A chip for doubters

November 23, 2016 | 11:11
A chip for doubters
A chip for doubters
Tired of designing a new board for every application you decided to design a universal signal processing board to handle them all. You already selected your favorite microcontroller for this board, but it needs more I/O. What’s more, since it is supposed to be a universal board, it needs analog and digital I/O. But how much of each? This is where you run into problems. Add too many other parts and the design becomes too complex. Or you run out of microcontroller pins to connect them to. And what about the BOM costs? In the end, these and similar constraints make you settle for less than what you really wanted. Unless you know where the Pixi lives…

The PIXI’s full name is MAX11311, and it is a 12-port programmable mixed-signal I/O device with 12-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC, analog switches, and GPIO. Each port is individually configurable with up to four selectable voltage ranges within -10V to +10V. They can be programmed to user-defined logic levels, and an input coupled with an output forms a logic-level translator. To make programming easy, a nice GUI tool is available to help generate the right register values.

The device uses a 4-wire SPI-compatible serial interface, operating from a 5V analog supply and a 1.8V to 5.0V digital supply. The port supply voltages operate from -12.0V to +12.0V. It can do much more, read the datasheet to discover all its secrets.
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