Jerry Twomey


Jerry Twomey has been involved in IC and PCB design since 1979. He has designed multiple consumer, commercial, and medical products including data communication, satellite systems, video, medical instrumentation, disk drives, cell phones, RF transmitters and receivers, and many others. Mixed-signal systems and design are his primary focus with a special interest in things not easily defined or solved. In addition to design, he teaches in both industry and academia and is a Senior Member of the IEEE. He holds an MSEE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Twisted Forms of Internet Reality and the Engineering Skeptic 1
In order to create, support, and manufacture the countless products that we’re involved in, engineers need to be analytical, quantitative, and have the ability to separate reality from creative fantasy.
Factor Time And Money Before Using A Simulator 1
For a chip, the time and money comes down to months and millions. For a board, the time and money are days and thousands. It makes sense to simulate in one case and “just build it” in the other.
Safeguard Your Intellectual Property 1
The use of intellectual property (IP) can make or break a designer or a company. Yet most engineers could use some education in the basics of IP law.
Know Your Regulations Before You Design Medical Electronics 1
All medical devices need to meet a rather complicated set of safety requirements. Compliance regulations will heavily affect the design, including mechanical, electrical, and software issues. Consequently, make sure your design team has some “literacy” in the regulatory aspect of the device during the R&D process.
Quiet Down To Meet FCC Emissions Standards
If you make an effort to reduce your noise sources, do a careful board layout that controls your PCB antennas, and choke all your external antenna wires, many devices will clear FCC emissions testing without a shield box.
Technology Resumes That Get Jobs 8
Your resume has one goal: getting you an interview. That means knowing your audience and highlighting the skills that you have that you know they need.
Marketing And Technology Collide In Competitive Chip Design 5
For IC designers, a list of marketing considerations that are as important to chip design as functional characteristics.
Protect Your Fortress From ESD 1
Jerry Twomey explains how electrostatic discharge (ESD) destroys electical circuits and how to design circuits that can deal with over-voltage and over-current incidents.
Academic Simplifications Produce Meaningless Equations 1
Jerry Twomey cautions designers (and design managers) about the pitfalls of relying on oversimplified equations when you're dealing with real-life circuit elements.
Simple Grounding Rules Yield Huge Rewards
Good grounding practices reviewed: have a common single point where grounds to come together, avoid ground loops, design circuit boards with a single ground plane and don't split it, eemember Kirchhoff’s current Law, minimize series vias, etc. other
Tiny Transistors! Giant Molecules! Moore’s Law Crashes Into The Laws of Physics 4
The evolution of the transistor has seen expensive failures, billion-dollar success stories, and a fair share of missed opportunities. Digging back in the literature when single transistors were coming to market, the perspective is interesting.
Simulation Vs. Silicon: Avoid Costly Mistakes With Accurate Models
When first-pass silicon arrives back from the foundry, accurate simulation models are critical to first-time success. Of course, we all prefer to avoid expensive learning experiences. So every designer's ultimate goal is to hear the response...
Noise Reduction Is Crucial To Mixed-Signal ASIC Design Success (Part II)
Large CMOS ASICs and system-on-a-chip designs often contain both analog and digital sections. Combining the two into a mixed-signal IC frequently leads to noise problems. This article, the second in a two-part series, deals with noise-reduction...
Noise Reduction Is Crucial To Mixed-Signal ASIC Design Success
This article is the first of a two-part series. It covers internal circuits and systems. Part II will deal with floorplaning, I/O-placement, pinout, and power-stability issues.—ED Mixed-signal IC design frequently leads to...
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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