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Buy One Get Three Free - Making Four VDAC8s from One | Cypress Semiconductor

Buy One Get Three Free - Making Four VDAC8s from One

In the recent FAE Conference held in the 3rd week of May 2010, I had a chance to attend a session on “Analog Signal Chain” taken by our Analog experts Dennis and Mark. They showed some really cool tricks using the PSoC3 analog. Some of this stuff was really amazing.

In a couple of my earlier posts, I had talked about doing higher resolution DACs using Parallel DACs and Dithering. This time, Mark showed us the trick to create four DAC outputs using a single DAC, the SC/CT blocks, an LUT and the DMA.


The four SC/CT blocks are configured as Track and Hold circuits whose inputs are connected to the VDAC8.  A four byte array in the RAM holds the values for the four DAC outputs. The DMA reads from this four byte array and writes to the DAC in sequence. An LUT component generates the trigger for the DMA and the Track and Hold circuits. The sequence goes like this.

DMA updates VDAC with the first value, LUT generates the strobe for the TrackAndHold1 and the output of the DAC is held on output1.
The LUT generates a trigger to the DMA which updates DAC with the second value. LUT generates a trigger to TrackAndHold2 and Output2 now has the 2nd DAC value.
This repeats for all the four DAC values and the cycle continues.

The refresh rate is chosen fast enough such that there is very little droop in the TrackAndHold outputs. Also, there is no CPU overhead as everything is taken care of by the DMA. The only overhead for the CPU is to update the RAM array with the desired DAC value. As the TrackAndHold has low output impedance, there is no need to buffer the outputs.

Coming soon is an Application Note on this cool trick.

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