ULN2803ADW: DarlingtonTransistor Arrays

ULN2803ADW: DarlingtonTransistor Arrays

The ULN2803A device is a 50 V, 500 mA Darlington transistor array. The device consists of eight NPN Darlington pairs that feature high-voltage outputs with common-cathode clamp diodes for switching inductive loads. The collector-current rating of each Darlington pair is 500 mA. The Darlington pairs may be connected in parallel for higher current capability.
Applications include relay drivers, hammer drivers, lamp drivers, display drivers (LED and gas discharge), line drivers, and logic buffers. The ULN2803A device has a 2.7-kΩ series base resistor for each Darlington pair for operation directly with TTL or 5-V CMOS devices.
Each channel of ULN2803A consists of Darlington connected NPN transistors. This connection creates the effect of a single transistor with a very-high current gain. The very high β allows for high output current drive with a very-low input current, essentially equating to operation with low GPIO voltages.
The GPIO voltage is converted to base current through the 2.7-kΩ resistor connected between the input and base of the predriver Darlington NPN.
The diodes connected between the output and COM pin are used to suppress the kick-back voltage from an inductive load that is excited when the NPN drivers are turned off (stop sinking) and the stored energy in the coils causes a reverse current to flow into the coil supply through the kick-back diode.
In normal operation, the diodes on base and collector pins to emitter will be reverse biased. If these diode are forward biased, internal parasitic NPN transistors will draw (a nearly equal) current from other (nearby) device pins.



  • 500-mA-Rated Collector Current (Single Output)
  • High-Voltage Outputs: 50 V
  • Output Clamp Diodes
  • Inputs Compatible With Various Types of Logic


  • Relay Drivers
  • Hammer Drivers
  • Lamp Drivers
  • Display Drivers (LED and Gas Discharge)
  • Line Drivers
  • Logic Buffers
  • Stepper Motors
  • IP Camera
  • HVAC Valve and LED Dot Matrix



This standard device has proven ubiquity and versatility across a wide range of applications. This is due to its integration of 8 Darlington transistors that are capable of sinking up to 500 mA and wide GPIO range capability.
The ULN2803A is comprised of eight high voltage, high current NPN Darlington transistor pairs. All units feature a common emitter and open collector outputs. To maximize their effectiveness, these units contain suppression diodes for inductive loads. The ULN2803A has a series base resistor to each Darlington pair, thus allowing operation directly with TTL or CMOS operating at supply voltages of 5 V or 3.3 V. The ULN2803A offers solutions to a great many interface needs, including solenoids, relays, lamps, small motors, and LEDs. Applications requiring sink currents beyond the capability of a single output may be accommodated by paralleling the outputs.

Precautions for Using

This IC does not integrate protection circuits such as overcurrent and overvoltage protectors.
Thus, if excess current or voltage is applied to the IC, the IC may be damaged. Please design the IC so that excess current or voltage will not be applied to the IC.
Utmost care is necessary in the design of the output line, COMMON and GND line since IC may be destroyed due to short−circuit between outputs, air contamination fault, or fault by improper grounding. 

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