The digital potentiometer is a variable resistor controlled by digital signal. The digital potentiometer uses digital signals as compared to mechanical movements in normal potentiometer. This is mostly done with the help of resistive ladder, a number of resistors connected in series. This digital resistor is controlled with the help of up and down signals or by protocols such as I²C or SPI. Digital potentiometers are integrated circuits that comes in different variants such as volatile memory and non-volatile memories. The digital potentiometer is a mixed type of signal device.
The analog part of the device consists of three terminal component called as potentiometer. The digital part of the potentiometer consists of registers, interface and controls with the potentiometer. Most of the digital potentiometers are controlled by the serial bus. However, some of the potentiometers are designed to be controlled with the help of control logic and front panel switches. To design a digital potentiometer IC parameters are to be considered. They can be listed as limited voltage pins on the digital potentiometer, linearity, differential and integral, temperature coefficients, isolation resistance, noise and potentiometer capacitances.
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The digital potentiometer offers benefits such as temperature extremes, freedom from shock or vibration, and the ability to withstand oil, dust, and moisture over a mechanical potentiometer. The major advantage of the digital potentiometer is that they can be controlled in a closed loop. The digital potentiometers are superior to mechanical potentiometer in terms of programming, digitally controlled, reliability, fast and light weight.
The major parameters that drives the growth of the digital potentiometer IC market are the compact size and multiple potentiometer can be integrated on a single IC with up to 6 channels. One of the major factor that restricts the digital potentiometer IC is the current limit. However, due to the availability of the potentiometer with a tolerance of 1%, the growth of the digital potentiometers is anticipated.
The global digital potentiometer IC market is segmented into type, memory, application, end use, and geography. On the basis of types, the digital potentiometer IC market is segmented into 5 bits, 6 bits, 7 bits, 8 bits and 10 bits. Based on the memory, the global digital potentiometer IC is further segmented into volatile memory and non-volatile memory. Based on the application, the global digital potentiometer IC market is segmented into volume control and panning, automatic gain control, power supply adjustment, LCD contrast control, programmable filters, wheatstone meter bridge, digital to analog converters and others. On the basis of the end use, the digital potentiometer IC market is further segmented into instrumentation, communication, home appliances, automotive products and others.
Geographically, global feeder cable market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific and South America. Asia Pacific has significant market share in digital potentiometer IC market due to the growing technological growth in the region, the significant presence of the key market players, and due to the emerging economies such as China India and Japan followed by North America.
Worldwide the market for digital potentiometer IC is extremely competing and varied due to the presence of a number of regional and international manufacturers. Some of the key players operating in the global digital potentiometer IC market are Parallax Inc, Microchip Technology Inc, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Texas Instruments, Freescale semiconductor, Maxim Integrated, ON Semiconductor, Analog Device, and Vsi Electronics Pvt Ltd. among others.