Top ten mixed-signal dishes

Top ten seven mixed-signal dishes

Summer vacations are on and it is almost empty in the corridors of my group (in the whole department actually). Swedes are trying to enjoy the few hours of sun and heat we may have.

So, for some reason, Summer brings out the sloth amongst the Swedes, and since it is one of the deadly sins, why not talk about gluttony too?

Here is my list of seven analog/mixed-signal dishes/food/pastries/what-have-you. You will probably find this list quite biased towards my taste which implies no fish and not that much dead stuff (that once had eyes).

7. The 150-Ohmer

Let us start with something simple,
the Dammsugare, or Punschrulle, or Punsch-roll in English (apparently…). It is a pastry consisting of green marzipan with both ends dipped in chocolate. Now, to the nerdy part: it is also called a 150-Ohmer, since it has the brown-green-brown coding as the 150-Ohm resistor. A truly analog treat to go with the coffee!

Btw, don’t you just love the posh, classy way of presenting the treats in this picture? Those nice candles and that glass plate. Inviting and cosy.

6. Popcorn

I guess I am damaged, but when I was a child kind of just popped popcorn and ate them. Now, however, every time I do pop popcorn I cannot stop thinking of popcorn noise in semi-conductors. The way the popcorn appear popping randomly is just amazing… and also the way the time between popping increases towards the end.
One would like to recording the sound and make some kind of statistical analysis. That would be research indeed.

5. The mixer

Alright, I admit – this is not a dish per se and the word has different meanings. First, the mixer (the tool) does come handy when cooking as a very versatile tool. And it does play a certain role in transceiver chains (well, not that kind of mixer, of course). Now, a Swedish reader might get confused – here we use the word “mixer” for a blender (or liquidiser in Jamie Oliver English).

Secondly, a mixer is used for the drinks/cocktails. Rarely, I would go for a straight Vodka Finno-Russian style or a straight Gin and-I-do-not-know-what style. Something needs to be added: coke/tonic/juice, anything you might have in the fridge.

After a hard-working week, laying out amplifiers, simulating phase margins, and running some physical verifications – it is worth relaxing with a white Russian or something like that.

4. Cereal

I like breakfast cereal in quite a few different varieties. So, considering the topic of this list – what on earth does cereal has to do with mixed-signal design?

Well, in fact – naughty me . I name the nets and components in my designs “cereal” rather than “serial”. Great fun!? People tend to react a bit awkward and some dare to say “Errgh, erhm, perhaps you mean ‘serial’ on that net?”. Approximately the same reaction you get when you talk about numbers, like 33 and you say “Let’s pick that number – a prime number is good for that purpose”.


3. The RLC sandwich

Why stick to the old BLT sandwich? Why not go for something new and (even more) delicious. Let me introduce you to the RLC sandwhich (the halal friendly version too!):

  • Roast beef
  • Lettuce
  • Chives

So, take some sourdough bread, and slice up a pair of slices. Quickly grill/toast them to get the surface just slightly crunchy. Spread some butter on them, a couple of slices of roast beef. (A tip here is to cut them into some bite sizes to avoid any social blunder when chewing on the beef). Same with the lettuce. Then use a lot of finely chopped chives.

You might need some kind of moisturizer to finalize it. Perhaps a dash of mayonaisse eventually resulting in an RLMC sandwich thus covering all circuit components(!) in one single sandwich.


Psst, if you are a vegetarian, remove the roast beef and mayo to get an LC sandwich, but watch out! It might start to resonate with your digestive system.

2. Chips

Yeah, yeah, yeah, etc. No comments needed I hope…

Actually, here I want to flag for the British version of chips, not the thin flaky snacks versions as found in rest of the world. (Chips as the rest of humanity knows them are called crisps in the UK). And with vinegar making them soggy… ah! Sweet memories from seagulls stealing your fish-and-chip by-the-sea. An homage to my two-year contract with Ericsson in Swindon, UK.

1. Pizza

Kind of obvious that this would take the list’s pole position, wasn’t it?
Well, I guess the reasons are many. It’s wafer-shaped, it’s layered and it has a substrate. You can top it with (almost) anything you like, i.e., any IP goes on the pizza. There are yield issues, there are temperature variations, there are impurities in the tomato sauce, there are random distribution of chili flakes, etc.

Btw, dependent on cheese deposition, the pizza is implemented with mostly PMOS or NMOS. Let’s take a look at the layer stack!
The pizza stack


Some of the pictures are used from Wikipedia and are released for public domain.

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