Digital Potentiometers

What is a Digital potentiometer?
Digital Potentiometers are a three terminal device, two fixed end terminals and one wiper terminal which is used to vary the resistance.
A Digital potentiometer also known as digipot, is similar to a standard analogue potentiometer, which is a variable resistor except the digital potentiometer has an integrated chip (IC) that accepts a signal input rather than the physical movement of a shaft or slide for adjustment. Potentiometers physically change the resistance value whereas digital potentiometers modify the resistance value via digital inputs rather than a rotary wheel or a slider.
Where might I use one?
Digital potentiometers would be beneficial where environmental factors would impact a mechanical potentiometer in areas where there is vibration, dust, moisture or grease as digital potentiometers are encapsulated they offer better protection, they are also less vunerable to vibration Digital potentiometers are used to calibrate system tolerances or control system parameters.

What are the advantages over a mechanical potentiometer?
Digital potentiometers can be operated in a closed control loop and don’t need physical access to be adjusted. . They offer better stability and reliability and as digital will offer additional functionality, some even have on - chip memory
Applications
• System calibration
• Process control
• Sensor calibration
• Smart actuator
• Voltage margining
• Programmable power supplies
• Volume control

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