So what the heck are these little black
plastic box things with legs anyway?
Electronics for non-geeks
What we will talk about










Electrons
Water
Silicon
Transistors
ICs
Counting to two
Logical decisions
Think...
I’m about to
spend two hours
in a small room
with an
engineer…
aaahhhh!
Electrons are fun!




Electronics = controlling the flow of
electrons to do useful stuff
Electrons are tiny charged pa...
The water analogy








Voltage = water pressure
Current = amount of water flowing
Hoses/pipes = wires
Resistor =...
Some basic terms
So where does silicon fit in?


Silicon forms semiconductors
– Sometimes it conducts
– Sometimes it doesn’t conduct



W...
The first transistor - 1947
Those pesky little black blobs!





Multiple components on one piece of silicon
= Integrate Circuit = IC
ICs can be c...
The law according to Mr Moore
“The number of transistors that can
be inexpensively placed on an
integrated circuit is incr...
Practical electronic product - 1
Practical electronic product - 2
A real practical electronic product
Counting to two





Transistors can act as an on/off switch
Let On=1, Off=0
Now you can count using electrons!
For el...
A very old joke

There are 10 types of people in the world…
…those that understand binary and those
that don’t!
Analogue vs digital





The real world is analogue
Analogue stuff is hard to manipulate with
electrons
Digital stuff ...
AND and NAND or OR NOT NOR






Transistors can act logically
Let On=TRUE, Off=FALSE
Now you can make decisions with...
Boolean algebra with transistors
 Gates are just electronic circuits

=
What do electrons think?






Logic + counting = processing
Processing is controlling one set of signals with anothe...
Today, microprocessors are in everything!
So what is an FPGA?
 FPGA = Field Programmable Gate Array
 An array of gates on a single chip
– Can be connected togethe...
So what have you learned?








Electrons can be used to do useful things
Components control the flow of electron...
And finally…
 Electrons CAN be DANGEROUS
 Leave it to the professionals!
The End
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Basic electronics

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This was a course developed for a lunch-and-learn session for those in the ECAD/EDA industry who do not actually have electronics in their background, and are curious about the basics of what our customers do.

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Basic electronics

  1. 1. So what the heck are these little black plastic box things with legs anyway? Electronics for non-geeks
  2. 2. What we will talk about          Electrons Water Silicon Transistors ICs Counting to two Logical decisions Thinking machines FPGAs – what the…!
  3. 3. I’m about to spend two hours in a small room with an engineer… aaahhhh!
  4. 4. Electrons are fun!    Electronics = controlling the flow of electrons to do useful stuff Electrons are tiny charged particles Electrons can made to ‘move’ in some materials – Conductors  Metals for example  Electrons don’t move in some materials – Insulators  Rubber, wood for example  By controlling flow of electrons we can – Transmit information – Transform information
  5. 5. The water analogy        Voltage = water pressure Current = amount of water flowing Hoses/pipes = wires Resistor = kink or restriction in hose Capacitor = storage tank Inductor = water wheel in the flow Transistor = tap or valve
  6. 6. Some basic terms
  7. 7. So where does silicon fit in?  Silicon forms semiconductors – Sometimes it conducts – Sometimes it doesn’t conduct  We can help semiconductors make up their mind – Temperature – Electric/magnetic fields  Silicon is used to make some electronic components – Transistors – Diodes   We place ‘impurities’ in silicon to form these components Silicon transistors form the heart of all modern electronics devices
  8. 8. The first transistor - 1947
  9. 9. Those pesky little black blobs!     Multiple components on one piece of silicon = Integrate Circuit = IC ICs can be complete circuits ICs can perform complex functions The complexity cycle: 1. Combine multiple ICs and basic components to form even more complex circuits 2. Turn this into an even more complex IC 3. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3
  10. 10. The law according to Mr Moore “The number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years” - Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel, 1965   This observation has held true for almost half a century The latest Intel processor has 2,000,000,000 transistors
  11. 11. Practical electronic product - 1
  12. 12. Practical electronic product - 2
  13. 13. A real practical electronic product
  14. 14. Counting to two     Transistors can act as an on/off switch Let On=1, Off=0 Now you can count using electrons! For electrons, and penguins, 1+1 = 10
  15. 15. A very old joke There are 10 types of people in the world… …those that understand binary and those that don’t!
  16. 16. Analogue vs digital     The real world is analogue Analogue stuff is hard to manipulate with electrons Digital stuff – well it’s just numbers! We can easily do stuff with numbers
  17. 17. AND and NAND or OR NOT NOR      Transistors can act logically Let On=TRUE, Off=FALSE Now you can make decisions with electrons Sound buzzer if A and (B or C) Logical circuits are called GATES – Not named after Bill – Reflect what they do to signals
  18. 18. Boolean algebra with transistors  Gates are just electronic circuits =
  19. 19. What do electrons think?      Logic + counting = processing Processing is controlling one set of signals with another A set of logical instructions is a ‘program’ Chips that execute programs are called Microprocessors No you can think, calculate and react with electrons
  20. 20. Today, microprocessors are in everything!
  21. 21. So what is an FPGA?  FPGA = Field Programmable Gate Array  An array of gates on a single chip – Can be connected together after manufacture – Can be made to do almost any digital function – Can be reconfigured at any time  Development of FPGAs has been consistent with Moore’s Law  They will have a significant impact on the future of electronic design
  22. 22. So what have you learned?        Electrons can be used to do useful things Components control the flow of electrons Putting components together to do stuff is called electronics design It’s easier to do stuff with numbers than with analogue signals Microprocessors make doing stuff with numbers easy FPGAs let you do digital design in a whole new way Electronics is developing at an exponential rate
  23. 23. And finally…  Electrons CAN be DANGEROUS  Leave it to the professionals!
  24. 24. The End

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