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MAX1487, MAX481, MAX483, MAX485, MAX487, MAX488, MAX489, MAX490, MAX491

Low-Power, Slew-Rate-Limited RS-485/RS-422 Transceivers

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Status Explanations for product status codes

Active: In Production.


The MAX481, MAX483, MAX485, MAX487-MAX491, and MAX1487 are low-power transceivers for RS-485 and RS-422 communication. Each part contains one driver and one receiver. The MAX483, MAX487, MAX488, and MAX489 feature reduced slew-rate drivers that minimize EMI and reduce reflections caused by improperly terminated cables, thus allowing error-free data transmission up to 250kbps. The driver slew rates of the MAX481, MAX485, MAX490, MAX491, and MAX1487 are not limited, allowing them to transmit up to 2.5Mbps.

These transceivers draw between 120µA and 500µA of supply current when unloaded or fully loaded with disabled drivers. Additionally, the MAX481, MAX483, and MAX487 have a low-current shutdown mode in which they consume only 0.1µA. All parts operate from a single 5V supply.

Drivers are short-circuit current limited and are protected against excessive power dissipation by thermal shutdown circuitry that places the driver outputs into a high-impedance state. The receiver input has a fail-safe feature that guarantees a logic-high output if the input is open circuit.

The MAX487 and MAX1487 feature quarter-unit-load receiver input impedance, allowing up to 128 MAX487/MAX1487 transceivers on the bus. Full-duplex communications are obtained using the MAX488–MAX491, while the MAX481, MAX483, MAX485, MAX487, and MAX1487 are designed for half-duplex applications.

Data Sheet

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Key Features

  • For Fault-Tolerant Applications
    • MAX3430: ±80V Fault-Protected, Fail-Safe, 1/4 Unit Load, +3.3V, RS-485 Transceiver
    • MAX3440E–MAX3444E: ±15kV ESD-Protected, ±60V Fault-Protected, 10Mbps, Fail-Safe, RS-485/J1708 Transceivers
  • For Space-Constrained Applications
    • MAX3460–MAX3464: +5V, Fail-Safe, 20Mbps, PROFIBUS RS-485/RS-422 Transceivers
    • MAX3362: +3.3V, High-Speed, RS-485/RS-422 Transceiver in a SOT23 Package
    • MAX3280E–MAX3284E: ±15kV ESD-Protected, 52Mbps, +3V to +5.5V, SOT23, RS-485/RS-422, True Fail-Safe Receivers
    • MAX3293/MAX3294/MAX3295: 20Mbps, +3.3V, SOT23, RS-485/RS-422 Transmitters
  • For Multiple Transceiver Applications
    • MAX3030E–MAX3033E: ±15kV ESD-Protected, +3.3V, Quad RS-422 Transmitters
  • For Fail-Safe Applications
    • MAX3080–MAX3089: Fail-Safe, High-Speed (10Mbps), Slew-Rate-Limited RS-485/RS-422 Transceivers
  • For Low-Voltage Applications
    • MAX3483E/MAX3485E/MAX3486E/MAX3488E/MAX3490E/MAX3491E: +3.3V Powered, ±15kV ESD-Protected, 12Mbps, Slew-Rate-Limited, True RS-485/RS-422 Transceivers


  • Industrial-Control Local Area Networks
  • Level Translators
  • Low-Power RS-422 Transceivers
  • Low-Power RS-485 Transceivers
  • Transceivers for EMI-Sensitive Applications

Key Specifications:

RS-422/485 Line Driver/Receivers
Part Number Tx/Rx Duplex VSUPPLY
Data Rate
Tx EN Rx EN ICC (Shutdn.)
Rx/Tx on Bus Budgetary
typ min typ See Notes
MAX1487  1Tx + 1Rx Half 5 0.3 2500 Yes Yes - 128 $1.54 @1k
MAX481  Half 0.5 2500 Yes Yes 0.1 32 $1.29 @1k
MAX483  Half 0.35 250 Yes Yes 0.1 32 $1.54 @1k
MAX485  Half 0.5 2500 Yes Yes - 32 $1.54 @1k
MAX487  Half 0.25 250 Yes Yes 0.1 128 $1.54 @1k
MAX488  Full 0.12 250 No No - 32 $1.54 @1k
MAX489  Full 0.12 250 Yes Yes - 32 $1.54 @1k
MAX490  Full 0.3 2500 No No - 32 $1.54 @1k
MAX491  Full 0.3 2500 Yes Yes - 32 $1.54 @1k
See All RS-422/485 Line Driver/Receivers (167)

Pricing Notes:

This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.


MAX1487, MAX481, MAX483, MAX485, MAX487, MAX488, MAX489, MAX490, MAX491: Pin Configuration and Typical Operating Circuit
Pin Configuration and Typical Operating Circuit

Notes and Comments

MAX485 plus 1µA shutdown mode (MAX481)
Slew-rate limiting reduces EMI and reflections (MAX483)
Direct LTC485 replacement (MAX485)
MAX483 plus 1/4-unit load (MAX487)
Slew-rate limiting reduces EMI and reflections (MAX488)
MAX488 plus driver/receiver enable (MAX489)
Direct LTC490 replacement (MAX490)
Direct LTC491 replacement (MAX491)

More Information

New Product Press Release   2008-11-25 ]
RS-485 Resources

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Information Index

Document Ref.: 19-0122 Rev 9; 2009-10-20
This page last modified: 2010-02-11