Automated SAR ADC design for IoT

At imec, Perceptive Systems

In IoT (Internet-Of-Things) applications, the resolution and the sampling rate of the ADC need to be configurable to cope with different standards for optimal power efficiency. The specification of the ADC can vary significantly, e.g., kSps~MSps for sampling rate and 8b~14b for resolution. Automation method can be developed, enabling a great reduction of the re-design effort.

 

Project Description

Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) is a mixed-signal bridge between the analog world (analog front-end) and the digital world (DSP) as shown in Figure 1. In IoT (Internet-Of-Things) applications, the resolution and the sampling rate of the ADC need to be configurable to cope with different standards for optimal power efficiency. The specification of the ADC can vary significantly, e.g., kSps~MSps for sampling rate and 8b~14b for resolution. So far, most of the ADCs needs to be custom-designed to reach the desired performance, thus increasing the design cost. Alternatively, automation method can be developed, enabling a great reduction of the re-design effort.

 

ADC design automation effort has also been explored [5-8], however, has not reached a milestone compared to that of PLLs [1-4]. Therefore, it is still a great challenge to increase the automation level while still maintaining performance, especially for the relatively high resolution ADCs. The aim of the project is to further explore the design automation method for ADCs, and increase the level of automation, meanwhile maintaining performance in particular for high resolution ADCs.

 


Figure 1: Block diagram of the wireless reciever signal chain and the DSP.

 

 

Your Tasks

  • Study concept of SAR ADCs and survey on state-of-the-art ADC automation development;
  • Analysis problems and proposal solutions for sub-blocks;
  • Design and implementation of the proposed solution in a test chip;
  • Tape-out of the test chip and measurements for verification;
  • Writing final report and presentation of the results.

 

Your Profile

  • Understanding of ADCs;
  • Understanding of basic programming language;
  • Being familiar with simulation and layout in cadence is a plus;
  • Being familiar with SKILL and/or Pcell is a plus;
  • Motivated student eager to work independently and expand knowledge in the field;
  • Good written and verbal English skills.

 

For all inquiries, please contact:

Ms Najat Loiazizi, HR specialist.

Telephone number: +31 (0)40 40 20 675

 

Apply now

 

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