Mathematical methods in electronics
Mathematical methods are integral to the study of electronics. To become proficient in electronics it is also necessary to become proficient in the mathematics of circuit analysis.
Circuit analysis is the study of methods of solving generally linear systems for unknown variables such as the voltage at a certain node or the current though a certain branch of a network. A common analytical tool for this is the SPICE circuit simulator.
Also important to electronics is the study and understanding of electromagnetic field theory.
Electronic test equipment
Electronic test equipment
Electronic test equipment is used to create stimulus signals and capture responses from electronic Devices Under Test (DUTs). In this way, the proper operation of the DUT can be proven or faults in the device can be traced and repaired.
Practical electronics engineering and assembly requires the use of many different kinds of electronic test equipment ranging from the very simple and inexpensive (such as a test light consisting of just a light bulb and a test lead) to extremely complex and sophisticated such as Automatic Test Equipment.
Computer aided design (CAD)
Electronic design automation
Today’s electronics engineers have the ability to design circuits using premanufactured building blocks such as power supplies, resistors, capacitors, semiconductors (such as transistors), and integrated circuits. Electronic design automation software programs include schematic capture programs such as ORCAD or Eagle Layout Editor, used to make circuit diagrams and printed circuit board layouts.
Many different methods of connecting components have been used over the years. For instance, in the beginning point to point wiring using tag boards attached to chassis were used to connect various electrical innards. Cordwood construction and wire wraps were other methods used. Most modern day electronics now use printed circuit boards or highly integrated circuits.
Consumer electronics are electronic equipment intended for use by everyday people. Consumer electronics usually find applications in entertainment, communications and office productivity.
Some categories of consumer electronics include telephones, audio equipment, televisions, calculators, and playback and recording of video media such as DVD or VHS.
Consumer electronics are manufactured throughout the world, although there is a particularly high concentration of manufacturing activity in the Far East, in particular China.
One overriding characteristic of all consumer electronic products is the trend of everfalling prices. This is driven by gains in manufacturing efficiency and automation, coupled with improvements in semiconductor design. Semiconductor components benefit from Moore’s Law, an observed principle which states that, for a given price, semiconductor functionality doubles every 18 months.
Many consumer electronics have planned obsolescence, resulting in E-waste.
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