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issue: June 2009 APPLIANCE Magazine

Appliance Engineer - Electronics Report
Minimized Drift

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New op amps are the first with an on-chip, one-shot calibration circuit to calibrate offset voltage at power-up or based on the state of an external pin.


Operational amplifiers (op amps) were launched in May by Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ, U.S.; www.microchip.com) and are the first with the mCal, an on-chip, one-shot calibration circuit. Power-up offset voltage calibration is performed using an internal power on-reset detector.

The result of the dual calibration capabilities is a low initial voltage offset and a means to minimize drift over time and temperature, which are extremely important for applications involving instrumentation and sensor conditioning. The high-bandwidth (50 MHz), low-power MCP651/2/5 (MCP65X) op amps provide low bias and quiescent currents, high output-drive capability, and a rail-to-rail output for better performance across the operating-voltage range. This feature set is designed to make the op amps ideal for demanding applications in consumer, industrial, and medical markets.

The op amps’ high output-drive current of 95 mA enables them to drive heavy loads and results in better performance across a range of applications. Rail-to-rail output gives them greater dynamic range, even at lower operating voltages, for more-accurate performance across the entire operating-voltage range.

“This new amplifier family is expected to enable new markets for Microchip by expanding its CMOS op amp portfolio into higher-speed applications,” says Kevin Tretter, senior product marketing manager with Microchip’s analog and interface products division.

Applications requiring high speed and precision are appropriate for the op amps. This includes consumer electronics, such as microphone preamplifiers, optical detector circuitry, and digital scales, as well as medical markets such as patient monitoring and instrumentation.


Evaluation Board

The op amps supplier also launched the MCP651 evaluation board to provide a simple means for measuring the op amp’s input offset voltage under a variety of conditions. The measured input offset voltage includes the input offset voltage specified in the MCP651 datasheet, plus changes due to power-supply voltage, common-mode voltage, output voltage, input offset-voltage drift over temperature, and 1/f noise.

Like other op amps from the supplier, the new family is also supported by two free development tools, the FilterLab Analog Filtering Software tool and the Mindi Online Simulator tool. FilterLab provides full schematic diagrams of the filter circuit with component values, as well as displaying the frequency responses. Mindi enables designers to quickly generate circuit diagrams, simulate circuits, and specify passive components for a variety of active-filter, amplifier, and power-management applications. Circuits developed using the Mindi tool can be downloaded to a PC or workstation, and are often ported directly into system diagrams.



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