AN OPTOCOUPLER ALTERNATIVE iCoupler® Digital Isolator Technology

Optocouplers are slow, power hungry, difficult to integrate with other functions and degrade over time. By contrast, iCoupler digital isolators offer an alternative to optocouplers by combining high bandwidth on-chip transformers and fine scale CMOS circuitry that improve reliability, size, power, speed, timing accuracy, and ease of use for designers.

iCoupler technology was created a decade ago to address the limitations of optocouplers. ADI’s digital isolators use low-stress, thick-film polyimide insulation to achieve thousands of volts of isolation that can be monolithically integrated with standard silicon ICs and can be fabricated in single-channel, multi-channel, and bidirectional configurations. These alternatives to standard optocouplers can also be embedded with other data acquisition, communications and control ICs so designers can devote their time to improving system functionality rather than worrying about isolation.

Anatomy of a Digital Isolator

Why Digital Isolators?

4x improvement in data rate and timing specifications
Integrates multiple isolation channels with other functions to reduce size and cost
Operates at power levels up to 90% lower than optocouplers
Minimizes external components needed to connect to other digital devices
Increases reliability by eliminating LEDs used in optocouplers
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