General Purpose DACs

Digital-to-analog converter (DAC) are devices that convert digital signals into an analog output signal for other devices to recognise.


DACs are used most in the audio industry. The digital audio signal (binary code) gets converted into analog signal ready for the next device or headphone amplifier to pick up. Other uses for DACs include use in TV’s (televisions) and smartphones, they typically convert digital video into analog. You can also use DACs in calibration equipment, motor controllers. Potentiometers and data distribution.


Types of Digital to Analog Converter


R-2R Ladder DAC - This DAC is a binary converter that uses a repeating cascaded resistor values R and 2R. Using R-2R improves accuracy.


Switched Capacitor - A switched capacitor includes a parallel capacitor network.


Switched Resistor - Contains a parallel resistor system. Resistors are enabled or bypassed depending on the digital signal.


Switched Current Source - Different current sources are chosen based on the digital signal being input.



DACS in audio-


To be able to listen to MP3 files or CDs you must have a conversion from the digital signal (MP3 files, CDs) into an analog signal for the music to be played through headphones or speakers. Once the signal has been converted it can then be passed onto an amplifier.


When playing games online or using VOIP (voice over IP) you will also need a conversion from digital to analog. You can find a range of our Audio DACs


Things to consider -


  • DACs come with all types of performance specifications, a few to consider are listed below

  • Maximum sample rate - The measurement of which the DAC circuit can operate and still provide a high accuracy reading.

  • Resolution - This would be the number of output levels that the DAC can convert. The measurement is usually ’bits’

  • Dynamic range - The measurement of the highest and lowest decibels the DAC can re-create. the dynamic range is closely related to the resolution.

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