Frequently Asked Question
What is the maximum current I can force into the digital potentiometer?
The maximum current is limited by 3 boundaries at a given resistance setting. They are the terminal voltage range limit, the power dissipation, and the maximum current handling capabilities of the internal switches. Voltage limitation is the dominant factor in most settings. 1 kΩ and 10 kΩ settings yield 5.5mA and 0.55mA maximum respectively for 5V digipots. Maximum power dissipation becomes a factor at low resistance values. At zero scale with a minimum wiper resistance, 20mA is the max allowable pulse current limit imposed by the switches. There are Imax vs. Code graphs shown in the new product datasheets.