When we designed the wave shield we needed a way to generate a fairly clear audio signal. One way to do that is to PWM a pin and then filter it, but you need to have a good filter, and a fast PWM. Another way to do it is to use a R2R resistor DAC which works well but takes a lot of space. In the end we found this nice 12-bit DAC in a through-hole DIP package. It takes 3-5V and has a easy serial interface. If you ever need a DAC but can’t use a R2R or PWM, this is very easy to breadboard.
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What about the MCP4822, which has a built-in Vref and dual channels? Still fits in an 8-pin DIP, too. I’ve suggested that to a friend who wants to make an X-Y CRT/scope display; the /LDAC pin will allow simultaneous loading of the two DAC channels.