Intersil’s digitally controlled potentiometers fit in tight spaces

Milpitas, Calif. — Today, Intersil Corp. announced a 256 tap, low power, low noise, digitally controlled potentiometer (DCP) in a 3mm x 3mm package for applications requiring control, parameter adjustments or signal processing.

The ISL95810 incorporates a single DCP with its associated registers, non-volatile memory and an I²C serial interface for direct communication between a host, the potentiometer and memory. The DCP can be used as a three-terminal potentiometer or as a two-terminal variable resistor.

The ISL95810 is the third device in the family (ISL95820 dual and ISL95840 quad) that utilizes a new architecture to reduce noise by eliminating the need for a charge pump. This architecture integrates a DCP on a monolithic CMOS IC. The digitally controlled potentiometer is implemented with a combination of resistor elements and CMOS switches. The user controls the position of the wiper through the I²C bus interface. Unlike one-time programmable or volatile solutions, the ISL95810 integrates non-volatile memory for the wiper position to help lower the programming current and eliminate additional high voltage supplies required by one-time programmable products. Along with low power dissipation and a supply voltage range of 2.7 V to 5.5 V, the ISL95810 also achieves less than ±0.2 least significant bit (LSB) typical differential non-linearity (DNL).

Applications include LCD contrast control and LCD backlight brightness control in cell phones, PDAs and GPS receivers, temperature or pressure sensor biasing and strain gauge in data acquisition systems, controls requiring parameter retention and mechanical pot replacement.

ISL95810 Key Features

  • 256 resistor taps: 0.4% resolution
  • Wiper resistance: 70Ω typical at 3.3 V
  • Non-volatile storage of wiper position
  • Standby current 5μA max
  • Power supply: 2.7 V to 5.5 V
  • Total resistance: 10 kΩ or 50 kΩ
  • High reliability: endurance: 200,000 data changes per bit, register data retention: 50 years at max temperature of 75°C

The ISL95810 is available now in 8-lead MSOP or TDFN packages for $1.02 each in 10,000s.

Click here for the data sheet

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), and Winbond Electronics Corp. America (San Jose, Calif.) have similar non-volatile potentiometers. Maxim's 32-tap I²C linear digital potentiometers are offered in 8-pin TDFN (3mm x 3mm) and a 6-pin SOT23 packages, and feature on-chip E2PROM. These devices sell for 63 cents each in 1,000s. Winbond's single channel ICs feature 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 taps and an up/down interface. Winbond's WMS713x device (32 taps) sells for less than 50 cents in 10,000s. Winbond's WM571xx ICs are offered in 8-pin MSOP, SOIC and PDIP packaging. Catalyst Semiconductor Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has volatile digital 32- and 16-tap MiniPots in 5- and 6-pin SC70 (2mm x 2mm) and SOT23 packages. Catalyst's CAT5110, CAT5118 and CAT5119 pots cost 46 cents in 1,000s.

Click here for Catalyst Semiconductor’s potentiometer data sheet.

Click here for Winbond’s data sheets.

Click here for the Maxim data sheet.

For more information from Intersil, please call 1-888-468-3774 or visit:

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