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A Technique for Reducing System Form Factor in Electronic Systems
Keywords: mixed-signal electronics, chaos electronics, system form factor
Complex electronic systems often consist of complex analog circuits. One example is a first-order hybrid chaotic system [1]. The original system has been shown to have an exact analytical solution. This is important in some applications, such as communication and radar systems, since the solution can be used to develop a matched filter. The proposed solution reduces systems complexity and form factor by reducing the component count and device footprint while maintaining the original systems functionality. This was accomplished by replacing several operational amplifiers (op amps) and a comparator with logic gate inverters. These analog components were originally used for level shifting the feedback signal and finding the zero crossings of the oscillations, respectively. The level shifting can be eliminated by moving the analog ground of the oscillator to half of the digital supply voltage. This had the added advantage of being able to replace the zero crossing circuit with two other inverters, since the trip voltage of the inverters was typically half of the supply voltage. By using a single hex-inverter chip, the amount of chips required to complete the circuit was reduced down to just three integrated circuits (ICs). One of the potential benefits of replacing these components with inverters is that the inverters have a much lower propagation delay than the comparator or op amp. This allowed this alternate topology to operate at much higher frequencies, which would be beneficial in communication and radar systems. The alternate topology was simulated using LTSpice up to approximately 65 MHz. A low frequency prototype was developed on a custom printed circuit board (PCB) using commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts. While this PCB utilized multiple test probe points, it was still only approximately 2.54 cm by 2.54 cm. The active components used were in the smallest available package in order to further minimize the overall footprint of the PCB.
Benjamin K. Rhea, Graduate Student
Auburn University
Auburn, AL

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