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    • Reference Design for 4-20 mA Low Power, 14-Bit, Process Control Current Loop Transmitter
    • Reference Design for 4-20 mA Low Power, 14-Bit, Process Control Current Loop Transmitter


    The EVAL-CN0179-PMDZ evaluation board circuit is a 4 mA-to-20 mA current loop transmitter for communication between a process control system and its actuator. Besides being cost effective, this circuit offers the industry’s low power solution. The 4 mA-to-20 mA current loop has been used extensively in programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and distributed control systems (DCS’s), with digital or analog inputs and outputs. Current loop interfaces are usually preferred because they offer the most cost effective approach to long distance noise immune data transmission.

    The combination of the low power AD8657 dual op amp, AD5641DAC, and ADR02 reference allows more power budget for higher power devices, such as microcontrollers and digital isolators. The circuit output is 0 mA to 20 mA of current, and it operates on a single supply from 8 V to 18 V. The 4 mA to 20 mA range is usually mapped to represent the input control range from the DAC or micro-controller, while the output current range of 0 mA to 4 mA is often used to diagnose fault conditions.

    The 14-bit, 5 V AD5641 requires 75 μA typical supply current. The AD8657 is a rail-to-rail input/output dual op amp and is one of the lowest power amplifiers currently available in the industry (22 μA per amplifier over the full supply voltage and input common-mode range) with high operating voltage of up to 18 V. The ADR02 ultracompact precision 5 V voltage reference requires only 650 μA. Together, these three devices consume a typical supply current of 747 μA. The circuit has a 12-pin Pmod™ digital interface (Digilent specification).

    The EVAL-CN0179-PMDZ circuit board uses the EVAL-SDP-CB1Z system demonstration platform (SDP) evaluation board and the SDP-PMD-IB1Z, a Pmod interposer board for the EVAL-SDP-CB1Z. The SDP and the SDP-PMD-IB1Z boards have 120-pin mating connectors, allowing the quick setup and evaluation of the circuit’s performance. In order to evaluate the EVAL-CN0179-PMDZ board using the SDP-PMD-IB1Z and the SDP, the EVAL-CN0179-PMDZ is connected to the SDP-PMD-IB1Z by a standard 100 mil-spaced, 25 mil square, right angle 12 pin-Pmod header connector.

    Key Applications: Programmable Logic Controllers/ Distributed Control Systems, Field Instruments/ Smart Transmitters


    • Low power 4-20 mA current loop
    • 12-, 14- or 16-bit digital control
    • Use in programmable logic controllers

    Ships With

    • EVAL-CN0179-PMDZ evaluation Board

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