Bill Laumeister


Bill Laumeister is an engineer in strategic applications at Maxim Integrated Products. He works with customers who use Maxim’s analog and digital integrated circuits. He has more than 30 years of experience and holds several patents.

Lightning Bolts, Defibrillators, And Protection Circuitry Save Lives
Defibrillators deliver a lot of power. But their designs must provide these shocks safely to the patient without damaging other lifesaving equipment that may be connected.
Modern Design Tools Measure The Invisible And Make Circuits Safer
Proper system design and calibration will ensure accurate voltage measurement, and that is important for safety.
Passive Components Aren’t Really So Passive (Part 3): PCBs 3
PCB flaws and errors that are usually hidden, or at least disguised, can introduce passive errors into IC performance. To understand how these errors occur, though, we must first examine the composition of a typical board.
The Controversy In Defining Passives
When we started talking about “passives” in previous articles, we stirred up a hornet’s nest.1 Several engineers2 inside Maxim Integrated and in the larger engineering community immediately challenged the definition of “passive.”
Passive Components Aren’t Really So Passive (Part 2): Resistors 2
Resistors are called passive because they don’t have gain or control power like semiconductors or other active devices. But they can, and do, change the signal in unexpected ways because they have parasitic portions.
ASIC Fixes For Noisy Analog “Oops” Moments
We see the analog design mistakes on ASICs all the time. We pick up a board and over in the corner is a piece of “oops logic,” a design feature that seemed right at the time but is clearly not working now. But there are ways to fix the “oops.”
Dielectric Absorption, Soakage, And Voltage Discharge From A Supposedly Passive Capacitor 3
We can never charge a capacitor completely, unless we wait for infinity. The reverse is also true when discharging a capacitor. In the case of a CRT starting at a high voltage, it will deliver a painful shock for a long time.
Passive Components Aren’t Really So Passive (Part 1): Capacitors
Capacitors, resistors, inductors, connectors, and even the PCB are called passive because they don’t seem to consume power. But these apparently passive components can, and do, change the signal in unexpected ways because they all contain parasitic portions.
Moore’s Law Makes Household Robots Possible
Improvements in microprocessors have enabled a modern lifestyle that relies on robots to do the dirty work not only in industry but also around the office and around the house.
Work Through All Your Choices Before Making Your Efficiency Tradeoffs 1
The interaction of even small changes on other seemingly unrelated circuits requires constant vigilance. So, our design process must be iterative, changing small things to optimize the system’s overall power consumption.
Calibration: Needless Or A Necessity? 1
Accurate calibration is not a needless luxury. It ensures the reliability of test instruments, the safety of personnel, and the quality of the final product.
Design For Power Efficiency Like A Symphony Conductor 1
Symphony conductors must know the sound and the capability of each instrument and each musician to direct a harmonious production. Similarly, a good designer must have a wide range of knowledge to ensure a well-integrated, power-efficient solution.
Turn Off Vampire Power To Save Your Money And Electronics
Design issues associated with elctronic devices that are continually plugged-in and turned on: excessive standby power draw, and susceptibility to voltage transients.
Integrate More Analog Into Your Digital Designs
Maxim’s Bill Laumeister suggests apnotes and analog building blocks useful in augmenting analog-to-digital interfaces for ASICs and FPGAs.
It’s Hot, Powering, And Burning CMOS Logic Circuits
Explanation of possible modes of unanticipated behavior in CMOS and biCMOS circuits caused by incorrect application of logic-level inputs before power supplies are stabilized.
Commentaries and Blogs
Guest Blogs
Nov 11, 2014

How to Outsource Your Project to Failure 3

This article will address failure to carefully vet a potential manufacturing or “turnkey” partner and/or failure to transfer sufficient information and requirements to such a partner, a very common problem I have seen again and again with my clients over the years, and have been the shoulder cried upon by several relatives and clients in the past....More
Nov 11, 2014

Transition from the Academe to the Industry Unraveled 1

There have been many arguments here and there about how short-comings of universities and colleges yield engineers with skill sets that do not cater to the demands of the industry. There have been many arguments here and there about an imminent shortage of engineers lacking knowledge in the sciences. There have been many arguments here and there about how the experience and know-how of engineers in the industry may vanish due to the fact that they can’t be passed on because the academic curriculum deviates from it....More
Nov 11, 2014

Small Beginnings 5

About 10 years ago I received a phone call from an acquaintance. He had found a new opportunity selling some sort of investments and he wanted to share it with me in case I was interested. Ken had done fairly well for many years as a contract software developer primarily in the financial services sector. His specialty was writing RPG code. (RPG is often referred to as a write only language.) But he was seeing the handwriting on the wall as the industry moved on to other methods, and saw himself becoming a fossil....More

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