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DAC80508ZRTET: A Pin-Compatible Buffered-Voltage-Output Digital-to-Analog Converter

DAC80508ZRTET is a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) with support for the buffered-voltage-output. Manufactured by Texas Instruments, it is the ideal DAC for low-power applications.

Perhaps, one of the most outstanding features is the composition of a 2.5-volt, 5-ppm/˚C internal reference; a composition that eradicates the need for an external precise reference.

The DAC Family

DAC80508ZRTET belongs to the broader DAC80508 family of Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs). This family of DACs is reputed for the optimization for low-power applications.

By this classification, DAC80508ZRTET also offers a balanced power for the DAC outputs via the power-on-reset circuit.

Small Form-Factor

If you are looking for a DAC with the most-minimized real estate, DAC80508ZRTET has to be on the list.

It supports form-factors, through the availability in smaller packages. For one, it is available in the 16-pin WQFN package with a body size of 3.00 mm by 3.00 mm. It is also available in the 16-pin DSBGA small package, with a body size (NOM) of 2.40 mm by 2.40 mm.

The small package optimization makes it ideal for the following applications:

  • Data Acquisition Systems (DAS)
  • Optical networking applications
  • Industrial automation devices
  • Wireless infrastructure

The Low-Power Design

DAC80508ZRTET is one of those Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) with a premium placed on power optimization. The low-power design is based on the use of the low-power 0.6 mA/Channel, which operates at 5.5 volts.

To that end, it offers an integrated power-on-reset circuit, which aids the power up or booting of the DAC, especially in the absence of midscale or zero scale. In that light, you can rely on it to maintain the base outputs of the DAC, and hold the same until a valid code is written to the target device or application.

The low-power channel is just a tip of how it is low-powered. The other aesthetics include the per-channel power-down function. This function is responsible for reducing the device’s power consumption to the barest minimum of 15 µA.

The operation of the 0.6 mA per channel is also a great customization that makes DAC80508ZRTET an ideal DAC for the battery-operated devices or applications.

DAC80508ZRTET Uses an Internal Reference

DAC80508ZRTET’s internal reference paves the way for the DAC to expunge the need for external, precision interfaces.

At the core of the internal reference’s functionality is the low drift operation with a typical 2 ppm/˚C. It also features an initial accuracy of ±5 mV maximum.

Flexible Interfaces

The flexibility of an Integrated Circuit (IC)’s interfaces can make or mar the functionalities. DAC80508ZRTET’s interfaces are flexible as they allow for the customization and or further optimization of the DAC.

The flexible interfaces enable the operation or functioning of the DAC, as per the industry-standards for both Microcontrollers and Microprocessors.

To get an idea of the customization, its serial interface operates up to 50 Megahertz (MHz) of clock rates and a serial interface operation of 5.5 volts (maximum) via the VIO pin.

The flexibility of the peripherals is not limited to the interfaces, as DAC80508ZRTET is flexible with the output configurations. The configurations here include:

  • A clear output function
  • User Selectable Gain of ½, 1 and 2.
  • The DAC80508ZRTET DAC can be reset to either the midscale or the zero scales.

The Benefits of DAC80508ZRTET’s DAC

Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) pave the way for the conversion of transmission of a digital data or signal to a corresponding audio signal or data. Ordinarily, a digital data cannot take the place of an audio data because the two aren’t the same – and vice-versa.

Through the Digital-to-Audio Converter (DAC), it becomes possible to convert or make a digital data stream into an analog audio signal or data stream.

Here are some of the benefits to leveraging DAC80508ZRTET’s DAC:

1. Limited Noise

DAC80508ZRTET’s DAC doesn’t generate much noise because of the thermal noise design created by the passive components, including resistors.

The thermal noise design makes DAC80508ZRTET’s operation seamless, as it can potentially cut down the noise to less than 21 bits. From the information in the datasheet, the noise level is rated as 16-bits.

2. The Buffered-Voltage-Output Design

DAC80508ZRTET’s buffered-voltage is based on the Digital Buffer, which Wikipedia describes as an “electronic circuit element used to isolate an input from an output.”

The isolation keeps the different elements (input and output) independent and fully operation. Wikipedia also confirms that the digital buffer doesn’t necessarily have to make changes to the original state of the input and the output, because it allows the two to work in isolation without attenuation or amplification.

The buffered-voltage-output design in the DAC80508ZRTET is ideal for increasing the DAC’s maximum output range from 0 V to VDD.

In addition to the load-driving potential of up to 2 kΩ, the buffered-voltage-output also makes the driven load to be parallel to the 10 nF to Ground (GND).

3. DAC80508ZRTET Supports Wide Operation

Not all DACs support a broader operation, but there is an exception with DAC80508ZRTET. It supports a wide range of operations, including an operating temperature up to 125˚C.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a (DAC80508ZRTET) DAC

With the several functions it performs, it is not a doubt that DAC80508ZRTET is one of the best Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) to buy.

But it is not better to make the buying decision based on assumptions. Here are some of the factors that are worth considering to influence that decision:

What is the Dynamic Range?

A DAC’s dynamic range is the distance or the difference between the smallest and the largest signals received by the converter. The shorter the distance or the difference, the better.


Also called the “noise level” the resolution of a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) infers to the output noise production level(s).

Already, we mentioned that DAC80508ZRTET’s resolution or noise level is 16-bits, as the output levels of the noise is represented in specific numbers of bits.

Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise

The acronym for this is THD+N. It also has to do with the (output) noise levels, only that this time, the focus is on the measurement of both the noise and distortion created by the Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC).


The best way to choose a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) is by checking the functions and some of the integral properties. That way, you are better informed on how the DAC works.

Although the DAC80508ZRTET has a lower or limited use case, it makes up for that with the improved architecture and the support for multiple peripherals and interfaces.

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