Is best in class the only consideration in analog design?

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Is best in class the only consideration for your analog design?

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It’s easy to seek out the absolute top of the line when it comes to a design. Whatever the “best” part is, is probably what’s going to be the most compelling for your design, right?

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking.

Best often means most powerful or newest—or even cheapest—but often it doesn’t take into account interoperability, efficiency or flexibility.

“Leading” and “best” are comfortable to lean on, and are important to note; however, they aren't the only thing to consider when selecting components for a particular design. In fact, often one of the most important when it comes to a design is often forgotten: the right blend of features between those best in class components.

Interoperability challenges increase with current design cycles

There's no single superlative word that articulates the different features that engineers and developers need dialed in not only from a feature blend but also a price point.

Let’s consider the essentials: what do design engineers need? When it comes to voltage reference, it’s easy to think of SWaP needs (smaller size, weight and power) and make the decision to use less power. However, with certain products that also means sacrificing accuracy that is critical to say a medical or security deployment. In this instance, you need the right level of power to get the accuracy that you need.

The right mix of features that you need maximizes the benefit of the device in the application. Designers don't—and shouldn’t—have to trade off. Rather, there should be a combination or sweet spot of options that allow for the best outcomes.

How the right blend of features impacts analog technology

One of the main ways we see the right blend of features impacting innovation is in the field of analog technology development.

We know the story of shorter design cycles and increased technological complexity making the product development process tougher than ever. So it’s no wonder that the development of next-generation systems that rely on analog technology falls into this capability.

But to balance greater performance, smaller size and innovative capabilities, they need not just the most powerful LDO, but the one that plays the nicest with all the others. Designers should demand not only strong, reliable analog solutions like:

  • Efficient power ICs optimized for low-power solutions
  • Precision sensor signal conditioners and converter ICs ideal for measurement
  • Rugged wired/wireless connectivity and interface ICs designed for in-circuit or remote communication
  • Reliable protection devices to screen and sustain system environments

But they also need every single one of these parts to provide the efficient power, precision, ruggedization and reliable protection to ensure innovative products in the future.

The tech to make it happen: the Key Product Applications Diagram

For instance, Maxim’s KEYPAD brings these right blends to life through block diagrams that can put designs a step ahead. With more than 100 diagrams across automotive, communications, consumer, factory automation, FPGA power, industrial, medical, motor control, sensing interface as well as test and measurement applications, designers have access to an easy to use product selector that ensures that getting low power doesn’t come at the cost of reliable protection.

Avnet’s dedicated experts and reference designs complement this large block diagram library, offering recommended products for your application as well as the expertise to design it in with reduced cost and complexity—at the speed that keeps products out and ahead of the competition.

Learn more about the essentials of analog with Maxim and Avnet.

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