editor's blog
Subscribe Now

More Analog

There’s been a clear trend over the last decade or so: analog is succumbing to digital. More and more, the modus operandi has been, “Sample the analog world and convert it to digital as soon as possible, doing all of the signal processing in the digital domain.” So it’s natural to expect that, as we do more and more digitally, we will see less and less analog content in our systems.

Imagine my surprise, then, talking to Maxim at CES and learning that, in phones, despite all of the increased digital capabilities, the number of analog functions has increased from 42 to 82 – effectively double – between first- and third-generations.

Dig in a bit, and you find that this trend is actually consistent with the digital trend. It’s not that we’re ceding territory back to the analog domain: it’s that we’re doubling down on our interactions with the analog world. Screens are bigger, requiring more channels, and we have more and more sensors capturing analog information. All of this information will reside in that slim analog shell around the digital system, per the long-term trend.

Power also contributes: the proliferation of power rails and power switching has converted what used to be a relatively simple analog network into something much more complex.

This is good news, of course, for companies like Maxim that focus on analog as their value. While we know that analog will never completely go away, no matter how digital we go (unless we somehow convert the physical world into a digital avatar of itself), analog companies certainly like to hear that system trends will bring them along for the ride.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Feb 20, 2019
I have been working on DFM solutions for (too) many years and the objective hasn'€™t change: Detect or predict design-process weakpoints also known as hotspots, to limit systematic yield loss in... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site...
Feb 20, 2019
Samtec'€™s Active Product Demonstrator proves 56 Gbps PAM4 based systems are fully realizable today. It'€™s a state-of-the-art prototype combining high-performance interconnects from Samtec and bleeding edge Credo silicon. All interconnect and silicon shown are available....
Feb 15, 2019
This year at DVCon US, Mentor is going to add some sizzle to our booth (#1005) during the exhibit hours. In addition to our stellar demo staff who are always available to answer questions and show you the latest capabilities of our tools, we’re also going to be hosting ...
Jan 25, 2019
Let'€™s face it: We'€™re addicted to SRAM. It'€™s big, it'€™s power-hungry, but it'€™s fast. And no matter how much we complain about it, we still use it. Because we don'€™t have anything better in the mainstream yet. We'€™ve looked at attempts to improve conven...