More than ever, the focus on converters is time-to-market. The devices, which quietly convert continuous signals to discrete signals, need to be incorporated in larger designs under tighter time constraints.
“Customers are under continuing pressure to reduce design cycles and get to market as quickly as possible,” says James Caffrey, marketing manager for Analog Devices Inc.'s Precision Signal Processing Group. “That's something we see across all industries, whether it's the fast-moving consumer electronics segment or the more traditional industrial markets.”
Indeed, while the on-the-go nature of the consumer electronics' industry is well documented, industrial markets are increasingly under pressure to specify high-performance conversion in tighter time frames.
With that in mind, we've collected converter products on this page with the idea of helping designers get to market faster. Converters here from Analog Devices, National Semiconductor and Intersil Corp. are designed to give engineers a jump-start on their electronic design work.
National's Converters Deliver High Performance for Sensors
National Semiconductor's new family of single-channel analog-to-digital converters offer a 12C-compatible interface. Well-suited for sensor measurement applications — including temperature, proximity and optical sensing — the new DACs deliver fast setting time and typically consume 132 µA at 5V. They support all three 12C speed ranges, including standard mode (100 KHz), fast mode (400 KHz) and high-speed mode (3.4 MHz). All of the converters in the product family are pin- and function-compatible, allowing engineers to migrate across 8-, 10- and 12-bit resolutions to simplify board layouts.
Intersil's Light-to-Digital Converters
Intersil's new ISL29010 and ISL29013 light-to-digital converters are said to be an advance in ambient light-sensing that enable applications to automatically adjust to varying light levels. With the converters, light is measured and unwanted infrared radiation is rejected. Performance advantages include extended battery life and display-dimming in mobile devices, as well as increased display performance for LCD panels, digital picture frames and digital cameras. The new DACs give designers increased ability to select the dynamic range and low-light sensitivity that best matches the needs of their applications.
ADI's Converter Toolkit
Analog Devices Inc.'s advanced Converter Evaluation and Development Toolkit is said to be the first to combine converter evaluation technology with a development environment. ADI says the toolkit is capable of helping designers shave six to eight weeks off the converter selection process. “It allows the customer, before he finalizes his design, to do most of the evaluation in software,” says James Caffrey of ADI. “And that helps significantly in reducing time-to-market.” The design provides four interface ports and up to eight separate power supplies. It features a user-programmable FPGA-based development environment and data converter software drivers.