Your favorite ICs

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Hello all

I was just thinking to make a thread where those interested might add a post with their 3 most favourite ICs and a short description of what they do.
The reason you ask? Well partly because I'm curious, but most of all because its nice to know what everybody else uses - Maybe I can save some work or money in the future, or implement new features in my applications.
Anyway, fire at will 8)
Note: Since we all have the AVR at the top of the list anyway, let's skip those for now..

My top 3:

4511: BCD-to-7 segment driver. Because I use incredible amounts of displays, this is probably one of the most used ICs at all for me. Its cheap and easy as *ell to interface. All I need for this IC is that it comes with integrated current-limiting resistors for the display.

FT232: This little chip from FTDI allows me to interface to my PC via simulated serial on the USB (directly from the UART on the uCPU). This is good partly because its easy to use, but mainly because I don't have a living clue how to make a proper USB-interface or how the USB protocol works. Excellent peripheral for USB-n00bs just like me :D

74HC164: Serial-in, parallel-out chip. This way I can light up sequences of LEDs or address an infinite number of peripherals with just three pins on the uCPU (Yir!).

What are your favorites?

- Marty

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MAX232 helped me many times. Aside from the boring old RS232 level convertion, it gave me +10V and -10V when I needed it (powering an opamp in an experiment).

LF50 is a good and useful and relatively cheap and avialable voltage regulator. 500mA. Overcurrent protection and all sorts of other merrits make it one of my favorites.

And the good old 555 and its mutations.

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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Atmel ATF150x CPLD's I can create just about any logic ic's I need and connect them internally. Saves board space, and if there is the need for field changes, the ISP is a godsend

XR-2206 Function generator on a chip. Can oscillate up to 5mhz with some coaxing. Gives sine/square/sync. Use the right components and it can talk to a micro

LM567 Tone decoder - Great simple chip that is very handy for simple signaling since it does not care if the signal is a sine or squarewave. A great little IC

Jim

I must look into that FT232...sounds cool

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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Altera EPM3XXX CPLD with free Quartus software,
ad9834 function generator up to 25 mHz sin/saw/square
lm1117 for power supplay - 800mA Low-Dropout Linear Regulator
ad8065 jfet OP
ad8551 OP chopper
ADuM524x1 dual-channel digital isolators with isoPower integrated, isolated power.
ads1242 24bit ADC
Ft232rl

Alexander

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BTS7960BT - Drives motors with a PWM input. Beauty is that when input is low, it does dynamic braking. Very nice, but hard to find.
AD595 - With a 15V supply, I can measure temperatures up to about 1300 degrees C. Necessary for my job.
LT1176CN8-5 - Switching 5V buck converter that I use in almost every design to bring 5V to my micro.

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OK, as a beginner I would have to say:

Max233 - /* because I like not having to use caps!*/

ld1117 - /*puny package with good output!! same as Alex above*/

And...the KATKBD which is actually for sale at www.K1EL.com from Steven Elliot! This is a 8bit PIC micro (sorry) containing Steven's keyboard driver program that supports all the latest AT keyboard and extended keys!! It is so groovy and works flawlessly...whenever I want to import ASCII into an AVR I order one of these from Steven...$6!!

John

Just some guy

Last Edited: Tue. Aug 14, 2007 - 12:47 AM
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One of my top three would be the AD8555 Digitally Programmable Sensor Signal Zero-Drift Amplifier. Great for interfacing to bridge sensors. Instead of permanently blowing the fuses, I use simulation mode, connecting an AVR output port pin to the DIGIN input which allows control of the 1st and 2nd stage gains and output offset on the fly.

Tom

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74HCU04 or 74LVCU04 - Unbuffered CMOS inverters. A simple way to build a crystal oscillator or otherwise use them in linear mode.

MAS9116 volume control chip.

74HC4066 analog mux.

- Jani

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Thats a hard call. There are so many that I have used over the years, and had considerable fun with, in a learning sort of way.

LF351 (TL074); Really reliable FET Op amp down to low voltage supplies.
LM3914; I have used it for so many things, audio level monitoring, battery levels, temperature trips.
LM317: Not so much these days but it was so useful, my main use was as a current limiter, must have saved me many times from letting the smoke out!

Roy

73's
Roy
VK5ASY

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Update: Just though about some other ones (sorry for breaking the rules) ;-) :
ULN2803A: 8x grounding transistor, only connect to logic and you can drive any 8 coils (relays, stepper motors...). And comes in DIP and is cheap!
L293D: Small HBridge. Actually contains 4 semibridges.
90S2313: Here my fun started...

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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TPIC2802 8 channel 1A spi driver
WTS701 text to speech synthesiser
LM324 !!!

Darren

----------------------------------------------------
Those whom the gods wish to destroy
they must first teach to use c
----------------------------------------------------

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XCR3064XL 64-macrocell CPLD, good to 250MHz with care
LMH6643 fast opamp with high output current
LP2951 voltage regulator good enough to be used as reference
LT3470 suitably simple buck with 'no' quiescent current
AD7793 almost perfect 24 bit converter
and
ADuM1401 4 isolators in a pack, good for providing ~2kV galvanic isolation between the ICE and the target.

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Great thread!!!!
Without experience it's hard to choose between similar parts. I hope more folks will see it and add their favorites too.
Thanks Malmkvist and all for sharing your wisdom,
John

PS:
My favorites are AVR's! :wink:

Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!

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I just remembered a couple more:

Texas instruments 75176 rs485 tranciever. And all the knockoffs thereafter

SSM2013 voltage controlled amplifier

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user