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Digital potentiometers save on space, power

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — The MAX5481-MAX5484 line of programmable digital potentiometers from Maxim Integrated Products come in two wiper configurations — voltage-dividers and variable resisters — to replace mechanical potentiometers in a fraction of the required space.

Designed for applications such as gain and offset adjustment; LCD screen adjustment; pressure sensors; military electronics and volume control, the MAX5481/MAX5482 are 3-terminal voltage dividers, while the MAX5483/MAX5484 are 2-terminal variable resisters. Integrated EEPROM simulates mechanical potentiometers by storing the wiper position prior to power down. This capability significantly reduces size compared to mechanical pots. The MAX548x family also offers ratiometric and end-to-end temperature coefficients as low as 5ppm/degrees Celsius and 35ppm/degrees Celsius, respectively.

The MAX548x devices come in a small, 16-pin TQFN package (3 mm x 3mm) or a 14-pin TSSOP package and are designed to operate between -40 degrees and 85 degrees Celsius, and run off of a 2.7V to 5.25V single supply or +/-2.5V dual current supply. These devices consume 400 microamps when writing to nonvolatile memory, and 1 microamp in standby mode. End-to-end resistances of 10 kilohm and 50 kilohm are available. The MAX548x come in two wiper configurations: voltage divider or variable resistor. Industry standard up/down or SPI-compatible 3-wire serial interfaces on one chip make these new digital pots simple to operate.

Prices for the digital potentiometers start at $1.95 per thousand in the U.S. Click here for the data sheet.

Maxim Integrated Products , 408-737-7600, www.maxim-ic.com.

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