I’ve had a fairly varied early part of my career in the semiconductors business: a series of events caused me to jump disciplines a little bit, and after one such event, I landed in the test engineering department at Philips Semiconductors. I was tasked with a variety of oddball projects, supporting engineering work, fixing broken ATE equipment, and given a absolute ton of training: Good times! Here’s a story that comes straight off the oddball pile.
We needed to assemble a crack team of experts and high-tail it to deepest darkest Wales, and sort out an urgent production problem. The brief was that the wafer probe yield was disastrous and the correlation wafer was not giving the correct results. Getting to the punch line is going to require some IC fabrication background, but if you like stories about silicon, or red-bearded test engineers, it’s worth it. Continue reading “Hair Today Gone Tomorrow: Four Men Go To Fix A Wafer Prober”
While [Vinod] says he’s not an expert in this sort of thing, we really like his audio spectrum analyzer build from a simple microcontroller and LCD display.
It is a well-studied fact that every audio waveform – a recording of your voice, for instance – is just the sum of many, many sine waves. These sine waves can be plucked out using Fourier analysis, using a Discrete Fourier transform. This is the principle that spectrum analyzers operate under; [Vinod] wrote a bit of code using DFT to take apart audio captured from a microphone and output their frequency on an LCD display.
To output the spectrum on his LCD, [Vinod] stacked horizontal bars up into 8 custom characters in his display. Like [Vinod]’s previous audio on an ATMega32 experiment, an LM324 amplifier is connected to the ATMega through an analog pin. [Vinod] has a very clever build on his hands with his spectrum analyzer, and a great answer to the perennial ‘how do I build a guitar tuner’ questions we’re constantly asked.
After the break, you can see [Vinod]’s spectrum analyzer in action. Be forewarned; you may want to turn down the volume.
Continue reading “Making An Audio Spectrum Analyzer With A Microcontroller”