Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI


Digitally programmable potentiometers

19 August 2009 Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI

ON Semiconductor has expanded its family of digitally programmable potentiometer (DPP) ICs with new high-resolution devices incorporating I²C and Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus connectivity. The new DPPs offer a low-noise, reliable and space-saving alternative to mechanical potentiometers in applications ranging from instrumentation and industrial automation to portable battery-powered equipment.

The CAT5171 and CAT5172 are single-channel, digitally programmable linear taper potentiometers featuring 256-position resolution. Digital control of wiper settings is made via I²C and SPI interfaces respectively and both devices are available with end-to-end resistance options of 50 k and 100 k. The ICs are insensitive to mechanical vibrations, shock, oxidation, and dust and dirt, unlike their mechanical counterparts. Each device also has a low temperature coefficient of 100 ppm/°C. As a result they are stable and reliable across a wide variety of environmental conditions.

The new DPPs are suitable for volume control, lighting control, LCD screen adjustment and other circuitry requiring electronic control of key parameters. In addition, the parts also offer a flexible solution for RF amplifier biasing and gain control. Rated for the industrial temperature range of -40°C to 85°C, they operate with a single supply voltage of between 2,7 and 5,5 V. In power-up, the wiper assumes a mid-span position and may be re-positioned any time after the power stabilises. Operating current for both devices is 2 μA.



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