Low-Power, 8-Channel, Serial 12-Bit ADCs

Low-Power, Single-Ended or Differential Multi-Channel, 12-Bit ADC with Bipolar Input Capabilities

Please check latest availability status for a specific part variant.


The MAX186/MAX188 are 12-bit data-acquisition systems that combine an 8-channel multiplexer, high-bandwidth track/hold, and serial interface together with high conversion speed and ultra-low power consumption. The devices operate with a single +5V supply or dual ±5V supplies. The analog inputs are software configurable for unipolar/bipolar and single-ended/differential operation.

The 4-wire serial interface directly connects to SPI, QSPI and MICROWIRE® devices without external logic. A serial strobe output allows direct connection to TMS320 family digital signal processors. The MAX186/MAX188 use either the internal clock or an external serial-interface clock to perform successive-approximation A/D conversions. The serial interface can operate beyond 4MHz when the internal clock is used.

The MAX186 has an internal 4.096V reference while the MAX188 requires an external reference. Both parts have a reference-buffer amplifier that simplifies gain trim.

The MAX186/MAX188 provide a hard-wired active-low SHDN pin and two software-selectable power-down modes. Accessing the serial interface automatically powers up the devices, and the quick turn-on time allows the MAX186/MAX188 to be shut down between every conversion. Using this technique of powering down between conversions, supply current can be cut to under 10µA at reduced sampling rates.

The MAX186/MAX188 are available in 20-pin PDIP and SO packages, and in a shrink small-outline package (SSOP), that occupies 30% less area than an 8-pin PDIP. For applications that call for a parallel interface, see the MAX180/MAX181 data sheet. For anti-aliasing filters, consult the MAX274/MAX275 data sheet.

MAX186, MAX188: Typical Operating Circuit MAX186, MAX188: Typical Operating Circuit Enlarge+

Key Features

  • 8-Channel Single-Ended or 4-Channel Differential Inputs
  • Single +5V or ±5V Operation
  • Low Power:
    • 1.5mA (Operating Mode)
    • 2µA (Power-Down Mode)
  • Internal Track/Hold, 133kHz Sampling Rate
  • Internal 4.096V Reference (MAX186)
  • SPI-/QSPI-/MICROWIRE-/TMS320-Compatible 4-Wire Serial Interface
  • Software-Configurable Unipolar or Bipolar Inputs
  • 20-Pin PDIP, SO, SSOP Packages
  • Evaluation Kit Available


  • Automated Test Equipment (ATE)
  • Battery-Powered Applications
  • Data Acquisition
  • High-Accuracy Process Control
  • Medical Instruments
  • Portable Data Logging
  • Robotics

See parametric specs for Precision ADCs (< 5Msps) (434)

Part NumberResolution
Input ChannelsConv. Rate
ADC ArchitectureData BusDiff/S.E. InputInternal VREF
External VREF
External VREF
Unipolar VIN
Bipolar VIN
ADCmaxnominalminmaxmaxmaxSee Notes
MAX186 128133SARSPIBoth4.0962.55.254.0962.048-80
SOIC (W)/20
$12.51 @1k
MAX188 -
SOIC (W)/20
$12.42 @1k

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.

MAX186EVKIT: Evaluation Kit/Evaluation System for the MAX186
Product Reliability Reports: MAX186.pdf 
Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C   Material Composition  

Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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