App note recommendations

I’ve started trying to read a datasheet or application note every day, and I had a bit of a revelation the other day. I’d been feeling like this might end up being a chore, but then I read a Jim Williams app note: An Introduction to Acoustic Thermometry. It was fun! It was slightly silly! And I learned things!

Anyone have any recommendations for more of the same? I’ve seen the link to the list of Jim Williams app notes, and I’ll definitely read those (eventually), but does anyone have any other favourites?

(My reading last week.)


This is an embarrassingly rich topic. There are WAY too many.

I’m partial to Analog Devices app notes by Walt Kester on ADC topics, Like MT-001 (through 7 or 8 I think)
“Taking the Mystery out of the Infamous Formula, “SNR = 6.02N + 1.76dB,” and Why You Should Care”

An really excellent and practical discussion of ADC operation and noise behavior without any marketing speak or company line injection.

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That’s a great tip! Thanks! That first one you recommended was already really good. And it looks like there are actually about 100 app notes in that “Mini Tutorial” series from Analog. I don’t think they’re all by Kester (maybe the first 30 or so?), but they have the great benefit of being short (< 10 pages, mostly) and focused.

I’ve not read them all, but all I’ve read have been pretty good. Walt Kester’s seem not only especially good, but consistently above the already high average.


If you are into power supplies and cheap Converters, this is good:

This one is a great reference for opamp theory and application circuits:

Seems to be a problem with the links, here it goes again:

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Thanks! They both look good, but the second one (“Op Amps for Everyone”) looks particularly good. I especially like the look of the section that explains what all the hundreds of different parameters quoted for op amps in datasheets actually mean!

Yes, the Opamps for Everyone is a good refererence. If you read that one thoroughly, you will have a very good knowledge about opamps.

One thing I have tried, is to really understand the concept of feedback. In the old days, before negative feedback, they tried all sorts of tricks to linearize amplifiers

Harold Black revolutionized amplifiers: