Time interleaved counter analog to digital converters
Danesh, Seyed Amir Ali
The work explores extending time interleaving in A/D converters, by applying a high-level of parallelism to one of the slowest and simplest types of data-converters, the counter ADC. The motivation for the work is to realise high-performance re-configurable A/D converters for use in multi-standard and multi-PHY communication receivers with signal bandwidths in the 10s to 100s of MHz. The counter ADC requires only a comparator, a ramp signal, and a digital counter, where the comparator compares the sampled input against all possible quantisation levels sequentially. This work explores arranging counter ADCs in large time-interleaved arrays, building a Time Interleaved Counter (TIC) ADC. The key to realising a TIC ADC is distributed sampling and a global multi-phase ramp generator realised with a novel figure-of-8 rotating resistor ring. Furthermore Counter ADCs allow for re-configurability between effective sampling rate and resolution due to their sequential comparison of reference levels in conversion. A prototype TIC ADC of 128-channels was fabricated and measured in 0.13μm CMOS technology, where the same block can be configured to operate as a 7-bit 1GS/s, 8-bit 500MS/s, or 9-bit 250MS/s dataconverter. The ADC achieves a sub 400fJ/step FOM in all modes of configuration.