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High-speed ADCs save power, cut board space

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TI high-speed ADCs? LVDS output? analog IC?

Extending its reach in the ADC market, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) is launching what the company claims are the world's fastest two- and four-channel, 12bit and 14bit devices.

TI's new ADS6000 family consists of 12 pin-compatible ADCs that are basically split into three grades: 80-, 105- and 125MSps. Each speed grade consists of two 12bit and 14bit devices. Each of those 12bit and 14bit parts can be ordered in both dual- and quad-channel configurations.

Through an SPI interface, the ADS6000 family enables several programmable options, such as coarse and fine gain controls. By incorporating single- or dual-stream serialized LVDS outputs, the devices reduce board space by 60 percent over CMOS-output solutions, according to TI. Potential applications include communications, radar and imaging, test and measurement, and medical and video systems.

The devices are built in a proprietary 0.18?m CMOS process, which is a key factor in lowering their power consumption, said Yiannis Papantonopoulos, applications and systems manager for high-speed products at TI.

With 17 percent growth in 2006, TI was the leading supplier of analog ICs, according to research firm Databeans Inc. The company enjoyed a 14 percent share of the global $37 billion market, Databeans said.

The overall high-speed ADC market is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2012, said TI. Other suppliers of ADCs include Analog Devices, Linear Technology, Maxim and National Semiconductor.

As wireless infrastructure and other applications advance, designers are demanding faster and higher-resolution ADCs with lower power consumption. But those solutions involve several trade-offs, according to Databeans. Specifically, the research house said that resolution is an issue wherever higher precision is required.

In the ADC market, TI makes devices that range from 8bits to 24bits in resolution. Prior to its announcement of the ADS6000 family, TI's fastest 12bit lines had a sampling rate of 65MSps. Its fastest 14bit line is rated at 190MSps.

The new ADCs fill in the gaps, with products at speeds of 80-, 105- and 125MSps, housed in 9-by-9mm packages. Each device is said to deliver a spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR), high SNR and low power per channel.

ADCs can handle125MSps. ADS6425 has serialized LVDS outputs.

TI is already shipping one member of the family. The ADS6425 is a quad-channel, 12bit device with a speed of 125MSps. It enables performance at 70.3dB SNR and 83dB SFDR at 50MHz IF in the nominal state, with the ability to reach 86dB SFDR through gain settings.

The company is readying another device, a 14bit, 125MSps part dubbed the ADS6445. The ADS6425 and ADS6445 consume 410mW and 420mW per channel, respectively.

The ADS6425 is available now in a 64-pin QFN package. Prices are $74.25 each in 1,000-piece lots. Evaluation modules and a deserializer solution are also available.

Samples of the remaining members of the family are available, including serialized LVDS and parallel-output, dual ADCs. Volume production is scheduled for the second half.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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