A third-order low-distortion delta-sigma modulator (DSM), whose third-order noise-shaping ability is achieved by just a single opamp, is proposed. Since only one amplifier is required in the whole circuit, the designed DSM is very power efficient. To realize the adder in front of quantizer without employing the huge-power opamp, a capacitive passive adder, which is the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) array of a successive-approximation-type quantizer, is used. In addition, the feedback path timing is extended from a nonoverlapping interval for the conventional low-distortion structure to half of the clock period, so that the strict operation timing issue with regard to quantization and the dynamic element matching (DEM) logic operation can be solved. In the proposed DSM structure, the features of the unity-gain signal transfer function (STF) and finite-impulse-response (FIR) noise transfer function (NTF) are still preserved, and thus advantages such as a relaxed opamp slew rate and reduced output swing are also maintained, as with the conventional low-distortion DSM. Moreover, the memory effect in the proposed DSM is analyzed when employing the opamp sharing for integrators. The proposed third-order DSM with a 4-bit SAR ADC as the quantizer is implemented in a 90-nm CMOS process. The post-layout simulations show a 79.8-dB signal-to-noise and distortion ratio (SNDR) in the 1.875-MHz signal bandwidth (OSR=16). The active area of the circuit is 0.35mm2 and total power consumption is 2.85mW, resulting in a figure of merit (FOM) of 95 fJ/conversion-step.
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