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Architecture optimization for energy-efficient resolution-scalable 8-12-bit SAR ADCs

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Low power analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) in energy constrained devices, such as wireless sensor readout modules, often target dynamic resolution scalability with application context to reduce the average power consumption. This work implements such an 8–12-bit resolution scalable ADC, using an oversampling and noise-shaping successive approximating register (SAR) architecture. This architecture is selected for its high power efficiency after a detailed comparison of various resolution enhancing techniques within the SAR framework. Specifically, in this paper, three resolution enhancing techniques are reviewed and compared on their energy usage namely: the majority voting, the oversampling, and the oversampling with noise shaping SAR ADC. Furthermore, the proposed resolution scalable ADC simplifies the design of the noise shaping filter by enabling the use of a first order switched-capacitor low-pass filter for shaping the comparator noise and the in-band quantization noise. The ADC design also alleviates the matching concerns by using only an 8-bit capacitive digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a maximum 12-bit resolution, or 11-bit effective number of bits (ENOB). The architecture can be configured to allow an operation from 8-bit traditional SAR ADC up to an 11-bit ADC by enabling the oversampling and noise shaping loops within the SAR architecture. This ADC is designed to operate with up to 320 kS/s and achieves a power scaling from 80 nW to 1.5 μ W, resulting in an steeper energy-ENOB scaling trend compared to state-of-the art resolution scalable ADCs.
Journal: Analog Integrated Circuits & Signal Processing
ISSN: 0925-1030
Issue: 3
Volume: 97
Pages: 437 - 448
Number of pages: 12
Publication year:2018
Keywords:Computer science/information technology, Electrical & electronic engineering