Electronic Design

Linear Circuit Design Handbook

Compilation, Analog Devices, Inc.; Hank Zumbahlen, ed.

The Linear Circuit Design Handbook runs 960 pages and tips the scales at nearly four pounds. Edited by senior apps engineer Hank Zumbahlen, it’s a product of Analog Devices’ engineering staff, meaning a lot of it already appears online in the form of application notes on the ADI Web site, which leads to the question, “If the content is available free online, why should I pay for the hardcopy version?”

The glory of the Web is that so much information is available there; the bane of the Web is that so much information is available there. So rather than finding where your search engine hid the information you want amid all the irrelevant hits it turned up, you can use this handy reference. Believe me, it makes a difference.

What Zumbahlen did here is basically give order to all those ADI app notes and technical articles. He also tagged related ideas to such content in a coherent sequence. If you need to know something with this kind of treeware, you can be your own search engine using the table of contents and index in the rear of the book. Or of course you can skim for the stuff you don’t already know. Depending on how deep your knowledge of the topic already is, you may find yourself satisfied with a single paragraph, or you may decide to sit down with the book, your engineering notebook, a cup of coffee, and follow the logic of the exposition as the ADI apps engineers have laid it out.

You can even have it both ways. If you want to save a particular passage for documentation, pick an uncommon concatenation of words in the book chapter and enter that in the search window on www.analog.com. Odds are your first hit will be on the original source and you’ll be able to highlight the passage and cut and paste it into a file. Treeware and Webware aren’t necessarily antagonists.

But that assumes you’re only looking for some particular nugget of information. I’ve already mentioned that this book can be particularly useful if you only occasionally need to know about some aspect of analog circuit design. In that case, you can read through the relevant parts of a whole chapter at leisure, with no scrolling or waiting for pages to load. Zumbahlen has done a particularly nice job of organizing the material so that it flows logically.

There ought to be something there for nearly everybody. To give you an idea of that organization, the chapter headings are:

  • The Op Amp
  • Other Linear Circuits
  • Sensors
  • RF/IF Circuits
  • Fundamentals of Sampled Data Systems
  • Converters
  • Data Converter Support Circuits
  • Analog Filters
  • Power Management
  • Passive Components
  • Overvoltage Effects on Analog Integrated Circuits
  • Printed Circuit Board Design Issues
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