Microchip logo
  • All
  • Products
  • Documents
  • Applications Notes

Digital-to-Analog Converter

What is a Digital-to-Analog Converter?

A Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) is an integrated analog peripheral that provides a variable voltage reference that is ratio metric with an input source. DACs are defined by their bit resolution, which indicates how many selectable voltage levels are possible between the positive and negative voltage sources. For example, a 10-bit DAC will provide 210 or 1024 possible voltage levels. Source voltages can be selected for VDD device power, the internal configurable voltage reference or from the external VREF pins.

Why Use an On-Chip DAC?

8-bit PIC® and AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) integrating an on-chip DAC reduce external component count, noise and application size while providing an accurate voltage source for on-chip peripherals that can be scaled dynamically by the CPU as system parameters change. The output of the DAC is also often available on an output pin. Options for on-chip buffering are available on select MCUs to also reduce the number external components needed.

We provide a wide range of DAC options and bit resolutions for 8-bit PIC and AVR devices. Please refer to the individual device data sheets for available options.

Digital to Analog Converter Block Diagram