Microchip Tech Introduces New Non-Volatile, Quad Digital PotentiometersFebruary 22, 2010 by Jeff Shepard
Microchip Technology Inc. announced the MCP4341, MCP4342 (MCP434X), MCP4361 and MCP4362 (MCP436X) quad digital potentiometers. The 7- and 8-bit, non-volatile devices feature an SPI interface and static current consumption of just 5µA (max.). They are specified for operation from -40 to 125°C and are available in space-saving packages as small as 4 x 4mm QFN, making them well suited for 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.
Unlike mechanical potentiometers, the MCP434X/436X devices can be controlled digitally, through a SPI interface. This eliminates the need for human interaction, which increases system accuracy, flexibility and manufacturing throughput while decreasing manufacturing costs. Digital control also provides more system flexibility than mechanical control. Non-volatile memory enables the digital potentiometers to retain their settings at power down, and their low static current consumption of just 5µA (max.) helps to extend battery life.
"Customers are constantly looking for ways to reduce power consumption and design footprint, while increasing the accuracy and performance of their designs," said Bryan J. Liddiard, Vice President of Marketing with Microchip’s Analog and Interface Products Division. "With static current consumption of just 5 microamperes (max.), and availability in small packages, the MCP434X and MCP436X digital potentiometers help designers achieve these goals."
The MCP4341/2 digital potentiometers are available in 14- and 20-pin TSSOP, and 4 x 4mm QFN packages, for $1.00 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The MCP4361/2 digital potentiometers are available in 14- and 20-pin TSSOP, and 4 x 4mm QFN packages, for $1.34 each in 10,000-unit quantities.