New Industry Products

Catalyst Announces New Digitally Programmable Potentiometer

May 08, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:CATS), has expanded its family of Digitally Programmable Potentiometers (DPP™) with the CAT5133; a 15-volt, increment/decrement interface, 128-tap (7-bit) device designed for calibration and control functions in high-voltage consumer, industrial and medical applications.

A general purpose linear digital potentiometer, the CAT5133 is intended to provide a lower noise, more versatile alternative to traditional digital potentiometers, which are prone to external environmental noise conditions. Additionally, instead of a charge pump, the device has a separate input for an analog supply up to 15V. This provides the high voltage bias needed for the potentiometer terminals and eliminates the noise associated with charge pumps.

The CAT5133 digitally programmable potentiometer features on-chip, non-volatile, EEPROM memory, which allows designers to calibrate once, retaining the setting even if power is lost. The wiper position can be preset to any position on the device and, on power-up, the wiper will go to the preset position, which is stored in the on-chip EEPROM. DAC-based approaches typically require external memory and additional interconnects resulting in additional board real estate and added system costs.

Since the CAT5133 is silicon-based, it is insensitive to mechanical vibrations, shock and oxidation, making it a high reliability alternative to mechanical potentiometers across most environmental conditions. The device gives designers the added benefit of implementing a user-friendly, up/down control interface similar to the control interface of a mechanical potentiometer.

The CAT5133 is offered in a RoHS-compliant, environment friendly "green" 10-pin MSOP package. Pricing for 1,000 piece quantities is $0.88. Samples and evaluation kits are available now. Projected lead-times for production quantities are currently 6 to 8 weeks ARO.