Skip to Main Content
This paper presents an asynchronous SAR ADC for flexible, low energy radios. To achieve excellent power efficiency for a relatively moderate resolution, various techniques are introduced to reduce the power consumption: custom-designed 0.5 fF unit capacitors minimize the analog power consumption while asynchronous dynamic logic minimizes the digital power consumption. The variability of the custom-designed capacitors is estimated by a specialized CAD tool and verified by chip measurements. An implemented 8-bit prototype in a 90 nm CMOS technology occupies 228 μm × 240 μm including decoupling capacitors, and achieves an ENOB of 7.77 bit at a sampling frequency of 10.24 MS/s. The power consumption equals 26.3 μW from a 1 V supply, thus resulting in an energy efficiency of 12 fJ/conversion-step. Moreover, the fully dynamic design, which is optimized for low-leakage, leads to a standby power consumption of 6 nW. In that way, the energy efficiency of this converter can be maintained down to very low sampling rates.