I am considering using Pololu's P-Star 25K50 dev board for some simple LiPo cell testers.
This board is a complete system with on-board voltage regulator, USB micro-B jack and the Microchip PIC 18F25K50 microcontroller. Most of the pins on the controller are brought out to pads along the edge of the board.
Because this board offers USB connectivity, I am considering using USB to power the board. That means that the controller Vdd might be in the range of 4.8V to about 5V. Total system current is expected to be only 1mA or so above the current consumed by the micro.
Because I want to measure single LiPo cells, I need the analog inputs to be able to handle input voltages of somewhat more than 4.2V. The micro has several available analog-capable channels multiplexed into a single 10-bit A/D converter.
I'd like to use an external 5.12V reference that feeds the A/D converter's (+) Reference input. This will give me nice, human-readable voltages with 5.0mV resolution.
With previous projects (not involving USB), I simply powered the entire microcontroller from a buffered copy of the 5.12V reference, then fed the reference itself into the A/D (+) Reference input. That's not as easy with this board.
I'm wondering if it is possible to power the micro from about 5V but have the A/D (+) Reference sitting about 120mV above that rail - and have the A/D converter function correctly.
The datasheet (DS30000684B) is completely lacking this information - there is no guidance as to the limits on the reference voltage other than to say that the voltage on any pin should not be higher than 0.6V above Vdd.