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Why would I want to know what a current mirror is?
A current mirror at first glance appears to just be a circuit which copies a reference current - How is this useful practically speaking? Great question! I also pondered this when learning about them as they appeared rather theoretical in nature to me! On inspection, the above doesn’t look particula…
What’s all this parasitic stuff about?
Circuit parasitics, in a nutshell, are the resistive, capacitive and inductive elements of a circuit which arise as a result of practical components and PCB’s exhibiting each of the above components and coupling between circuit elements. Starting with resistors, all surface mount resistors have capa…
What are LUT’s, FF’s, DSP’s and BRAM’s in an FPGA?
LUT’s, FF’s, DSP’s and BRAM’s are all common terms, amongst many others, that will be thrown around by FPGA engineers on an almost daily basis, there’s good reason for this as these are all core building blocks for FPGA designs! So what are they? Let’s break them down one by
What is meant by input and output impedance?
Input and output impedance are terms constantly thrown around by hardware engineers but what exactly do they mean? Impedance is the generalised form of resistance which caters for the complex variety, i.e. composed of capacitive and inductive components as well as resistive. Input impedance is then…
What is a transistor and how does it work?
Transistors are the key component of modern electronics, they are the building block of digital electronics and amplifiers as well as many other applications. They are one of the most important electronic components of all time. Unfortunately transistors are often taught very poorly at university wi…
What is clock jitter all about?
Clock JitterClock jitter is a measure of the non periodic reality of a practical clock, i.e. the rising edge of a typical square wave clock will not always arrive at a given destination exactly one period later, it may arrive slightly before or after and it is this difference
My beautiful design is failing timing, what can I do to make it happy?
First of all, welcome to the real world! Sometimes FPGA Engineers think their job is simply to make timing happy and while there is an element of truth to this the good news is that it’s not a case of mission impossible or trial and error (Okay, there might be
Why Analog Electronics is beautiful
Analog Electronics is beautiful? Huh? What are you smoking? Surely not! How could it be? In University we spend years gazing at simple circuits with a couple of resistors maybe a capacitor or two, transistors connected in various ways and op-amps for both the DC scenario and AC to calculate
The information is all in the eye.
Behold, the EYE Diagram!What is an Eye Diagram? Simply put, it is an oscilloscope display of a digital signal that is triggered on both rising and falling edges using a high persistence setting so that the waveforms are all displayed together. This is all well and good but how
Who was Bob Widlar?
Bob Widlar giving the Widlar SaluteI think the above image is the perfect introduction to Bob Widlar, I couldn’t describe him any better with words if I tried and besides, Engineer’s much prefer to communicate with pictures over words. The Introduction of the Op-AmpBob was a legendary engineer in ev…
Who was Michael Faraday?
Michael Faraday circa 1857 By https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/86/76/b53d681751b952d72142c23a2b24.jpgGallery: https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0026348.htmlWellcome Collection gallery (2018-03-31): https://wellcomecollection.org/works/ee7bedrj CC-BY-4.0, CC BY 4.0, https://c…
Why transmission lines are key to truly understanding how real signals travel
Yes, the dreaded Transmission Line. It turns out that these mystical things are actually more than mildly useful in the real world! Surely you’re joking Mr. TheEEView, but on this occasion I’m not. Tell us more... Okay so before deep diving into the practical details of transmissions lines that are
How to use the AXI Ethernet Lite MAC IP from AMD (Previously Xilinx)
So you need/want to read/write data between an FPGA and an Ethernet connector, RJ45, via an Ethernet PHY, great, now how on earth do you get started with this? By sweating profusely after spending countless hours looking through the million pages long documents that appear after a google
Who was Georg Ohm?
Georg Simon OhmGeorg Simon Ohm was born on 16 March 1789 in Erlangen Germany, he was a physicist and mathematician. His parents were not formally educated, however, Ohm’s father was a respected man who had educated himself to a high level and was able to give his sons an excellent
Could there be a more affordable FPGA solution for Edge AI applications?
We need to accept that we have entered a different era now. With the global chip crisis, we started to turn to the chips available in the market, not the chips needed for designs. This also resulted in the emergence of versions of a project with more than one chip.
Who was Jim Williams?
Jim Williams - Jim Williams’ contributions to EDN - EDNJim Williams was a legendary analog circuit designer, as could be said for Bob Widlar, born in the US in 1948. Jim helped found and expand the very highly regarded Linear Technology and thrived as a technical writer authoring over 350
Using Wrappers in HDL’s to handle uncertainty
The global chip shortage has placed significant strain on all chip vendors, including FPGA manufacturers, where the risk of the FPGA part not being available when the time comes to mass manufacture your product is now significantly higher than ever before. It could be that a specific part within a
Why should you become an FPGA Engineer?
Pondering a career as an FPGA Engineer? Then this is the blog post for you! FPGA DevelopmentDo you enjoy the logical side of programming but are missing the closer connection to the hardware world and being able to work in a more visual way? FPGA Engineering might just be for
Inference vs Instantiation of components in an FPGA
When implementing components within an FPGA we have two main options which are inference and instantiation which we will discuss below. Component InferenceInferring a component refers to writing generic HDL for a desired resource such as a Shift Register Lookup table, SRL. With this approach the syn…
How are constraints handled for the Kria K26 SOM?
Setting constraints for the Kria K26 SOM, or any SOM for that matter, differs to the simple 1-1 constraints we define for FPGA’s and SoC’s. The reason they differ is due to SOM’s connecting to the outside world via external connectors to a carrier card instead of direct connections to
Who was Bob Widlar?
Bob Widlar giving the Widlar SaluteI think the above image is the perfect introduction to Bob Widlar, I couldn’t describe him any better with words if I tried and besides, Engineer’s much prefer to communicate with pictures over words. The Introduction of the Op-AmpBob was a legendary engineer in ev…
Who is Paul Brokaw?
Voltage reference circuits, you know, those mythical chips which produce a fixed voltage seemingly independent of supply fluctuations, temperature changes and circuit loading!?!! I’m sure you have, however, have you ever paused to think about where these circuits came from or even the humans behind…