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Optimizing resistor dividers at a comparator input

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:resistive voltage divider? power fail inputs? supply voltage supervisors?

A resistive voltage divider is commonly used at the input to a comparator to set a threshold voltage for sense inputs and power fail inputs on supply voltage supervisors or low battery inputs on switching regulator devices. The threshold voltage is set by the ratio of the two resistors in the divider. Keeping the ratio constant, there are tradeoffs to consider for selecting the actual resistor values. With higher resistances, the leakage current at the comparator input can affect the threshold voltage accuracy. On the other hand, with lower resistances, the current through the divider is increased. In battery-powered applications, this current can be a significant drain on battery life and run time. This application report discusses several key factors involved with selecting optimally-sized resistors, considering these constraints.

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