Microchip Rolls Out Volatile Digital Potentiometers with SPI Interface

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced the MCP4131/2, MCP4231/2, MCP4151/2 and MCP4251/2 (MCP41/423X and MCP41/425X) digital potentiometers. The volatile, 7- and 8-bit devices have a SPI interface and are specified over the entire extended temperature range of -40 to 125 degrees Celsius. They feature a low static current consumption of just 1 microampere, maximum, and help extend battery life in a variety of consumer and industrial electronic applications.

Microchip Volatile Digital PotentiometersUnlike their mechanical counterparts, the volatile MCP41/423X and MCP41/425X potentiometers can be controlled digitally, through an SPI interface. This eliminates the need for human interface in order to adjust the wiper setting, which therefore increases system accuracy, flexibility and manufacturing throughput, while decreasing manufacturing costs. The new devices complement the recently announced non-volatile MCP4141/2, MCP4241/2, MCP4161/2 and MCP4261/2 devices, meaning Microchip now provides a comprehensive portfolio of 7- and 8-bit volatile and non-volatile SPI digital potentiometers.

“With MCP41/423X and MCP41/425X devices, Microchip has created another family of low-power digital potentiometers that complement industry trends toward higher-performing devices, in smaller sizes and at lower costs,” said Bryan Liddiard, vice president of marketing with Microchip’s Analog and Interface Products Division.

John Austin, senior product marketing manager with Microchip’s Analog and Interface Products Division, continued, “With extended temperature range operation and availability in several industry-standard packages, we expect the MCP41/423X and MCP41/425X to help designers meet and exceed demands for smaller, better and less-expensive designs.”

Device-Specific Features
The following table lists device-specific features:

Part # # of POTs (Single or Dual) Resolution Wiper Configuration
MCP4131 Single 7-bit Potentiometer
MCP4132 Single 7-bit Rheostat
MCP4231 Dual 7-bit Potentiometer
MCP4232 Dual 7-bit Rheostat
MCP4151 Single 8-bit Potentiometer
MCP4152 Single 8-bit Rheostat
MCP4251 Dual 8-bit Potentiometer
MCP4252 Dual 8-bit Rheostat

Possible Applications
With low static current consumption of only 1 microampere, maximum, the MCP41/423X and MCP41/425X digital potentiometers are appropriate for consumer and industrial electronic 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.

Packaging, Pricing & Availability
The MCP41/423X and MCP41/425X digital potentiometers are available in a variety of industry-standard packages, including the popular 3 mm x 3 mm DFN package. Samples and volume-production quantities can be ordered today at http://sample.microchip.com and www.microchipdirect.com, respectively. Package options and pricing are as follows:

Part # Package Options Pricing (in 10K-unit quantities, for all package options)
MCP4131/2 8-pin: SOIC, MSOP, PDIP, 3 mm x 3 mm DFN $0.48 each
MCP4231 16-pin: 4 mm x 4 mm QFN14-pin: SOIC, PDIP, TSSOP $0.64 each
MCP4232 10-pin: MSOP, 3 mm x 3 mm DFN $0.64 each
MCP4151/2 8-pin: MSOP, PDIP, SOIC, 3 mm x 3 mm DFN $0.64 each
MCP4252 10-pin: MSOP, 3 mm x 3 mm DFN $0.67 each

Microchip Customer Support
Microchip is committed to supporting its customers by helping design engineers develop products faster and more efficiently. Customers can access four main service areas. The Support area provides a fast way to get questions answered; the Sample area offers free evaluation samples of any Microchip device; microchipDIRECT provides 24-hour pricing, ordering, inventory and credit for convenient purchasing of all Microchip devices and development tools; finally, the Training area educates customers through webinars, sign-ups for local seminar and workshop courses, and information about the annual MASTERs events held throughout the world.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Ariz., Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

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