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Low power d/a converters prolong battery life

The MAX5214 and MAX5216 digital to analogue converters from Maxim Integrated Products are said to incorporate 'best in class' accuracy, a small package size and a low current consumption of less than 80µA IQ. The 14 and 16bit devices have been optimised to prolong battery life in portable applications and are said to be highly programmable to add flexibility and efficiency to power usage.

According to Maxim, power consumption can be further reduced by writing the power down sequence into the device registers. This makes the devices applicable for systems with limited power budgets such as portable glucose meters. In these cases, the devices can be powered on to perform the required tasks with 80µA of current consumption in operation mode and then powered down to reduce the electrical current consumption to 0.4µA. Additionally, on power up, the units reset the d/a converter output to zero, providing extra safety for applications that drive valves or other transducers that need to be off on power up.

The MAX5214 and MAX5216 are said to provide ±0.25LSB and ±1LSB of integral nonlinearity respectively over their resolution spectrum. Maxim claims they are ideal for high performance systems executing repetitive tasks in numerous counts that demand the same high precision and accuracy each time. Motor controllers in robotic applications are a typical example.

The converters integrate an internal buffer to reduce both the number of external components needed in the system design and the total space required on the pcb. They are said to operate efficiently in industrial environments from -40 to 105°C and come in a compact 8pin µMAX package.

Laura Hopperton

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