The idea: Use an Arduino-like µC to control a set of CPU fans by control the voltage the CPU fans receive. My question: How can I do this in an easy way?
Yes, I know, there is PWM but this is not very suitable for this purpose: I did some tests with it but it turns out that the characteristics of PWM fans don't suite my purpose: PWM fans are designed to be controlled between not audible and full speed, not between nearly not rotating and full speed. Even very special fans with a wide range of PWM speed control don't work as well as powering a regular 12V fan with just 5 or 6V.
Which brings me to an alternative idea: It should be possible to send an I2C or SPI signal to some kind of IC that then provides a voltage as required.
Alternatively to that there seem to be PWM controlled voltage regulators available. But that doesn't seem to be a very elegant solution, isn't it?
Or is there an even better way of controlling the voltage output to the fans I'm not aware of?
I'm aiming for a solution that works well and can be build with little effort. Unfortunately I don't know how to do that: I can't find any breakouts I could use right away for that purpose. Probably there are some and I just have not been able to find them? Any help is appreciated!