Texas Instruments' Bill Klein Signal Chain Basics Articles
Hello, I'm Bill Klein, Senior Applications Engineer with Texas Instruments, a high performance analog. I am appearing here to introduce you series of articles I'll be writing for Planet Analog. The series' title is Signal Chain Basics. My involvement with Analog Signal Chain Processing begin in 1970 with the analog specialist at Company called Burn Brown Corporation, now Texas Instruments.The state-of-the-art then, as now, can be summarized in these three P: Package, Price, Performance.
The signal chain is made up of analog and mix signal processing circuit elements that interface real world signals to a digital system or processor. This collection of circuit elements may receive a sensor output and provide a digital representation of that signal to a processor or take a digital representation of a signal and condition it to drive a real world device. The high performance operation amplifier of the earlier 1970's came as a blacky paxy cube with dimensions of one inch or more on each side, at a price usually above 50$ and has modest performance by today's standards. All of these measures have changed radically. The package value has decreased from one cubic inch or more to less than to one thousandth of a cubic inch. The 50$ price tag was in 1970 dollar which will be equal to over 250$ in today's value. The performance specification have also improved greatly. With all of the changes in the three P description we have seen the underline basics have not changed. The circuit functions in descriptive mathematical models I learned and used in the earlier 1970's and all of the years since, are just as valued today and will continue to be so in the future. The series will start by developing to descriptive equation for an operation amplifier and continue using this building block to develop more complex signal chain elements. The subject matter will expand to include those devices necessary to support the primary signal chain.
I'm looking forward to writing these series and reading the comments from you, the reader. Look for a new article on Planet Analog, the first and third Monday of each month. And remember, the real world is analog!