Fast transient digitizer chip for capturing single-shot events

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


An externally triggered analog sampling circuit used as an alternative to a high speed analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in microcontroller systems is designed, fabricated and characterized. High speed ADCs are expensive in terms of cost and power dissipation, the fast transient digitizer (FTD) is a low cost alternative and has no appreciable DC power dissipation. The transient digitizer uses cells with a process dependent delay element to sample data onto hold capacitors. The hold capacitor drives a PMOS source follower that is activated by an NMOS switch. The switch is controlled by on-chip logic that reads each sample sequentially in conjunction with an external counter. The FTD can capture an input signal with a maximum duration of 25 ns and an input range of 0 V to 2 V. The output is a reconstruction of the input signal on a timescale up to a few hundred μs. Two FTD circuits are fabricated on a 1.5 mm × 1.5 mm die using a 500 nm CMOS process; one FTD circuit occupies an area of 1.057 mm × 0.461 mm on the die. © 2016 IEEE.

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