Challenge the Conventional - Make Unipolar DACs Bipolar

By: Yuriy Kurtsevoy

Abstract: This application note investigates how to convert a unipolar digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for use in bipolar applications. Calculations are provided to show the conversion for an ideal unipolar DAC through the addition of a precision voltage reference and a precision op amp. Real-world conversion is illustrated with discussions on how to choose needed resistors, a voltage reference, and an op amp as well as the parameters to consider.