Power-Efficient Continuous-Time Incremental Sigma-Delta Analog-to-Digital Converters

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest in the devel- opment of integrated circuits (ICs) for wearable or implantable biosensors, aiming at providing personalized healthcare services and reducing the health-care expenses. In biosensor ICs, the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is a key building block that acts as a bridge between analog signals and digital processors. Since most of the biosensors are attached to or implanted in hu- man bodies and powered by either portable batteries or harvested energy, ultra-low-power operation is often required. The stringent power budget im- poses challenges in designing power-efficient ADCs, especially when targeting high-resolution. Among different ADC architectures, the Sigma-Delta (??) ADC has emerged as the most suitable for low-power, high-resolution appli- cations. This thesis aims to enhance the power efficiency of continuous-time (CT) incremental ?? (I??) ADCs by exploring design techniques at both architectural and circuit levels.The impact of feedback DACs in CT I?? ADCs is investigated, so as to provide power-efficient feedback DAC solutions, suitable for biosensor ap- plications. Different DAC schemes are examined analytically considering the trade-off between timing error sensitivity and power consumption. The an- alytical results are verified through behavioral simulations covering both the conventional and incremental ?? modes. Additionally, by considering a typi- cal biosensor application, different feedback DACs are further compared, aim- ing to offer a reference for selecting a power-efficient DAC scheme.A two-step CT I?? ADC is proposed, analyzed, implemented and tested, with the objective of offering flexible and power-efficient A/D conversion in neural recording systems. By pipelining two CT I?? ADCs, the pro- posed ADC can achieve high-resolution without sacrificing the conversion rate. Power-efficient circuits are proposed to implement the active blocks of the proposed ADC. The feasibility and power efficiency of the two-step CT I?? ADC are validated by measurement results. Furthermore, enhancement techniques from both the architecture and circuit perspectives are discussed and implemented, which are validated by post-layout simulations.A comparative study of several CT I?? ADC architectures is presented, aiming to boost the power efficiency by reducing the number of cycles per con- version while benefiting from the advantage of CT implementation. Five CT I?? ADC architectures are analyzed and simulated to evaluate their effective- ness under ideal conditions. Based on the theoretical results, a second-order CT I?? ADC and an extended-range CT I?? ADC are selected as implemen- tation case studies together with the proposed two-step CT I?? ADC. The impact of critical circuit non-idealities is investigated. The three ADCs are then implemented and fabricated on a single chip. Experimental results reveal that the three prototype ADCs improve considerably the power efficiency of existing CT I?? ADCs while being very competitive when compared to all types of the state-of-the-art I?? ADCs. 

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