Electronic Design

Reader Polls/Flashback

FLASHBACK > 10 YEARS AGO

FEBRUARY 20, 1992
from early on, computers have driven digital-to-analog converters (DACs), generating random analog waveforms from lookup table memories. While system designers could procure general-purpose DACs with 8 to 16 bits of resolution, most update (clock) rates were limited to about 1 MHz (except for limited-accuracy 8-bit video/graphics chips). These limitations kept DACs from generating output frequencies above a few hundred kilohertz.

But this situation is evolving with the arrival of several 12-bit IC DACs that have clock rates from 20 to 100 MHz. These DACs are aimed specifically at direct digital synthesis (DDS) of analog waveforms. (Cover Feature, p. 41)

FLASHBACK > 25 YEARS AGO

FEBRUARY 15, 1977
You can design reliable, low-cost linear systems with IC amplifiers—if you can find out just how well the ICs perform. A dependable design requires dependable specs. But data sheets often lead off with shaky claims. Among the more blatant examples are the micropower op amp that actually draws milliwatts, the two-chip "monolithic," and the so-called premium 741 that's so "good," it doesn't have current or voltage noise specs. There's even a chopper-stabilized op amp with no published long-term, offset drift characteristics.

So-called "design" minimums and maximums are often untested claims that one might mistake for guaranteed values. A particularly insidious practice is a declaration that a device operates over a broad range of either temperature, supply level, or input level—but when you read further, you find only spot values for crucial parameters. (Focus on Linear-IC Amplifiers, p. 72)

FLASHBACK > 40 YEARS AGO

FEBRUARY 15, 1962
Within five to 10 years, the high-density (stacked or cordwood) approach to miniaturization won't become obsolete. Nor will the thin-film approach be used to the exclusion of the solid-circuit approach, or vice versa. This is due in large part to (1) the use of thin-film technology as an auxiliary technique in fabricating parts of microcircuits, and (2) the development of an industry capability in solid-state multielement arrays. Both thin-film and solid-circuit technologies have made great strides toward practical applications.

The pseudo-battle that had appeared to be developing between the two schools may be subsiding in recognition of their complementary nature. (Microelectronics in Review, p. 50)


READER POLLS
With this poll, we're getting down to what really matters. Sure, we all loved soda and those sweet fruit-flavored drinks as kids. On occasion, we probably also all overindulged in stronger fare (hiccup) during our salad days. But what do we enjoy imbibing today? As a group, are we EEs teetotalers or lushes? Share your choices with the rest of us. Here's to (hiccup) adult beverages. Go to our Web site (www.elecdesign.com) to take the poll.

Adult beverage you like the most:

  • Bottled/tap water
  • Coffee/tea
  • Soda
  • Beer/ale
  • Wine
  • Whiskey/spirits
  • Other

Adult beverage you like the least:

  • Bottled/tap water
  • Coffee/tea
  • Soda
  • Beer/ale
  • Wine
  • Whiskey/spirits
  • Other

Beverage you drink the most:

  • Bottled/tap water
  • Coffee/tea
  • Soda
  • Beer/ale
  • Wine
  • Whiskey/spirits
  • Other

Beverage you drink the least:

  • Bottled/tap water
  • Coffee/tea
  • Soda
  • Beer/ale
  • Wine
  • Whiskey/spirits
  • Other
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