The 12 DACs/ADCs of Xmas - TI's acquisition of National Semiconductor leads to a year to remember for data converters

December 21, 2011 //By Paul Buckley
We are only a few months after Texas Instruments absorbed National Semiconductor but the new business is already making it clear that it sees data converter technologies as being its gateway for growth in 2012 and beyond.  Paul Buckley EE Times Europe Analog's editor spotlights some of TI's and National Semiconductors' top data converter product developments this year. 

You could call it TI's 12 DACs/ADCs of Xmas but in reality TI and National Semiconductors have been introducing data converters or related components throughout 2011 which has proved to be quite a year for both organizations.

The coming together of Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor  a matter of months ago has created a new dominant pack leader in the analog industry.  In combination, the companies now account for about 17 percent of the analog's $42 billion total available market based on 2010 market figures (Source: Databeans).  That compares favorably with the major rivals of this newly styled business which clock in at STM (10%), Infineon (8%) and ADI (6%).

Although TI has the high ground in the analog market for now the newly strengthened company sees plenty of scope for growth and as Heinz-Peter Beckemeyer, TI's EMEA Director Analog Marketing, pointed out at a recent briefing in London that means there is still 47% of the market available outside the Top Seven players in the sector.

According to Beckemeyer since the addition of National Semiconductor's portfolio TI can now claim a number of impressive products that were all introduced in the past 12 months.  His personal highlights include:

The world's lowest-power 16-bit communications DAC by more than 65% - the DAC3484

Simplified design of sensor systems with configurable Sensor AFE ICs and WEBENCH Sensor AFE Designer - the LMP90xxx family including the LMP91000

Advanced portable patient monitoring with the world's first fully integrated ECG front end, reducing solution size up to 95% - the ADS1298

Revolutionized radio architectures with the world's first family of 12-bit ADCs to directly sample RF signals beyond 2.7 GHz - the ADC12Dxx00RF family

The only standalone headset driver with digital input I2S + integrated clocking for 100-dB SNR at 6.5 mW - the TLV320DAC3202

Simplified smart transmitter design for factory automation systems with single-wire 16-bit DAC for 4-20 mA current loops - the DAC161P997