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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- mum 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.