Power Electronics

Digitally Controlled Potentiometers Suit Ultralow Power Applications

A new family of volatile, digitally controlled potentiometers (DCPs), the ISL90460, ISL90461 and ISL90462, is now available from Intersil Corp. This family of low-noise, low-power complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) DCPs is designed to address current market needs for high-volume, space-constrained applications that require ultralow power, such as LCD contrast and backlight brightness control in cell phones, PDAs and GPS receivers. Other applications include industrial automotive control, parameter and bias adjustments, and laser diode driver biasing.

With options ranging from a 100-kΩ SOT-23 package down to the smallest 10-kΩ SC-70 package, Intersil’s new family of DCPs features three potentiometer configurations, 32-tap positions and a 2-pin up/down (U/D) interface. Along with low power dissipation (supply current is 0.3 µA; maximum active current is 25 µA) and a supply voltage range of 2.7 V to 5.5 V, the ISL90460/61/62 family is available in three resistance options and two different packages. The DCPs employ a popular 2-pin U/D interface to control wiper position. The devices offer three configurations: a variable resistor with one end grounded (ISL90460), a floating variable resistor (ISL90461) and a potentiometer with one end terminal grounded (ISL90462). The potentiometer is implemented by a resistor array with 31 elements and a wiper switching network. Between each element and at either end are tap points accessible via the wiper terminal.

The ISL90460 is available now in a 5-pin SOT-23 or SC-70 lead-free package and is priced at $0.64. The ISL90461 and ISL90462 are available now in a 6-pin SOT-23 or SC-70 lead-free package and are priced at $0.57. All prices are for 1000-unit quantities.

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