Texas Instruments [NASDAQ: TXN]: Pioneering Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs
TI developed products that were used in Apollo 11 systems to steer the lunar excursion module, to initiate and terminate rocket bursts, and control radar and navigation gear essential to the success of the moon landing. Post Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, and Apollo 11's monumental success, the aforementioned aerospace engineer, worked on integrated circuits (ICs) that went into the Mariner and Voyager spacecrafts during the 1960s and '70s. Many of the ICs he designed decades ago are still in space today—Voyager II, for instance, continues to explore planets and has reached more than 13 billion miles from Earth. Its photographs have solved various mysteries of the universe—like whether there is life on Mars—all on about the same amount of electricity that it takes to power three light bulbs. The Voyager, Apollo, and Mariner space missions may never have been feasible without the invention of the IC. Eleven years before man’s historic first step on the moon, engineer Jack Kilby handcrafted the first IC in a TI lab.
Though it was not immediately recognized, the IC would help solve technical challenges of space flight as it enabled engineers to place multiple electronic circuits on a small, flat piece of semiconductor material, thus significantly saving weight and power. Today, ICs remain the cornerstone of modern electronics, enabling every smart device, and their capacity, power efficiency, size, and speed have all increased exponentially. A modern IC may have as many as billions of transistors on a surface smaller than a dime. To put the evolution of ICs into perspective—a smartphone has 240,000 times more memory and is 100,000 times faster than the components on the Voyager spacecraft. At the same, TI has grown to become a leading global designer and manufacturer of analog and digital ICs.
Founded in 1930 as an oil and gas exploration company, TI has time and again re-engineered its processes and embraced new technologies in accordance with ever-changing market requirements. In addition to analog technologies, digital signal processing (DSP), and microcontroller (MCU) semiconductors, TI now provides semiconductor solutions for embedded processors, education technology, digital light processing (DLP), and more.
From robots to refrigerator and drones to door locks, TI designs, manufactures, tests, and sells semiconductors—the key ingredient in everything that consumers experience every day.
From robots to refrigerator and drones to door locks, TI designs, manufactures, tests, and sells semiconductors— the key ingredient in everything that consumers experience every day
Designing Smarter, More Robust Industrial Systems
Customers count on TI to deliver products and system designs they need to create innovative, distinguished applications. With a flexible manufacturing strategy and 15 production sites across nine countries, TI continually invents novel processes and packaging technologies to reliably cater to all kinds of customer requests. TI’s breakthrough technologies are employed in all types of electronic systems in markets including industrial, automotive, personal electronics, enterprise systems, and communications equipment markets. The company’s innovation, system expertise, and large selection of reference designs empower engineers to design smarter, more robust industrial systems that create safer and efficient environments for any industrial market. Whether designing for Industry 4.0 or motor drive and control, TI can help meet even the toughest system-level challenges. TI’s smarter, stronger industrial designs massively benefit aerospace and defense, building automation, grid infrastructure, electronic point of sale, lighting, factory automation and control, power delivery, and various other industries.
With decades of experience meeting complex automotive design challenges to get electrified, connected, and automated cars to market faster, TI’s semiconductor solutions span advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS); body electronics and lighting; infotainment and cluster; passive safety; and hybrid, electric and powertrain systems. Recently, TI introduced the TCAN4550-Q1 automotive system basis chip (SBC), which is the industry’s first to integrate a controller and transceiver for Controller Area Network with Flexible Data Rate (CAN FD). Designed to meet the high-bandwidth and data-rate flexibility needs of in-vehicle networks, it uses the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus of almost any microcontroller to implement a CAN FD interface or increase the amount of CAN FD bus ports in a system with minimal hardware changes. Previously, designers had to incorporate multiple discrete components into their designs or change microcontrollers entirely when upgrading to or expanding CAN FD functionality—an extremely time-consuming and expensive process. With TI’s offering, designers can maintain their existing microcontroller-based architecture and streamline CAN FD upgrades or expansion in body electronics and lighting, ADAS, and automotive gateway designs.
Minimizing Footprint and Maximizing Performance
For consumer and portable electronic designs, including mobile phones, gaming equipment, PCs, and so forth, TI delivers reliable, scalable, and power-efficient solutions. In June this year, TI launched the industry’s smallest current-sense amplifier in a leaded package and the smallest, most accurate comparators with an internal reference of 1.2 or 0.2 volts. Offered in industry-leading package options, the INA185 current-sense amplifier and open-drain TLV4021 and push-pull TLV4041 comparators enable engineers to design smaller, simpler and more integrated systems while maintaining high performance. In addition, pairing the amplifier with one of the comparators produces the smallest, highest performing overcurrent detection solution in the industry. These new devices are optimized for a variety of personal electronics, enterprise, industrial, and communications applications, including peripherals, docking stations, and notebooks.
Pushing forward its innovation initiatives in minimizing footprint and maximizing performance, TI has designed an ultra-low-power switching regulator with the industry’s lowest operating quiescent current (IQ) at 60 nano amperes (nA), which is one-third that of the nearest competitive device. The TPS62840 synchronous step-down converter guarantees very high light-load efficiency of 80 percent at 1-micro ampere load. Consequently, designers can extend the battery life of their systems, or use fewer or smaller batteries to shrink their overall power supply solution size and reduce cost. Additionally, it supports a wide range of battery chemistries and configurations. With these features and selectable functions, TPS62840 helps engineers solve critical design challenges in many battery-powered, always-on industrial and personal electronics applications—including narrow-band internet of things (IoT) and wearables—that require more flexibility, extended wireless range, improved accuracy, and reduced electromagnetic interference. The TPS62840 joins TI’s portfolio of highly integrated, low-IQ DC/DC converters that allow designers to maximize power delivery in the smallest possible solution size.
"Pushing forward its innovation initiatives in minimizing footprint and maximizing performance, TI has designed an ultra-low-power switching regulator with the industry’s lowest operating quiescent current"
With about 30,000 employees in more than 30 countries, TI has been redefining the realm of possibilities for decades. Not long ago, the company developed a novel metering technology that helps make every water drop count. An advanced flow metering chip, bolstered by a unique analog frontend and algorithm, significantly improves accuracy while reducing overall cost and power consumption. Along with staying ahead of the technology, TI will continue emphasizing steadfast innovation to better serve people as well as the environment.