Skip to Main Content
Nowadays the need for dealing with ultra-high speed Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) is becoming more and more common, from Telecommunications to Precise Instrumentation, every application is increasing the analog to digital interface data rate. The ultra-high sampling rate of the ADCs demands the use of advanced acquisition techniques as well as the latest technology available. The utilization of dedicated Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) is an expensive solution to deal with the very high throughput from the ADC and its lack of flexibility is a huge drawback. On the other hand, the technology, the architecture and the state-of-the art of the current Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) make them especially suitable to act as interface between an ultra-high speed ADC and a data processing unit. Another extra advantage is the reconfigurability of the FPGAs, they can be quickly adapted to different ADCs or different data processing units. The purpose of this paper is to present a practical approach to interface an ultra-high speed 8-bit ADC, MAX104, from Maxim Integrated Circuit, which performs digitalization of the input signal with a sampling rate of 1Gsps and a commercial and popular FPGA, the Virtex2 Pro, from Xilinx Corporation. Once the ADC digital data have been acquired, then they can be processed by either the dedicated FPGA Digital Signal Processing (DSP) blocks, or the FPGA embedded processors or just send the data out to a PC for later processing. Hence, the proposed method of implementation can be used as front-end of a wide range of applications.