Monday, October 29, 2007

Microchip Tech Introduces Non-Volatile Digital Potentiometers With SPI Interface

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Microchip Technology Inc. announced the MCP4141/2, MCP4241/2, MCP4161/2 and MCP4261/2(MCP41XX/42XX) non-volatile digital potentiometers. The 7- and 8-bit devices have a SPI interface and are specified over the extended industrial temperature range of -40 to 125°. They are available in several industry-standard packages, including the 3 x 3 mm DFN package.

Unlike mechanical potentiometers, the MCP41XX/42XX devices can be controlled digitally, through an SPI interface. This is said to increase system accuracy, flexibility and manufacturing throughput, while decreasing manufacturing costs. Non-volatile memory enables the devices to retain their settings at power down, and their low static current consumption of just 5µA, maximum, is said to help extend battery life.

"We are pleased to expand our mixed-signal product portfolio with the MCP41XX/42XX digital potentiometers," said Bryan Liddiard, Vice President of Marketing with Microchip's Analog and Interface Products Division. "Designers can now benefit from using Microchip's low-power digital potentiometers over the popular SPI interface."

"The MCP41XX/42XX family enables designers to enjoy the numerous benefits associated with digital potentiometers in an affordable way," said John Austin, Senior Product Marketing Manager with Microchip's Analog and Interface Products Division. "With extended temperature range operation and availability in many industry-standard packages, the devices are expected to help designers meet and exceed demands for smaller, better and less-expensive designs."

The MCP41XX/42XX digital potentiometers are well suited for a wide variety of consumer and industrial applications, such as power-supply trim and calibration, set-point and process control, closed-loop servo control, PC peripherals, portable instrumentation, instrumentation offset adjust and signal conditioning.

The products are priced as follows (each, 10,000 piece quanitities): MCP4141/2 (8-pin SOIC, MSOP, PDIP and 3 mm x 3 mm DFN packages) – $0.58; MCP4241 (10-pin 4 mm x 4 mm QFN package & 14-pin SOIC, PDIP, TSSOP packages) – $0.76; MCP4242 (8-pin 3 mm x 3 mm DFN package & 10-pin MSOP package) – $0.76; MCP4161/2 (8-pin 3 mm x 3 mm DFN, MSOP, PDIP and SOIC packages) – $0.69; and MCP4261/2 (8-pin MSOP, PDIP, SOIC and 3 mm x 3 mm DFN packages) – $0.87.

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