Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finding STP16DP05 in DIL package

It may have occurred to you to find an interesting device with LEDs, only to realize that it uses components that are obsolete and cannot be sourced anymore (or if they can , they may be prohibitively expensive). Such is the case with STP16DP05 in DIL (dual-in-line) package, used in a few kits by and STP16DP05 is a 16-bit LED sink driver still manufactured in SMD, but obsolete (and impossible to find) in "through-hole".

If you want to build such open-source popular kits as "Meggy Jr RGB" or "Peggy 2", you will have to re-design the board, replacing the DIL package with the SMD. What if you already have the PCB and are constrained to use the DIL version? The immediate solution that comes to mind is to use a breakout board with an SMD. Problem is, I couldn't find a breakout to the "narrow", 0.3", DIL format; they are all 0.6" wide.

So, the only choice I had was to use a replacement DIL for the STP15DP05. The first equivalent I found was  MBI5026. Only after I received the few I bought (on ebay), I realized they have a different distance between pins (in the metric system). Complete write-off, since I have no chance to ever use these. Their complete name is MBI5026GNS. It never crossed my mind that there is a "metric" standard for ICs in DIL package. Well, lesson learned, but problem still there.
Later, I found out that MBI5026 also comes in the "inch" standard as well. Problem solved, finally.

A second choice would be A6278/A6279. They are pin-to-pin compatible with STP16DP05. Actually these are the LED drivers shipped with the "display board kit" from (And this is how I found out about them, by buying that kit.)

This may not be directly applicable to the kit "business", but another lesson I learned is to design a board for multiple packages of the same IC, thus having a bigger selection for the parts.

Conclusion: pin-to-pin equivalents for the DIL version of STP16DP05 are MBI5026 and A6278/A6279. None of them are offered by digikey or mouser (in DIL format), but you may be able to find them on ebay, expecially the MBI5026. Pay attention to what you order though, since MBI5026 comes in 2 different DIL packages. Anyway, new projects designed around STP16DP05 should not rely on the DIP package. (Note: This is the case of ClockTHREE and C3Jr, both of which use STP16DP05 SMD on breakout boards. Smart.)

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