Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2010 Research Summary

Low Power Pipelined ADC Utilizing Passive Inter-stage Gain

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Yida Duan, Bernhard Boser and Elad Alon

Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center

To meet demands for mobile electronic, power has become limiting factor for most ADC design. In pipelined ADC structure, inter-stage gain circuits are the most power hungry building block. Conventionally, Inter-stage gain circuits are implemented using feedback an OTA with a less-than-1 feedback factor (i.e. 1/2 to 1/3). This approach is costly because these OTAs drive not only the load capacitors, but also the sampling and feedback capacitors. As a result, the power consumption of these amplifiers is a feedback factor (i.e., 2 to 3X) worse than their counterparts in unity gain feedback configuration. The current state-of-art pipelined ADC has a FOM of 66fJ per conversion step with an ENOB of 9.4 [1]. In this project, we use “capacitive amplification technique” and power efficient OTA to implement inter-stage gain block, thus, eliminating this “feedback factor” penalty and greatly reducing the power consumption. The target performance of this prototype is 10b 50Ms/s with a power consumption less than 1mW (equivalently, 20fJ per conversion step) using TSMC 90nm CMOS process.

[1] Boulemnakher, M. Andre, E. Roux, J. Paillardet, F. "A 1.2V 4.5mW 10b 100MS/s Pipeline ADC in a 65nm CMOS", ISSCC, 2008.