A 3 mW 6-bit 4 GS/s subranging ADC with subrange-dependent embedded references

Chung Ming Yang, Tai Haur Kuo

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1 Citation (Scopus)


A subranging analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with reference-embedded comparators (RECs) is proposed. By adjusting the bias current and/or body voltage of the REC's input differential pair, the REC offset can be adjusted to a specific voltage equal to a reference voltage referred to henceforth as the embedded reference. For the ADC's coarse stage, RECs with wide-range embedded references are implemented by adjusting the bias currents using current source arrays to cover the full-scale input. By contrast, for the ADC's fine stage, RECs with narrow-range embedded references are implemented by adjusting the body voltage. In addition, the centers of the embedded references in the different ADC subranges are created by current source arrays, which are digitally scaled according to the coarse ADC's output codes. As a result, the reference-voltage-switching network used in conventional subranging ADCs is not required, and hence the speed of the ADC is increased. Moreover, to eliminate the effects of process variation, the bias currents and body voltages in the RECs are calibrated with an auxiliary resistor ladder. After the calibration, the resistor ladder is removed. Consequently, no resistor ladder is used during normal operation, which greatly saves power. A 3 mW 6-bit 4 GS/s REC-based subranging ADC is implemented in 28-nm CMOS technology. With a near Nyquist frequency input, the ADC achieves SNDRs of 31.8 dB and 30.7 dB at 3.6 GS/s and 4 GS/s, respectively. Moreover, at 3.6 GS/s, the ADC has a Walden Figure-of-Merit (FoMW) of 22.7 fJ/conv-step, which is the best compared with prior state-of-the-art 6-bit high-speed ADCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9328874
Pages (from-to)2312-2316
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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