A DAC is a device that converts a digital (discrete) input to an analog (continuous) output. The digital input can be in the form of a serial bit stream or a parallel bus. The analog output can be a voltage, current, or charge, depending on the circuit requirements. The analog output is proportional to the digital input based on a transfer function. For example, an 8-bit voltage DAC would have the following transfer function: Vout = Vref * (Din / 2^n), where Vout is the output voltage, Vref is a reference voltage, Din is the digital input value and n is the resolution of the DAC (8 in this case). There are many DAC architectures available which address various requirements. Some of these architectures include pipelined, sigma-delta, R2R, and current steering. The architecture choice is typically driven by the overall system requirements.
Triad has vast experience in DAC design and can tailor performance to meet specific system requirements whether they consist of high resolution, high speed, low noise or low power.