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Part Number: MAX232E
I am trying to understand the difference between the MAX232ECDR and MAX232CDR. Specs look to be the same. Is there also a part that is more available as well? We would like to make sure we have the more available version on our spec as we work to clean it up.
The "E" in this case stands for ESD. The MAX232E is rated to support level 4 IEC 61000-4-2 ESD requirements (i.e., 8 kV contact discharge and 15 kV air discharge) without requiring external protection components like TVS diodes. Besides that, the performance should be very similar between the two part numbers.
There isn't a significant difference between them with respect to availability, either, so I would recommend just choosing whichever part suits your requirements the best. (Personally I'd go with the higher ESD part given that the RS-232 signals likely route to an external port which could be subject to unknown stresses.)
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