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Preaching to the converted

How are manufacturers responding to demand for higher speed, higher precision data converters? By Graham Pitcher.

Look at almost any sector of the electronics business and customers are calling for devices that run faster, have more processing power, consume less energy and do it all for less money. Data conversion is no exception to this trend. The problem with the data conversion market is that some of these parameters are, to a certain extent, mutually exclusive.

"Most customers ask for both," said Todd Nelson, mixed signal product marketing manager for Linear Technology. "In some cases, it's more a function of pricing – they want as much speed/precision as they can get for a given price. As their price point doesn't change much, it appears that they want more speed/precision."

Robbie McAdam, vice president, analogue semiconductor components for Analog Devices, agreed: "Converter customers are demanding more precision and speed. The converter market cuts across many applications and the needs of each application are different, but the trend is toward higher resolutions and higher sampling speeds at lower power, weighted more towards one vector over the others according to particular needs. And, this must come at a lower price."

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Graham Pitcher

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