I recieved some IN-14 nixie tubes for Christmas, and was hoping to implement them in a project i have been considering for some time. The details are unimportant, except that each nixie tube should have its own discrete pcb and driver. After looking at ICs for some time I found the MAXIM 6966, a LED sink driver with some nifty features (though i would have preferred an I2C interface instead of SPI). It seems perfect for my project (driving a single nixie tube) for the following reasons:
- Tiny 3x3mm QFN package
- Exactly 10 outputs
- Open-drain functionality (output pins either low or Hi-z)
- PWM functionality on outputs
My problem is this... the datasheet says the outputs have up to 7V protection, but i'm not sure if that applies to both Hi-Z and Low output configurations, or just the Low output configuration. With an output set to Hi-Z, the corresponding pin is likely to be biased to a high voltage such as 170V... well above the 7V protection. So that is to say, if the 7V max condition also applies to the Hi-Z pin configuration then I cannot use it.
I hope it will work fine, but I suspect it isn't suitable. Could someone confirm my suspicion before I dismiss this otherwise fantastic IC?
Here is a link to the product page: https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/products/interface/controllers-expanders/MAX6966.html