Don Tuite


Don Tuite covers Analog and Power issues for Electronic Design’s magazine and website. He has a BSEE and an M.S in Technical Communication, and has worked for companies in aerospace, broadcasting, test equipment, semiconductors, publishing, and media relations, focusing on developing insights that link technology, business, and communications. Don is also a ham radio operator (NR7X), private pilot, and motorcycle rider, and he’s not half bad on the 5-string banjo.

Older Distance-Sensing Technologies

Gauging displacements and the angular positions of motor shafts has always been an interesting challenge on the cusp between mechanical and electronic engineering. Here are a few of the more approaches that have been popular in the past:

Linear-position and displacement sensors are the most likely choice for industrial and commercial applications of 100 min. to 100 in. (2.5 mm to 2.5 m).  Generally, electromechanical linear position and displacement sensors are one of six basic technologies: resistive, capacitive, inductive, magnetic, time-of-flight, and pulse encoding.

New Position Sensors Follow Many Paths to Precision
The last several years, extending into 2015, have seen remarkable innovation in position-sensing technology, both in terms of resolution (now surpassing 28 bits of precision) and in relative immunity to stray fields.
Analog-Device Advances Breathe Flexibility into Design
Several interesting analog ICs making their debut in the first quarter of 2015 adapt to the exacting requirements of their targeted products.
A Quick Tutorial on PCBs
Almost all PCBs consist of resin-system components along with some reinforcement. There are two subclasses: glass reinforced and non-glass reinforced.
Hand-Prototype PCBs Like an Industry Veteran
Here’s what 40 years’ experience in large companies and small (some very small) can teach you about handling PCBs during the development stage of product engineering.
Testing Provides Challenges to Would-be IoT Developers 1
One would think it would be easy to come up with a novel idea and bring it to market. But how do you know that your design really works? Perhaps more importantly, how do you know that it meets government regulations?
Power Forecast: New Regs for Energy Efficiency Challenge EPS Makers
Remember the fuss in 2006 when the California Energy Commission imposed a half-watt standby requirement on "wall-warts?" This time around, power-supply makers are ready for, and eager to comply with, new international standards.
Test and Measurement Forecast: Test Instruments Just Don’t Look the Same Anymore
It’s becoming easier to understand what your scope or spectrum analyzer is telling you, and easier to take it to the measurement environment.
Analog Forecast: Faster Hardware, New Apps Push ADC Boundaries 2
Higher-speed processors, greater chip densities, and direct downconversion, force analog chipmakers to move beyond the “classic” analog-to-digital converter model.
A Look Ahead at Wireless Charging
One thing about wearable tech: In general, chargeable wearables present a challenge for coil orientation. Phones have big flat surfaces and users lay them on top of other flat surfaces, so the problem is reduced to two dimensions...
Maxim Integrated’s Petaluma Reference Design for Three-Phase Power Monitoring
For the “best” power product, I chose Maxim Integrated Power’s “Petaluma” reference design, which measures and reports on three-phase power as it travels across the grid.
Very-Low-Input-Bias-Current Op Amp Has Plenty of Written Support for Design Engineers
Late in September, Linear Technology announced single and dual FET-input op amps (LTC6268 and LTC6269) intended for application in wide-dynamic-range transimpedance amplifier (TIA) and buffer applications.
Turn Out Those Lights! 5
The whole point of Akasaki, Amano, and Nakamura’s blue LEDs is that you can turn them OFF and on again fast. It’s nice that they have high luminous efficacy. However, regardless of the few watts it takes to squeeze out a lumen, white LEDs are doing their best for the environment when they’re dark.
A Long Way from CAT-5-Powered VoIP Phones
Cisco's vision of Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE) extends from the evolution of thin clients to financial trading floors, hospitality, and retail establishments.
PoE Max Power Pushes to 60 W and Beyond 2
Power over Ethernet (PoE) has matured into a technology capable of delivering 50 and 60 W or more via the same CAT-5 cables that bring the Internet to cubicles in an office space.
Commentaries and Blogs
Guest Blogs
Sep 16, 2015

What is All This Nanogenerator Stuff, Anyway?

Nanogenerators, which harvest energy from the environment, could be the next big thing in renewable energy....More
Aug 11, 2015

Proof-of-Concept Prototypes versus Manufacturing Design Preparations 4

I have designed many early-stage proof-of-concept (POC) circuits, and observed many others do the same thing. It seems that there is often a huge disconnect between clients and engineers, though, when it comes to the goals of a POC design. In simple terms, an engineer worth his salt will overdesign an early POC circuit. This is because Murphy’s law always applies, and POCs are about overcoming unknowns. By overdesigning the circuit, one is able to prove the client’s product POC can be made to work, and quickly....More
Aug 4, 2015

Inconspicuous Pitfalls in Datasheet Analysis 1

Identifying the limitations of a datasheet saves lots of time, and cost, in terms of troubleshooting and redesigning circuits....More

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