Power Electronics

A New Training Tool for Analog Designers

To address the shortage of analogue circuit designers, The Institute for System Level Integration (iSLI), is introducing a new training tool to the professional development market to inspire and enthuse a new generation of Analog Designers. Developed by the University of Edinburgh (UoE) with support from Analog Devices and Wolfson Microelectronics, the new IC and PCB enable designers to design, build and perform measurements on analogue circuits.

The new teaching chip and board clearly show designers the results that analogue electronics can achieve through hands-on experimentation, making study refreshing and more engaging. The latest generation of teaching board hosts advanced features including a built-in microcontroller, display screen and signal generator so work can be carried out on the chip whilst viewing how it interacts with digital circuitry in a fully mixed-signal environment.

Trials of the new IC chip and board have been enormously successful, proving that the new teaching tool develops problem-solving skills and makes analogue studies more appealing. The University of Edinburgh developed the new IC and board with funding from Scottish Enterprise's Analogue Skills Initiative (ASI), a program that is also being delivered by the iSLI to promote and support analogue and mixed-signal design in Scotland.

For two years, the teaching chip and board have been put to use by over 80 students and several demonstrators in the analogue degree modules provided by UoE. Enthusiasm for the new chip and board has helped uptake of the analogue course options to reach an all time high; there were no absences, the uptake on analogue courses was significantly improved and students even worked overtime in their analogue studies.

The Institute for System Level Integration will also be featuring the new analogue training tool in their Analogue and Mixed-Signal Design module which will be delivered as part of their MSc Degree programme in System Level Integration. The MSc is available on a full-time, part-time or distance learning basis and will appeal to both graduates and experienced design engineers wishing to update their knowledge and skill set.

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