Author Topic: What's so cool about "analog"?  (Read 6417 times)

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Offline dastructhm

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What's so cool about "analog"?
« on: May 14, 2022, 01:32:54 am »
I never understood why people seem so fascinated with "analog".

There is a company called "Analog Devices". 

A guru named Jim Williams worked in the field of "analog circuits".

I even subscribed to a YouTube channel called "Kiss Analog".

So... I guess analog must be really cool?! Otherwise people would name these "digital"?

Would anyone please explain to me why they love "analog"? I always thought digital IC's are better. Right?!
 :o :o :o ::) ::) ::)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 09:54:36 pm by dastructhm »
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2022, 01:42:27 am »
Analog computing for a visual representation of differential equations.
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 01:43:24 am »
When digital hardware malfunctions, the reason is often analog in nature.
 

Offline BeBuLamar

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 01:56:44 am »
If you compare the number of things people call analog vs those people call digital I think there are more digital stuff than analog. But well analog computing is cool.
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 01:57:23 am »
Why is everyone is raving about oranges, but apples are clearly better. What gives?

Also, AD was funded in 1965 when the "digital" was pretty bad.

And also, how would we know why you subscribed to some random YT channel?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 01:59:00 am by ataradov »
Alex
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 02:02:39 am »
I always thought digital IC's are better. Right?!
 :o :o :o ::) ::) ::)

Uh? :-DD
 

Online xrunner

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 02:07:30 am »
When digital hardware malfunctions, the reason is often analog in nature.

 ;)

I never understood why people seem so fascinated with "analog"....

Would anyone please explain to me why they love "analog"? I always thought digital IC's are better. Right?!
 :o :o :o ::) ::) ::)

When you get down to it there's an analog response in digital circuits, consider a simple TTL digital gate -

Quote
Voltage Tolerance of TTL Gate Inputs

TTL gates operate on a nominal power supply voltage of 5 volts, +/- 0.25 volts. Ideally, a TTL “high” signal would be 5.00 volts exactly, and a TTL “low” signal 0.00 volts exactly.

However, real TTL gate circuits cannot output such perfect voltage levels, and are designed to accept “high” and “low” signals deviating substantially from these ideal values.

“Acceptable” input signal voltages range from 0 volts to 0.8 volts for a “low” logic state, and 2 volts to 5 volts for a “high” logic state.

“Acceptable” output signal voltages (voltage levels guaranteed by the gate manufacturer over a specified range of load conditions) range from 0 volts to 0.5 volts for a “low” logic state, and 2.7 volts to 5 volts for a “high” logic state:

If a voltage signal ranging between 0.8 volts and 2 volts were to be sent into the input of a TTL gate, there would be no certain response from the gate. Such a signal would be considered uncertain, and no logic gate manufacturer would guarantee how their gate circuit would interpret such a signal.

https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/digital/chpt-3/logic-signal-voltage-levels/

So understanding analog is a basic need for all types of electronic circuits and devices even if they are "digital" !
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 02:09:13 am by xrunner »
[hp] Hewlett . Packard
 

Offline pqass

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 02:10:39 am »
I'm not sure if you're trolling....   

If not see intro of http://twanclik.free.fr/electricity/electronic/PDFDONE2/Analog%20Circuit%20Design.pdf

If you are see attachment.
 
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Offline Jay_Diddy_B

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 02:41:41 am »
Hi,
We live in an analog world. Digital circuits become analog design problems when the frequency increases. Wires are no longer conductors, they become transmission lines. Impedances have to be match to avoid reflections. You can argue that digital is a subset of analog.

I have spent a lot of my career working with switching power supplies. You could argue that they are digital, the switches are either on or off, but there is is a lot of analog circuitry from EMC to controlling the output. You could use an ADC, but as the name implies you are converting from Analog to Digital.

Analog circuit design can be very challenging. Take a look at the thread on the LTZ1000:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/metrology/ultra-precision-reference-ltz1000/

Here a group of talented people have been chasing ppm accuracy for several years.

I am sure digital has it challenges too, you have to find your passion.

Jay_Diddy_B
 

Offline Terry Bites

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2022, 01:01:06 pm »
Everything.
It improves your character and helps you make freinds.
It challenges you to be able to count more than 0 and 1. https://preview.redd.it/x3kqir25s1iz.jpg?auto=webp&s=3811175aa16838fb10da2afbfa0b2b00b9f4b594
Digital circuits are a sub species of analog not just booloean boxes.
A good undertsanding is necessary for interfacing digial systems to the real world. Without it you cant measure anything.
All radio/ wireless systems are analog as are audio, power supplies, motors actuators, Lidar, Radar, gyros, accelrometers.....etc, most stuff thats not just inside a cpu.
You cant get an electrical engineering degree without it. You cannot trouble shoot a digital system at board level without good analog knowhow.
Its a big and boming industry "Apr 26, 2022 (The Expresswire) -- Increase In Demand (2022) : At 6.3% CAGR, The "Analog IC Market"Size is expected to grow from 63360 million USD In 2020, to reach 97640 Million USD by 2026" so you need to get on board!
Computer chips represent 30% of the silicon market. A minority interest.




If you want to be a software writer then do that and forget electronics.
Labview is not electronics.
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2022, 03:33:44 pm »
You can argue that digital is a subset of analog.

No argument necessary. 

It is.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2022, 05:42:34 pm »
Nature itself is digital (quantize) thus there is no such thing as an analog device.
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2022, 05:51:39 pm »
An oscilloscope shows that the input voltage to a digital gate is a continuous function of time, therefore there are no digital (binary) devices. :horse:
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2022, 06:06:35 pm »
I can't say I've actually been paid to build an analog circuit, of any greater complexity than a mere AFE (analog front end), or SMPS.  And even then, they're largely solved by ICs.  (Which is fine, analog doesn't stop at the IC pin; there is good reason why they give block diagrams for such components.  Op-amps and etc. are building blocks, in the same way as digital hardware uses gates, adders, latches, etc. in an RTL diagram.)  But my study of the subject has greatly informed my design of everything else.  Example: transistors (BJT or MOS) as glue logic, clamping, switching, etc., for both signals and power application.

Or, since that's work, maybe it isn't "cool"; well, there's always this:
https://www.glensstuff.com/videopong/videopong.htm

Or, take basically any classic synth, a jam session on one of those is impressive as heck.

But really, one need not seek approval for what certain others consider "cool".  Some people just like doing things for the sake of doing them.  Whether that's painting figurines or building electronic circuits.  Or playing an instrument, or constructing an instrument; or collecting stamps, or watching sports; or... ;D

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Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

Offline devinatkin

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2022, 06:12:43 pm »
Digital circuits will get the job done, but analog circuits are beautiful. A really good analog circuit is a kind of elegance that you never see in digital. ANDs, NANDs, ORs, NORs, NOTs, and XORs. Once you understand how to reduce a logic function it's really just a matter of balancing the degree of custom to generic and then relying on node shrinks to get better performance. Analog circuits, regardless of it they're RF or not require so much thought and care that they are gorgeous.

I'm sure to some they can find something elegant in a digital circuit, and I can see that at the software level, but I've loved analog since I started.
 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2022, 06:22:00 pm »
Talking about bad metaphors, do note that:
* Nature is not digital (numerical), but
* Nature also is not voltage or current signals (analog electronics)

Both are human-made systems to describe the nature.

For information processing, it has become obvious that digital domain with exact numeric representation of natural phenomena is the way to go, at least currently, to the foreseeable future. Specifically, implemented using binary signalling. But this mindset ignores input/output.

Realistically, you can't go from natural phenomena to direct binary digital numbers; voltages, currents, charges are needed as intermediate states. Enter analog devices!

For example, when a photon hits a CMOS sensor, it is converted into electric charge, amount of which is sensed by an amplifier, and then converted into digital number using an ADC. A lot of modern, complicated, high-tech analog circuitry. Then, even when this ADC outputs a digital value, it still uses voltages in its digital interface, and having correct signal integrity in that "digital" signal is paramount, and this is again an analog matter.

In the end, everything is mixed signals. If you want to be a capable EE, there is no way around understanding both digital domain, and classic analog electronics. This does not mean you need to be a wizard in designing analog filters.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 06:23:51 pm by Siwastaja »
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2022, 06:31:01 pm »
Before retiring, the "cool" parts of my own career involved low-noise analog circuitry (DC to 100 MHz), although the final result was digitized for data processing.
I let others handle the latter "less cool" part of the systems.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2022, 06:34:15 pm »
The world is inherently analog, humans are analog, even digital circuits are, at the most basic level, analog. It's not that analog is "better" than digital, but it is unavoidable, and a lot of the problems that come up in the design of digital circuits are analog. Sometimes too an analog solution is just simpler and easier.
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2022, 06:40:32 pm »
The world is inherently analog, humans are analog, even digital circuits are, at the most basic level, analog. It's not that analog is "better" than digital, but it is unavoidable, and a lot of the problems that come up in the design of digital circuits are analog. Sometimes too an analog solution is just simpler and easier.

It has been suggested that the total number of baryons in the universe is (roughly) 1x1079, which is less than one googol = 1x10100
https://web.stanford.edu/~savas/papers/BaryonNumber-of-the-Universe.pdf

Therefore, since analog stuff typically runs somewhere around 1x10-6 due to noise, etc., we can neglect the inherent census of particles in the universe. 8)
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2022, 07:00:09 pm »
I never understood why people seem so fascinated with "analog".

Would anyone please explain to me why they love "analog"? I always thought digital IC's are better. Right?!

Unless you are involved in femtoamp or photon counting circuits (and a few others), your circuits are analogue.

So-called digital circuits merely interpret analogue quantities (volts, amps) as digital signals.

Digital signals are an abstraction of what happens physically.

As for "better",  is a car better than a bike?
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2022, 07:05:01 pm »
The world is inherently analog, ...

Nah, the world is quantised, the relevant quantums being photons and electrons. Hence nature is digital :)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2022, 07:07:23 pm »
Even electric cars still use analog wheels for some reason. Perhaps digital isn't for everything?
 
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Offline TimFox

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2022, 07:20:07 pm »
But hexadecimal wheels (16 sides) would be more efficient than octal wheels (octagons), and the mathematical limit of a polygon is a circle...
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2022, 08:06:31 pm »
digital is just a very narrow field of analog.
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline dastructhm

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Re: What's so cool about "analog"?
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2022, 09:53:35 pm »
so... ::) all sensors are of analog, and only CPU's are digital devices?
 


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