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A Resolution-Reconfigurable 5-to-10-Bit 0.4-to-1 V Power Scalable SAR ADC for Sensor Applications

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2 Author(s)
Yip, M. ; Microsyst. Technol. Labs., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Chandrakasan, A.P.

A power-scalable SAR ADC for sensor applications is presented. The ADC features a reconfigurable 5-to-10-bit DAC whose power scales exponentially with resolution. At low resolutions where noise and linearity requirements are reduced, supply voltage scaling is leveraged to further reduce the energy-per-conversion. The ADC operates up to 2 MS/s at 1 V and 5 kS/s at 0.4 V, and its power scales linearly with sample rate down to leakage levels of 53 nW at 1 V and 4 nW at 0.4 V. Leakage power-gating during a SLEEP mode in between conversions reduces total power by up to 14% at sample rates below 1 kS/s. Prototyped in a low-power 65 nm CMOS process, the ADC in 10-bit mode achieves an INL and DNL of 0.57 LSB and 0.58 LSB respectively at 0.6 V, and the Nyquist SNDR and SFDR are 55 dB and 69 dB respectively at 0.55 V and 20 kS/s. The ADC achieves an optimal FOM of 22.4 fJ/conversion-step at 0.55 V in 10-bit mode. The combined techniques of DAC resolution and voltage scaling maximize efficiency at low resolutions, resulting in an FOM that increases by only 7x over the 5-bit scaling range, improving upon a 32x degradation that would otherwise arise from truncation of bits from an ADC of fixed resolution and voltage.

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 6 )