Wise Warthog Logo

Review of Lundberg: Reading Jim Williams

Go to the Reading Jim Williams blog by Kent Lundberg, Visiting Professor at Olin College of Engineering. At the top of each blog entry is a link to the discussed app note.

A few weeks after analog guru Jim Williams died on June 12, 2011, Lundberg has created this blog as a tribute to a great analog designer and friend. He is going through all 62 app notes of Williams and writes a blog entry about each of them. Lundbergs writings are a mix of remarks about Williams as an analog designer and person, and very profound observations about the circuits that are described in the notes. For each app note Lundberg points the reader to an especially interesting circuit, and an especially remarkable quote. The latter are perhaps the most interesting parts if you are looking for general advice about advanced electronics design: Just browse through all of Lundbergs blog entries, look at each "remarkable quote", and you will get a collection of some very good tips, tricks and caveats. For some app notes Lundberg also questions a design decision of Williams, warns about potential trouble or suggests alternate solutions.

You may wonder why you should listen if anybody claims that he knows a better solution for some detail than the one that Williams found. After all, Williams app notes are widely known to be one the best sources of analog design wisdom. Well, you could visit Lundbergs page at MIT and look at his publications and courses etc., but in a nutshell, he is first and foremost a genius when it comes to the theory of feedback systems and its application in analog circuits (see, for example, his paper Internal and External Op-Amp Compensation: A Control-Centric Tutorial). Now Williams designed his circuits mostly based on his intuition and the enormous experience that he had gained since he had become obsessed with electronics as a boy. So it is fascinating to see how somebody who is so strong in the theoretical aspects of analog electronics as Lundberg adds his perspective to the work of Williams through his writings.

Of course you should not automatically assume that whenever Lundberg questions anything that Williams has written, he is right and Williams is wrong - Williams might have had some special reason for his decision. You should just listen very carefully to what Lundberg has to say (and especially so when it is related in any way to feedback loops !) and form your own opinion.

At this time (07 / 23 / 2011), Lundberg has worked through 10 of the 62 app notes, has written his blog entries about them and seems to be adding new ones at a high pace. The existing entries should be enough to decide whether you want to read more of them, so you should definitely take a look.

You may also be interested in some other info about Jim Williams app notes.

Wise Warthog Site Overview:

General: Forums, Tips on how to seek Advice

Practical Electronics: Books and Other General Resources, Troubleshooting, Introductions to Oscilloscopes, Breadboarding and Prototyping

Foundations: Basic Linear Circuit Analysis, Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits, Introductions to Analog IC Design, Circuit Simulation with SPICE

Devices: General Op Amp Resources, Op Amp Applications, Resistors, Capacitors, Diodes, Bipolar Junction Transistors

Application Notes: Analog Devices Seminar Notes, Columns and App Notes by Bob Pease, App Notes by Jim Williams, E-books and App Notes from Texas Instruments

Mathematics: Complex Numbers, Calculus, Mathematics for Physics and Engineering

Wise Warthog - Learning Resources
for Analog Electronics and more