock output using a 555 timer IC? Are there better ways other than a 555 timer IC?
10 votes

The actual 555 timer frequency depends on the RC time constant, which is strongly affected by variations in the actual resistance and capacitance. The resistor has initial accuracy spec (like 1% or 0....

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ESP32 ADC not good enough for audio/music?
9 votes

Dynamic Range expressed as Effective Number of Bits (ENOB) is another way of expressing Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): ENOB: SNR = 6.02*N + 1.76 [dB] So with resolution N=24 SNR=146dB N=20 SNR=122dB N=...

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why do rectified voltage boosts after adding a capacitor?
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9 votes

The rectified AC waveform catches the peaks. The input 9VAC is RMS (Root-Mean-Square average) equivalent -- the actual amplitude of the sinewave is about 40% higher than the RMS average (square root ...

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Why does the complex representation of a voltage \$V\cdot\cos(\omega t + \phi)\$ use the cosine function?
9 votes

Both sin and cos are considered sinusoidal waveforms. As a practical matter, sin and cos are essentially the same thing, just offset by 90 degrees.Since "time 0" is arbitrary, the distinction between ...

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Where are the cathode and anode of this diode?
8 votes

Strange indeed that Diodes Incorporated datasheet does not contain the words "cathode" or "anode". Conventionally the cathode(-) side of the device is marked with a bar. So in your ...

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Are there ideal opamps that exist in the real world?
8 votes

Ideal op amp model is a heuristic, which exists only to simplify the math for designing a useful feedback system. In a real op amp system with negative feedback, there is a small but important voltage ...

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Relying on datasheet graphs
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8 votes

Speaking as an Applications Engineer at Maxim Integrated: Yes, the Typical Operating Characteristics graphs are "typical" and therefore not "guaranteed" operation. But designers don't actually "...

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op-amp: what is internal frequency compensation?
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8 votes

Assuming you've already studied the internal schematic of the classic 741 op-amp, you already know the major internal blocks are a differential-to-single-ended input stage (differential pair fed by ...

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