Integrated Circuits

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Digital Potentiometers

Digital Potentiometers(AD5204) The digital Potentiometers made by analog devices (AD5204) has 255 positions can be adjusted by the microcomputer that can receive commands from the computer. This is a great way for analog circuitry to have digital control. This is a chip with 4 digitally controlled POTs and the pots can be daisy chained to have multiple chips controled by a single SPI interface.

Voltage Regulators

Linear Regulators
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High current, Variable Voltage Regulator
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TPS V-Regs
These are 3.3V and 5V LDO, Low-Noise Voltage Regulators. Very small SOT-23 SMD package. 150mA max current. Best used in battery applications.
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Basic Voltage Regulators
Variable voltage regulators, set output regulators, we give you the whole breakdown. Perfect for use with an external wall-wart power supply.
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The 723 Voltage Regulator
Precision Voltage Regulator. Can be used as fixed or floating, variable, linear or switching.

NOTE: Only the DIP-14 version (image) has the Vz pin, which is used for negative regulators. The Metal Can and the Flat-Pack do not have enough pins so exclude the Vz.

Switching Regulators
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Extremely Efficient, 120mA Flyback Switching Regulators.


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    LPC2103 Low cost 70MHz ARM7TDMI-S FLASH Microcontroller from Philips. The "$49" "Coridium ARMmite" does use this chip.
  • Atmel AVR 8 bit FLASH microcontrollers
  • Microchip PIC 8 bit FLASH microcontrollers
  • Microchip dsPIC 16 bit FLASH microcontrollers ( DsPIC30F 5011 Development Board )
  • Cypress PSoC 8 bit FLASH microcontrollers

I've written a little about the various kinds of microcontrollers at Wikibooks: Embedded Systems. --DavidCary 06:15, 10 March 2007 (PST)

Op Amps

Op amps and instrumentation amps.

op amps: great for amplifying weak signals from sensors to a more useful level. Also used in filters, integrators, etc.

logic gates

There are hundreds of other specialized logic gates. Here we only list the ones we actually use in some Open Circuit Project:

  • 74HC595 eight bit shift register with output latch (used for POV display)

RF ICs/Modules

Linx Technologies makes several low power RF transmitter/receiver chips. Their range is around 500' - 1000'. They are geared for one way communication only, like keyless entry systems. They also make several serial encoding chips that make the wireless communication more secure/crack proof. Their latest chip, the HS series, is based upon the SkipJack algorithm developed by the NSA. BBA broadband ampifier modules are available for boosting the signal power to 17dBm when combined with the HP-3 modules and FHSS techniques.

XBee/XBee Pro modules Modules are a drop in Zigbee module. Modules have a UART style interface with an AT command set. Cheap and very popular, these modules are great for serial cable replacement or remote sensor monitoring.

Sparkfun Bluetooth Module Dropin module with a complete Bluetooth stack. Modules also have a UART interface with a AT command set. An advantage is many laptops and cellphones have a Bluetooth transceiver builtin.

Nordic Modules from Sparkfun Tranceiver modules that have a SPI interface and are capable of transmitting packets at 1Mbps. Modules implement packet indentification and CRC checksum compution but don't have a protocol stack per say. A large number of channels are available making FHSS possible, but the modules has a maximum power of 0dBm making them only suitable for short range communication.

XE1205 Chip from Semtec Transceiver IC with builtin 15dBm power amplifer. IC has a SPI interface with the data being transmitted with any wire format(NRZ/Manchester). DP1205 dropin modules are available which contain all the necessary descrete components. IC allows very rich configuration including frequency down to 500Hz, frequency deviation, and baseband filter. Available in 433MHz and 900MHz versions.

Cypress Semiconductor makes several 2.4ghz transceiver modules, which are available for sampling, and are fully assembled with PCB antennas. They use SPI to be configured and to communicate with the microcontroller. The CYWM6934 (10 meter range) and CYWM6935 (50 meter range) are both very easy to interface with. ratmandu 20:06, 23 November 2007 (PST)

ADC analog to digital converter

There are a huge variety of ADCs available.

If you need 10 bits or less of resolution, counter-intuitively, it costs less to buy an ADC plus a microcontroller on one chip than to buy a stand-alone ADC.

  • ATTINY13V -- lowest-price chip I know of with at least one 10 bit ADC
  • ATTINY261 -- lowest $/ADC chip I know of
  • LPC2101FBD48 -- lowest-price 32-bit microcontroller I know of with at least one internal 10 bit ADC

Many people (*) do EKGs with only 10 bit converters.

The Programmable Chip EEG might need more bits of resolution.

What low-cost ADC are available with at least 12 bits?

  • $2.50 MCP3301 has 1 ADC input (13 bits)
  • $3.50 MCP3302 has 2 ADC input (13 bits)
  • $3.50 MCP3204 has 4 ADC input (12 bits)
  • $4 MCP3208 has 8 ADC input (12 bits)
  • $8 dsPIC30F 2011 microcontroller has 8 ADC inputs (12 bits). See dsPIC30F 5011 Development Board for details.
  • $5 18F2553 microcontroller has 12bit ADC.
  • $6 CY8C27443 Cypress PSoC microcontroller has 4 ADC inputs (14 bits) -- but what is the sampling rate? Also has 4 DAC outputs (9 bits).
  • $56 biosemi used analog devices AD7716: four independent, simultaneous 22 bit ADCs.
  • the Maxim MAX1460 includes a 16-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC, a programmable gain amp (PGA), temp sensor, and 16-bit processor. (Alas, its program is in unchangeable ROM).
  • Analog Devices AduC812: 200kHz 12-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC, and flash-based 8051 MCU core.

I am astonished to discover that (a few) microcontrollers include 12 bit or more ADCs. Are there others? --DavidCary 18:48, 28 August 2007 (PDT)