Maxim's 1.7V digital potentiometers bring digital control and calibration to power-sensitive applications

Maxim MAX5391 MAX5392 MAX5393

Maxim Integrated Products introduces the MAX5391/MAX5392/MAX5393, the industry's lowest voltage digital potentiometers. This family of dual, 256-tap, volatile digital potentiometers operate from a single 1.7V to 5.5V power supply, which makes them ideal for replacing mechanical potentiometers and DACs in power-sensitive applications. With unique features such as a small package size, low operating voltage, and low supply current, the MAX5391–MAX5393 are well positioned to serve the portable consumer and industrial battery-backup markets. Suitable applications include LCD calibration, volume control, system circuit calibration and trim, amplifier offset, and gain and bias control.

Maxim: MAX5391, MAX5392, MAX5393

Replacing mechanical potentiometers with low-voltage digital potentiometers streamlines manufacturing.

Designers of low-voltage (less than 2.3V) systems, such as industrial battery-backup or portable consumer applications, have previously used mechanical potentiometers or DACs because they can operate from 1.8V. These low-voltage devices allow system designers to meet tight power-consumption specs; however, their use has come at a cost. With mechanical potentiometers, calibration is labor intensive and prone to error, as it typically involves analog adjustments using a screwdriver.

Digital potentiometers have many advantages over their mechanical counterparts: they enable processor control and programmability, they guarantee greater reliability and accuracy, and they offer packaging options that facilitate automatic assembly. In short, they streamline the manufacturing process by eliminating the need for expensive and error-prone manual adjustments.
Yet, until now, designers have been forced to forgo the benefits of digital potentiometers in order to meet the stringent power-consumption requirements of low-voltage systems.

The MAX5391–MAX5393 include two digital potentiometers in a voltage-divider configuration. The devices have a low 5ppm/°C ratiometric temperature coefficient and come in three different end-to-end resistance values of 10kΩ, 50kΩ, and 100kΩ.
SPI™-compatible and I²C digital control interfaces are available.

The MAX5391 device is offered in an ultra-small (3mm x 3mm) 16-pin TQFN package; the MAX5392/MAX5393 are available in 16-/14-pin TSSOP packages. All devices are fully specified over the -40°C to +125°C automotive temperature range.

Summary of key features:

  • 1.7V to 5.5V single-supply operation
  • Low (< 10µA) quiescent current extends battery life
  • Superior ratiometric temperature coefficient (5ppm/°C)
  • 2ppm/°C gain-error drift over temperature
  • 10kΩ, 50kΩ, and 100kΩ end-to-end resistance values
  • Automotive temperature range (-40°C to +125°C)
  • Available in TQFN or TSSOP packages
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