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Use analog for better performance-to-power ratios

Posted: 01 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:reference design platform? complete analog system? energy efficient ADCs? fully differential amplifiers? clock conditioning circuits?

Traditionally, analog IC designers boosted supply voltages and operating current to maximize device speed of operation and dynamic range. But that is no longer possible in today�s energy-conscious world. Maximum frequency of operation, useable bandwidth, noise performance and dynamic range must continually improve while power consumption remains flat or decreases. In short, the industry is demanding components with better performance-to-power ratios.

National Semiconductor Corp.'s PowerWise products are developed using novel architectures on state of the art manufacturing processes resulting in industry leading performance at exceptionally low power consumption. Using the reference design platform discussed here, this article demonstrates how a complete analog system can be developed using energy-efficient ADCs, fully differential amplifiers and clock conditioning circuits.

A given process technology designed for ADC development will not necessarily be suitable for developing high frequency low noise amplifiers. In fact, normally companies use several different process technologies, CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe etc. depending on the desired component parameters. Exceptional circuit design alone is inadequate without exceptional process technologies.

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