I use to buy the Motorola MCP42050 which is a dual 50k digital pot with I2C interface, but it seems like that chip isn't in wide circulation anymore as I can't find them at the price break I use to get them at. Not even close ...
So I'm wondering if anyone out there who is into digital pots might know which chip / manufacturer / vendor is the current favorite in this realm?
You don't understand how to source parts!
"current favorite"? How is that of any use? Whose favorite? Why should that be useful to you?
You have a set of requirements, and on top of that a wish list of desirable extra features perhaps.
Probably requirements include min number of steps, supply voltage, package size.
So you have to search from available parts with those criteria. All the major electronics stockists
have search tools on their websites to help with this. You'll be able to exclude "not for new designs"
parts so you don't end up picking an end-of-life device.
Step 1: Identify the hard requirements
Step 2: Figure out the relative importance of the "good to have" features (which will always
Step 3: go searching, find some candidates and evaluate them. Popular devices tend to have lower prices
so you are likely to pick a popular part unless your requirements are unusual.