Electronic calibration of equipment is reliable, cost effective, and flexible. To make design-in easier, Maxim offers DACs, digital potentiometers (pots), and voltage references specifically optimized for calibration applications. We have example circuits and application notes for electronic calibration.

Calibration Parts

A calibration part is an adjustable device with a predictable power-on-reset (POR) condition. Usually POR will read a value stored in nonvolatile (NV) memory in the device. Alternative devices that POR to zero, midscale, or full-scale can also be used in selected circuits. Maxim adds a C to signify calibration before a common acronym. Thus, CDPot is a calibration digital pot. CDAC is a calibration digital-to-analog converter. A CRef is a calibration voltage reference.

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MAX5725 Ultra-Small, Octal-Channel, 8-/10-/12-Bit Buffered Output DACs with Internal Reference and SPI Interface

The MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 8-channel, low-power, 8-/10-/12-bit, voltage-output digital-to-analog converters (DACs) include output buffers and an internal 3ppm/°C reference that is selectable to be 2.048V, 2.500V, or 4.096V. The MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 accept a wide supply voltage range of 2.7V to 5.5V with extremely low power (6mW) consumption to accommodate most low-voltage applications. A precision external reference input allows rail-to-rail operation and presents a 100kΩ (typ) load to an external reference.

The MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 have a fast 50MHz, 4-wire SPI/QSPI™/MICROWIRE/DSP-compatible serial interface that operates at clock rates up to 50MHz. The DAC output is buffered and has a low supply current of less than 250µA per channel and a low offset error of ±0.5mV (typ). On power-up, the MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 reset the DAC outputs to zero or midscale based on the status of M/active-low Z logic input, providing flexibility for a variety of control applications. The internal reference is initially powered down to allow use of an external reference. The MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 allow simultaneous output updates using software LOAD commands or the hardware load DAC logic input (active-low LDAC).

The MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 feature a programmable watchdog function which can be enabled to monitor the I/O interface for activity and integrity.

A clear logic input (active-low CLR) allows the contents of the CODE and the DAC registers to be cleared asynchronously and simultaneously sets the DAC outputs to the programmable default value. The MAX5723/MAX5724/MAX5725 are available in a 20-pin TSSOP and an ultra-small, 20-bump WLP package and are specified over the -40°C to +125°C temperature range.

DS4305 Electronically Programmable Voltage Reference

The DS4305 is a nonvolatile (NV) electronically programmable voltage reference. The reference voltage is programmed in-circuit during factory calibration/programming. Programming the reference voltage, VOUT, is as simple as applying the desired voltage on VIN and toggling the adjust pin (active-low ADJ) to lock the VOUT voltage level indefinitely, even if the device is power cycled. The DS4305 replaces current cumbersome factory adjustment arrangements with a low-cost solution that can be adjusted using automated techniques. In addition, the DS4305 has the ability to be readjusted after the unit has been fully assembled and tested. This results in a much more flexible manufacturing arrangement, lower inventory costs, and a quicker time-to-market.

DS3901 Triple, 8-Bit NV Variable Resistor with Dual Settings and User EEPROM

The DS3901 is a triple, 8-bit nonvolatile (NV) variable resistor. Each of the resistors has two setting registers, which are selectable by software or by pin configuration. The selected register determines the value of the variable resistor. Additionally, all three resistors have a high-impedance setting. Resistor R0 has the additional flexibility of allowing an external shunt resistor to provide increased dynamic range. Internal address settings allow the DS3901 slave address to be programmed to one of 128 possible addresses. The DS3901 also features an optional password-protection scheme that allows the protection of sensitive data.

MAX5496 10-Bit, Dual, Nonvolatile, Linear-Taper Digital Potentiometers

The MAX5494–MAX5499 10-bit (1024-tap), dual, nonvolatile, linear-taper, programmable voltage-dividers and variable resistors perform the function of a mechanical potentiometer, but replace the mechanics with a 3-wire SPI™-compatible serial interface. The MAX5494/MAX5495 are dual, 3-terminal, programmable voltage-dividers; the MAX5496/MAX5497 are dual, 2-terminal variable resistors; and the MAX5498/MAX5499 include one 2-terminal variable resistor and one 3-terminal programmable voltage-divider.

The MAX5494–MAX5499 feature an internal, nonvolatile, electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) that stores the wiper position for initialization during power-up. The 3-wire SPI-compatible serial interface allows communication at data rates up to 7MHz.

The MAX5494–MAX5499 are ideal for applications requiring digitally controlled potentiometers. End-to-end resistance values of 10kΩ and 50kΩ are available with a 35ppm/°C end-to-end temperature coefficient. The ratiometric temperature coefficient is 5ppm/°C for each channel, making these devices ideal for applications requiring low-temperature-coefficient programmable voltage-dividers such as low-drift, programmable-gain amplifiers.

The MAX5494–MAX5499 operate with either a single power supply (+2.7V to +5.25V) or dual power supplies (±2.5V). The devices consume 400µA (max) of supply current when writing data to the nonvolatile memory and 1.5µA (max) of standby supply current. The devices are available in space-saving (5mm x 5mm x 0.8mm), 16-pin TQFN package and are specified over the extended (-40°C to +85°C) temperature range.

MAX6220 Low-Noise, Precision, +2.5V/+4.096V/+5V Voltage Reference

The MAX6220 is a low-noise, precision voltage reference with extremely low 20ppm/°C temperature coefficient over the automotive temperature range (-40°C to +125°C) and excellent ±0.1% initial accuracy. This device features buried-zener technology for low noise performance. The load-regulation specification is guaranteed for source and sink currents up to 15mA. Excellent line and load regulation and low output impedance at high frequency make the MAX6220 ideal for high-resolution data-conversion systems up to 16 bits. The MAX6220 is set for 2.5V, 4.096V, and 5.0V outputs.