+3V, Quad, 12-Bit Voltage-Output DAC
with Serial Interface
SHOWN FOR ALL 1s ON DAC
Figure 1. Simplified DAC Circuit Diagram
The MAX5253 contains four 12-bit, voltage-output digi-
tal-to-analog converters (DACs) that are easily
addressed using a simple 3-wire serial interface. It
includes a 16-bit data-in/data-out shift register, and
each DAC has a doubled-buffered input composed of
an input register and a DAC register (see Functional
Diagram). In addition to the four voltage outputs, each
amplifier’s negative input is available to the user.
The DACs are inverted R-2R ladder networks that con-
vert 12-bit digital inputs into equivalent analog output
voltages in proportion to the applied reference voltage
inputs. DACs A and B share the REFAB reference input,
while DACs C and D share the REFCD reference input.
The two reference inputs allow different full-scale output
voltage ranges for each pair of DACs. Figure 1 shows a
simplified circuit diagram of one of the four DACs.
The two reference inputs accept positive DC and AC
signals. The voltage at each reference input sets the
full-scale output voltage for its two corresponding
DACs. The reference input voltage range is 0V to (V
- 1.4V). The output voltages (V
a digitally programmable voltage source as:
x NB / 4096 ) x Gain
where NB is the numeric value of the DAC’s binary
input code (0 to 4095), V
is the reference voltage,
and Gain is the externally set voltage gain.
The impedance at each reference input is code-depen-
dent, ranging from a low value of 10kΩ when both
DACs connected to the reference have an input code
of 555 hex, to a high value exceeding several gigohms
(leakage current) with an input code of 000 hex. Because
the input impedance at the reference pins is code-
dependent, load regulation of the reference source is
The REFAB and REFCD reference inputs have a 10kΩ
guaranteed minimum input impedance. When the two
reference inputs are driven from the same source, the
effective minimum impedance is 5kΩ. Driving the
REFAB and REFCD pins separately improves reference
In shutdown mode, the MAX5253’s REFAB and REFCD
inputs enter a high-impedance state with a typical input
leakage current of 0.01µA.
The reference input capacitance is also code depen-
dent and typically ranges from 20pF with an input code
of all 0s to 100pF with an input code of all 1s.
All MAX5253 DAC outputs are internally buffered by pre-
cision amplifiers with a typical slew rate of 0.6V/µs.
Access to the inverting input of each output amplifier
provides the user greater flexibility in output gain setting/
signal conditioning (see the Applications Information sec-
With a full-scale transition at the MAX5253 output, the
typical settling time to ±1/2LSB is 16µs when loaded
with 5kΩ in parallel with 100pF (loads less than 2kΩ
The MAX5253 output amplifier’s output dynamic
responses and settling performances are shown in the
Typical Operating Characteristics.
The MAX5253 features a software-programmable shut-
down that reduces supply current to a typical value of
3µA. The power-down lockout (PDL) pin must be high to
enable the shutdown mode. Writing 1100XXXXXXXXXXXX
as the input-control word puts the MAX5253 in shutdown
mode (Table 1).
are represented by