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Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Digital World With Analog as Its Workhorse via NYTimes

Digital technology,is synonymous with speed, precision and the future.The challenge, though, for those designing digital products is that no human experiences reality as a pattern of 1's and 0's. The natural world is, in engineering terms, a thoroughly analog realm of endlessly variable waves of sound and light, temperature and pressure fluctuations, and shifting magnetic fields.It turns out the digital revolution is driving strong demand for advances in analog electronics"Most people think that the world has gone digital and analog is old and not hip," said Gregg A. Lowe, the senior vice president who oversees most of Texas Instruments' analog business. "On average, there's probably 15 analog chips needed for every digital processor you use." In fact, analog semiconductors have become Texas Instruments' biggest business, generating about 40 percent of its $8.36 billion in semiconductor revenue in 2003.The line between pure digital and pure analog chips is rapidly blurring, with both incorporating a little bit of the other.
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