Mixed Signal/Analog

DACs address Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) technologies

21st March 2019
Mick Elliott

DACx1416 digital-to-analogue converters (DACs) from Texas Instruments (TI) are now being shipped by Mouser Electronics. The DACx1416 are a pin-compatible family of 16-channel, buffered, high-voltage-output DACs with 16-, 14-, or 12-bit resolution. They address the specific requirements of all Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) technologies and biasing topologies, making them suitable for optical networking applications, as well as industrial automation and test and measurement systems.

The DACs provide a holistic and highly optimised solution that requires minimal external components. The devices include a low-drift 2.5V internal reference, eliminating the need for an external precision reference in most applications.

A user-selectable output configuration enables full-scale bipolar output voltages of ±2.5V to ±20V, and full-scale unipolar output voltages from 5V to 40V, with independently programmable output range for each channel.

The integrated DAC output buffers can sink or source up to 25mA, which limits the need for additional operational amplifiers, and each pair of channels can be configured to provide a differential output with offset calibration.

The monotonic DACs provide high linearity of ±1 LSB integral nonlinearity (INL) and feature three dedicated A-B toggle pins that enable dither signal generation with up to three possible frequencies.

Mouser also offers the TI’s DAC81416EVM evaluation module. The DAC81416EVM connects to a PC via the TI USB2ANY interface adaptor, enabling designers to access the onboard DAC81416 device’s SPI programming interface through a graphical user interface (GUI).

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