App note: Murphy’s Law and the risks of Designing “Off Data Sheet”

Murphy’s law is a undisputed fact of life, and this app note by Maxim explains how it impacts electronics design.

This application note considers off-data-sheet operation of integrated circuits (ICs). It discusses the pitfalls awaiting engineers who have not experienced Murphy’s Law, which is anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time. The article reviews the thought process of an experienced and inexperienced engineer, and how they can make a circuit immune to leakage from environmental contamination, radio frequency interference, and electro static discharge.

The article provides explanations on how to avoid pitfalls common to inexperienced engineers when designing from data sheets. From knowing what various data sheet specifications actually mean to learning how to protect your ICs from electrostatic discharge and RF interference is covered in this app note.

Right image by EgoVolo: CC BY-SA

Join the Conversation


  1. Oh so true; Murphy is lurking in all the small design details. And, lets not forget all those missing decoupling capacitors people present in their designs (and test breadboard).

  2. A huge thing about off data sheet use is that while it may work for a particular part or batch of parts, there is no guarantee that it will work with the next batch, even though all the parts are still full within all the specs in the published data sheet.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply to Bertho Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.