PC/CP320: Physical Computing

Data Sheets

Different manufacturers prepare data sheets slightly differently, but the same types of information are found in all of them. In some form, most data sheets should contain the following information:


What the device is


How this device differs from other similar ones, by this manufacturer or others

Pin Configuration

How electrical connections are made to the chip

Internal Schematic

Functionally, how the inside appears (Physical appearance may be nothing like it.)

Absolute Maximum Ratings

Limits of conditions under which the device can survive. (It may only function correctly over a much smaller range of conditions.)

Recommended Operating Conditions

Limits of conditions under which the device can function correctly.

If this type of section doesn't seem to exist, look for "test conditions" throughout the datasheet. The test conditions are probably normal (i.e. recommended) operating conditions.

Electrical Characteristics

Parameters for use when the chip is operating within normal limits.

Sample Circuits

Examples of how the device might be hooked up in a circuit. Extremely useful.


To view pdf documents, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader .
get Acrobat Reader
If you need to update a browser, you might try Firefox which is Get Firefox!
Since this page uses cascading style sheets for its layout, it will look best with a browser which supports the specifications as fully as possible.

If you are looking for an office package, with a word processor, spreadsheet, etc., you might try LibreOffice which is Get LibreOffice!

Go to the main page for the Department of Physics and Computer Science.

Valid XHTML 1.1

Valid CSS!

(Level AA)

Wilfrid Laurier University