App note: Interfacing 3V and 5V applications


Another app note from NXP/Phillips Semiconductor on I/O voltage level shifting.

Many reasons exist to introduce 3V systems, notably the lower power consumption for mobile applications and the introduction of parts that use technologies with such fine geometries that 5V is simply not allowed any more.
The introduction of the 3V standard as supply voltage has resulted in many design activities for digital systems. Very often, however, there is a gradual transition from 5V to 3V, since not always are all required components available, or the system is rather complex so that 3V is introduced in part of a system. As an example, customers wish to use an existing and proven CPU, while a new, more complex ASIC with added features can only be made with 3V. Or vice versa!
With the introduction of new standards such as 2.2-2.7V or even 1.7V we expect that interfacing between systems that use different supply voltages will be an actual issue for many years to come. This application note specifically addresses the interfacing between 3V and 5V systems, but the results can be applied for interfacing between other voltage levels as well.
We will discuss how one can ensure reliable information exchange and how to prevent current flow between both supply voltages when interfacing logic with memories, ASICs, PLDs and microprocessors at different supply voltages.

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    1. LOL, couldn’t agree more. Still I find myself stuck interfacing pesky 5volt stuff more than I like. Just like I find myself kicking CSS around to cater to IE6 way more often than I like (in 2014 no less!).

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