Low-cost 14-bit current-steering DAC with a randomized thermometer-coding method

Da Huei Lee, Tai Haur Kuo, Kow Liang Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


A dynamic element-matching (DEM) method, i.e., randomized thermometer coding (RTC), for low-cost current-steering digital-to-analog converter (DAC) design is proposed. The proposed RTC method exhibits randomized starting-element selection, consecutive-element selection, and low-element switching activity. It can be used to significantly suppress the harmonic distortion caused by a large mismatch of small-area transistors, and, thus, very low cost DACs can be realized. With the proposed RTC, a 14-bit current-steering DAC is implemented in a 1P6M 0.18-μm 1.8-V CMOS process. The measured spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) exceeds 80 dB. The measurement results showed that RTC improves the SFDR by more than 16 dB. The DAC has an active area of less than 0.28 mm2. The proposed DAC achieves a smaller active area than state-of-the-art 12- to 14-bit DACs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-141
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb 24

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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