EN-Genius Network's Dennis Feucht answers your design
queries in his new Circuit Design Clinic!
EN-Genius Network presents a new, interactive
analog design service to readers! Send us your design questions (with
relevant data; schematics in JPEG or GIF, please) for some free
engineering advice from EN-Genius Network's circuit
consultant, Dennis Feucht, on how you might solve a design problem or
improve circuit performance. Submissions may be edited for clarity or
brevity, and submitters and their email addresses will remain anonymous
(unless otherwise indicated). Please send your questions to Dennis here.
Circuit Evolution and Extinction
An ecological concern nowadays is the high rate of species extinction. The environment deselects various “unfit” species or humanity deselects the overly fit ones such as the Great Plains buffalo. Does anything like this happen in technology?
While some forms of engineering have been around for millennia, modern engineering has existed for little more than a century or two at most. During its development, principles, concepts, techniques, and tech notes have accumulated. Yet an engineer can only know so much. Consequently, specialties have developed. As more people enter engineering the assumption is that the growing body of technical knowledge will be retained among the growing population of engineers and no knowledge will be lost – in theory, at least. But this is clearly not the case, because as technology develops, some prior art is obsoleted by better methods, devices, or concepts. Interest is lost in the inferior art of the past and attention is directed to the potential of newer possibilities. How many EEs could design a good vacuum-tube amplifier any more? Or how many could even design a tunnel-diode trigger circuit for an oscilloscope?
...download complete article here (223 KB PDF)