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On first glace, the pinout of the microSD or SD card is anything but complicated. An engineer with minimal experience would have no problem figuring out the which pin does what. A typical microSD consumes up to 100mA at 3.3V, so obviously nothing would go wrong when I connected it to a 3.3V supply. At least that’s what I thought until I re-inserted the SD card in my working prototype. I, like many engineers before me, neglected an important concept when designing circuitry for an SD interface. We did not take the in-rush current into consideration. This resulted in our microcontroller resetting itself every time an SD card was inserted into it.
One of the latest evolutions in next generation PCB design is being driven by two emerging technologies, 5G networks and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) enabled cars. Both of these technologies use something long feared by PCB designers, the extremely high-frequency (EHF) band. Read on and prepare your boards for a high-frequency future.
Find out how embedded software development companies can take advantage of the exploding ADAS and autonomous driving market while reducing business risk by following these best practices.
Altium FAE, Chris Carlson, demonstrates two ways to make sure you get your layer stack right at your fabricator the first time...every time!
I tried out speed dating recently, it didn’t go well. The date was set up in a nice restaurant near my house. I wanted to stand out a bit and make a good impression. So I decided to wear my nice velour shirt. Well, apparently velour isn’t as classy as I thought it was, and I went home without a single phone number. I found out that night that material matters, something that has surprisingly translated into PCB design. Just like how your shirt’s cloth can affect the integrity of a speed date, your PCB’s material can affect the signal integrity of your high-frequency circuits. You can minimize attenuation on your board by choosing the right fiberglass, resin, and copper foil. There are a variety of best practices that will help you choose the optimal combo, though you have to watch out for price and other considerations.
For IoT products, the interoperability question depends on the communications protocol you use, since most products can’t communicate with systems using a different protocol. The protocol you choose will also affect your hardware. For example, transmission distance will determine your available IoT modules, power requirements, and shape the network configuration for your system. There are a huge number of protocols to choose from. New versions are coming out every year, and groups are trying to consolidate the options that already exist. How do you decide which one is right for your product?