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Noise Analysis of Regenerative Comparators for Reconfigurable ADC Architectures

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4 Author(s)

The need for highly integrable and programmable analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) is pushing towards the use of dynamic regenerative comparators to maximize speed, power efficiency and reconfigurability. Comparator thermal noise is, however, a limiting factor for the achievable resolution of several ADC architectures with scaled supply voltages. While mismatch in these comparators can be compensated for by calibration, noise can irreparably hinder performance and is less straightforward to be accounted for at design time. This paper presents a method to estimate the input referred noise in fully dynamic regenerative comparators leveraging a reference architecture. A time-domain analysis is proposed that accounts for the time varying nature of the circuit exploiting some basic results from the solution of stochastic differential equations. The resulting symbolic expressions allow focusing designers' attention on the most influential noise contributors. Analysis results are validated by comparison with electrical simulations and measurement results from two ADC prototypes based on the reference comparator architecture, implemented in 0.18-mum and 90-nm CMOS technologies.

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Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 6 )