Goal Semi’s quad D/A converter drives over 200-volt output

Montreal, Canada — Goal Semiconductor Inc.'s highly integrated digital-to-analog converter (D/A converter) means compact system designs for high-voltage control applications.

Goal's HVDAC200, a high voltage, 4-channel, 9-bit, serially configurable voltage/current D/A converter uses an advanced high voltage silicon process that also enables output in excess of 200 V.

The HVDAC targets a wide range of applications in the industrial, telecommunications, automotive, medical and consumer market segments that require high voltage control. These include micro electromechanical systems (MEMs) drivers, variable optical attenuators (VOA), industrial printers, level translation, optical controllers, fiber optic based applications, piezoelectric transducer drivers, high-voltage (HV) bias generation and other applications where a programmable high voltage or current source is needed.

Based on a 9-bit current D/A converter architecture, the HVDAC can operate in either current or voltage mode. The output range of the D/A converter outputs is controlled by a low voltage reference input and each channel includes a 5-bit output offset adjustment. The output range of the HVDAC can be adjusted from 20 V to 200 V.

The HVDAC has two maximum output currents: 500μA and 5μA. A 600 kΩ resistor is integrated at each channel output to provide voltage output range. Channels also include an over-current limit protection feature and the HVDAC incorporates a temperature sensor that can monitor device temperature and engage shutdown in case of overheating.

Communication with the HVDAC is executed serially via a serial peripheral interface (SPI) that includes a signal retransmission feature so that users can daisy chain multiple devices on a single SPI bus. The device also includes a hardware reset that clears the internal registers.

The sophisticated integration of digital and high-voltage control circuitry on a single chip means the HVDAC 200 drastically reduces the number of components required for high-voltage control applications, allowing for more compact system designs, according to Irv Lustigman, chief executive of the fabless semiconductor company. As many as eight devices, including four D/A converters and four HV drivers are integrated within the device, he said.

By incorporating a current limitation circuit on each channel as well as a temperature sensor, the device simplifies system condition monitoring and improves reliability. In addition, multiple device usage on a single communication interface permits further system integration and increases flexibility: The daisy-chainable SPI allows the HVDAC to interface with a microcontroller directly and permits the networking of multiple HVDACs on the same system.

The D/A converter offset output can be calibrated to suit specific application needs by using the 5-bit offset control on each D/A converter output.

The HVDAC 200 is currently sampling and volume production is scheduled for the upcoming first quarter. Pricing for the HVDAC 200 in 5,000-piece quantities is below $2.00.

Click here for the preliminary technical brief.

For more information, call 1-800-943-GOAL (ext. 105) or visit Goal on the web

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