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Almost 30 years of the MAX232

max220, max232, max232a pin configuration and typical operating circuit

By Len Sherman, Maxim Integrated Technical Fellow

It has been close to 30 years since Maxim Integrated introduced the MAX232, a single 5V powered RS-232 line driver and receiver. First sold in February 1988, the MAX232 skillfully married two seemingly unrelated functions, power and interface, and marked the beginning of a different way of thinking about what “analog” ICs can do. That thinking has taken on an even larger and more complex scale with the mixed-signal devices we see today.


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