Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has unveiled a set of time-saving reference circuits that could make it easier for engineers to integrate electronic sub-systems into their designs.
Known as Circuits from the Lab, the new product is really a “knowledge-based tool” that includes schematics, layout files, device drivers and evaluation modules. The reference circuits are available for a wide variety of applications, including industrial automation and instrumentation systems.
“They’re really like modular reference designs with a layer of education wrapped around them,” notes Dan Ledger, worldwide tools and web user experience manager for ADI. “They’re designed to be integrated into an end design with as little pain as possible.”
ADI engineers say they already have 160 such circuits. They say they seized on the idea for the reference circuits after seeing how many of their customers were pressed to shorten their design cycles while trying to learn about ever-changing domains, such as RF and mixed signal technology. “Customers said to us, ‘There are great circuit examples out there, but in a lot of cases, we need more information,’” Ledger says. “They needed another level of confidence before they were going to take one of the circuits and adopt it.”
ADI engineers say they solved that problem by mixing circuit hardware and software with supporting information and documentation. They already have hardware for most, but not all, of their 160 circuits. They also offer design files, as well as help with certain tasks, such as writing device drivers.
“The idea is for us to give you a chunk of your design so you don’t have to worry about it,” Ledger says. “We’re investing time in each of these designs so you don’t have to.”