Analog design in the 21st century: challenges, tools, and IC advances

by Steve Taranovich, Contributing Technical Editor , TechOnline India - January 23, 2012

Let’s take a look into the analog sector’s crystal ball and see what’s coming to the rescue of analog designers to help them in the scope of variables they must manage, the extreme sensitivities to circuit constraints, and the quality of results necessary to make analog design as much of an art form as it is a science.

We are now more than a decade into the 21st century, and on an ever-accelerating fast track to technological innovation in electronics. The transistor and progression into the IC, or microchip, lit the fuse leading to the explosion of innovations in electronics that is now taking place. Since the widespread introduction of the microchip in the early 1970s, more medical, mathematical, and scientific breakthroughs have occurred than during any other time, and big breakthroughs are happening more frequently. This surge is due in large part to the performance and computing power that the ever-shrinking but increasingly dense silicon wafer has brought.

Let’s take a look into the analog sector’s crystal ball and see what’s coming to the rescue of analog designers to help them in the scope of variables they must manage, the extreme sensitivities to circuit constraints, and the quality of results necessary to make analog design as much of an art form as it is a science (Reference 1).

Follow the jump  to EDN to read the rest of the article.

At a Glance article highlights:

• Critical decisions include where to place an IC on a board, the location and thickness of copper traces, where to locate components, and what other nearby circuits might affect performance.

• The analog software tools will reduce design time for analog-circuit architects.

• Analog-chip designers can use different approaches to improve energy efficiency, from selecting the optimum CMOS technology to clever system-level design.
controllers have a more difficult time than their digital counterparts in achieving the diverse and adaptive capability for power converters.

• Analog controllers have a more difficult time than their digital counterparts in achieving the diverse and adaptive capability for power converters.

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