AN183: ISL95311 VCOM Applications

ISL95311 VCOM Applications
Application Note
The ISL95311 device contains a 3-terminal digital
potentiometer and control section. All three terminals are
utilitized when the device is used in voltage divider mode. If
the wiper (Vw terminal) is connected to either the Vh or VL
terminals, then the device is used in rheostat mode and is
effective for current control. These two configurations can be
used with opamps and comparators to implement a variety
of control and signal processing circuits.
May 10, 2005
VCOM Circuits
LCD TFT panels need to have a common voltage supplied to
their backplane. This signal is generally referred to as the
VCOM voltage and is typically set to half the main bias
voltage, with some offset compensation required. The
ISL95311 provides 128-step resolution for VCOM voltage
adjustment as just a simple voltage divider. Note that the
maximum potentiometer pin voltage of the device is
determined by the bias on the V+ pin, and is specified to be a
maximum of +13.5V. The ISL95311 can handle higher LCD
bias voltages by using series resistors on the Vh and VL pins.
The loading of a VCOM input is very capacitive, with
dynamic changes in loading as pixels change, and therefore
requires buffering of the potentiometer wiper voltage. An
opamp is configured as a unity gain buffer and placed
between the wiper output and the VCOM input. The resulting
control circuit is shown in Figure 2.
The EL5111 amplifier is chosen for this application as it is
designed for VCOM load driving with high slew rate, fast
settling, and high output drive. It has rail-rail outputs and
handles a maximum supply voltage of 16.5V. The ISL95311
uses Vcc = 5V and V+ = 12V. R1, R2 and Rtotal (the
potentiometer resistance) control the range and resolution of
adjustment for VCOM. The ISL95311 has 128 total settings
(n), yielding 127 steps of adjustment (n–1), so the equation
for resolution will be:
Resolution = [V(RH) – V(RL)] / (n–1)
V(RH) – V(RL) = AVDD • [Rtotal / (R1+R2+Rtotal)]
Resolution = AVDD • Rtotal / [(n–1) • (R1+R2+Rtotal)]
CAUTION: These devices are sensitive to electrostatic discharge; follow proper IC Handling Procedures.
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Appliaction Note 183
Since VCOM is normally targeted at 1/2 the AVDD voltage,
we usually center the adjustment range by setting R1 = R2.
The values for R1 and R2 can be calculated using the
equations and design targets, but the most expeditious
method is to pick initial values which would yield
approximately the range desired.
If significant noise or switching transients are expected on the
AVDD line, it is especially easy to add filtering to the circuit of
Figure 2. A capacitor should be added from the noninverting
input of the EL5111 to ground. Note the 3dB frequency for the
filter will vary with the tap position of the potentiometer, but an
equation for the maximum f3dB (given R1 = R2) is:
AVDD = +15V
F3dB(max) = 1 / (2π • R1 • C)
Rtotal = 10kΩ (50kΩ can also be used, and R1, R2
increased in value).
For C = 0.1µF in our example above, this yields a 3dB
frequency of about 64Hz, and response will be down 24dB at
We would like an adjustment range of about 10% of the
AVDD value, so R1 = R2 = 50kΩ. The resulting resolution
will be:
Resolution= 15V • 10 / [(127 • (50+50+10)]
= 10.7mV per step
If higher resolution (smaller step sizes) are desired, then R1
and R2 can be increased appropriately. Also, since the
maximum recommended value for V(VH) = +12V, we need
to check to make sure we have not exceeded this value.
V(RH)= AVDD • [(R2+Rtotal) / R1+R2+Rtotal)]
= +15V • (50 +10) / [(50+50+10)]
= +8.18V
Design Considerations
The ISL95311 uses 2-wire serial interface control to adjust
the wiper position and store the desired value in nonvolatile
memory. No programming voltage is required to perform
the nonvolatile storage. See the ISL95311 data sheet for
details on correct serial interface operation. Note that Vcc
for the ISL95311 can be as low as 2.7V, as long as the logic
and interface pins use that voltage. The V+ bias for the
ISL95311 should be chosen so that it will be greater than or
equal to the potentiometer pin voltages under all
conditions. There is very little current drawn by the V+ input
(<2µA), so it is possible to use a resistor divider to supply
current to this input if care is taken in choosing resistor
values (10kΩ minimum resistance recommended).
The EL5111 is a high speed device, so proper supply
decoupling and layout are required, as well as proper
consideration of the capacitive load in the application. See
that device data sheet for more details.
Intersil Corporation reserves the right to make changes in circuit design, software and/or specifications at any time without notice. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned to
verify that the Application Note or Technical Brief is current before proceeding.
For information regarding Intersil Corporation and its products, see
May 10, 2005
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