Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

James M. Rochelle

Committee Members

T. Vaughn Black, Danny F. Newport, David M. Binkley


The development of a 6-bit 15.625 MHz CMOS two-step analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is presented. The ADC was developed for use in a low dead time, high-performance, sub-nanosecond time-to-digital converter (TDC). The TDC is part of a new custom CMOS application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that will be incorporated in the next generation of front-end electronics for high-performance positron emission tomography imaging. The ADC is based upon a two-step flash architecture that reduces the comparator count by a factor-of-two when compared to a traditional flash ADC architecture and thus a significant reduction in area, power dissipation, and input capacitance of the converter is achieved. The converter contains time-interleaved auto-zeroed CMOS comparators. These comparators utilize offset correction in both the preamplifier and the subsequent regenerative latch stage to guarantee good integral and differential non-linearity performance of the converter over extreme process conditions. Also, digital error correction was employed to overcome most of the major metastability problems inherent in flash converters and to guarantee a completely monotonic transfer function. Corrected comparator offset measurements reveal that the CMOS comparator design maintains a worse case input-referred offset of less than 1 mV at conversion rates up to 8 MHz and less than a 2 mV offset at conversion rates as high as 16 MHz while dissipating less than 2.6 mW. Extensive laboratory measurements indicate that the ADC achieves differential and integral non-linearity performance of less than ±1/2 LSB with a 20 mV/LSB resolution. The ADC dissipates 90 mW from a single 5 V supply and occupies a die area of 1.97 mm x 1.13 mm in 0.8 μm CMOS technology.

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