Voltage References

Voltage references are electronic devices that provide a fixed output voltage. They provide a constant voltage regardless of external factors. This includes the load on the device, temperature or fluctuations in the power supply. Learn more in our Complete Guide to Voltage References.

Voltage references have different characteristics depending on their purpose. Voltage references used in laboratory applications are designed to have extremely high precision and accuracy, whereas those used as regulators for computer power supplies are much cheaper but less precise.

There are many different kinds of voltage references, generally categorised by type, tolerance, rated voltage, reference voltage and rated current. The most common tolerances are ±2%, ±1% and ±0.5%, but voltage references are available even up to ±40%.

Voltage reference ICs come in a standard semiconductor package, such as PDIP, SO, SOIC and SOT-23. The pin count may also be combined with the package type, for example SO-8.

Types of voltage references

  • Two-terminal shunt voltage reference
  • Three-terminal series voltage reference
  • Band-gap voltage reference
  • Low noise voltage reference
  • Micropower voltage reference

What are voltage references used for?

Voltage references can be used for a variety of different precision measurement and control systems such as power supplies in personal computers and analogue-to-digital converters. They are also used in scientific applications and in medical equipment where voltage variations need to be tested regularly. Voltage references are also used in battery-powered devices.


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Description Price Nominal Voltage Package Type Reference Type Initial Accuracy Mounting Type Topology Maximum Output Current Maximum Input Voltage Minimum Output Voltage Maximum Output Voltage Pin Count Line Regulation Load Regulation Dimensions
RS Stock No. 398-859
Mfr. Part No.TS431ACX RFG
£0.042
Each (In a Pack of 50)
Units
2.5 - 36V SOT-23 Adjustable 1% Surface Mount Shunt 100mA 37 V 2.495 V 36 V 3 - - 3.05 x 1.4 x 0.95mm
RS Stock No. 169-8956
Mfr. Part No.TS431ACX RFG
£0.041
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
Units
2.5 - 36V SOT-23 Adjustable 1% Surface Mount Shunt 100mA 37 V 2.495 V 36 V 3 - - 3.05 x 1.4 x 0.95mm
RS Stock No. 398-849
Mfr. Part No.TS431BCX RFG
£0.281
Each (In a Pack of 50)
Units
2.5 - 36V SOT-23 Adjustable 0.5% Surface Mount Shunt 100mA 37 V 2.495 V 36 V 3 - - 3.05 x 1.4 x 0.95mm
RS Stock No. 169-8955
Mfr. Part No.TS431BCX RFG
£0.078
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
Units
2.5 - 36V SOT-23 Adjustable 0.5% Surface Mount Shunt 100mA 37 V 2.495 V 36 V 3 - - 3.05 x 1.4 x 0.95mm