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OCTOBER 1991 83 I

Analysis of Mismatch Effects Among A/D Converters

in a Time-Interleaved Waveform Digitizer
Antonio Petraglia, Student Member, IEEE, and Sanjit K. Mitra, Fellow, IEEE

Abstract-High-speed A/D conversion can be achieved by em-

ploying a parallel array of M A/D converters interleaved in
time, each working at 1/Mth of the sampling rate. Theoreti-
cally, the resolution of the structure is given by the resolution
of the AID converters in the array (subconverters). In practice,
however, mismatches among the subconverters lead to a de-
crease in the resolution. In this paper we analyze the effect of digital
such mismatches in terms of a signal-to-noise ratio defined as
the ratio between the energy of the input analog signal and the
energy of the error signal due exclusively to these mismatches.


D IGITAL processing of analog signals has become an

attractive and often convenient economic alternative
in many applications due to the rapid advances in digital
VLSI circuit technology. However, in a number of appli-
cations such as storage of real time signals, wide dynamic
range digital audio, radar signal-processing systems, dig-
ital time-base correction, and digital enhancement of im-
ages, the conversion of analog signals to digital forms re-
quires analog-to-digital (AID) converters with resolution
in the range of 8 - 10 bits, operating at sample rates of
20 MHz and above. The most popular approaches for 1

A/D conversion are the successive approximation and the


flash or parallel AID conversion schemes. The latter is

more suitable for high-speed applications, since the con-
version occurs in a single clock cycle.
Fig. 1. Time-interleaved AID converter using a two-rank SIH architec-
An alternative approach for achieving high-speed con- ture. (a) Structure. (b) Clock waveforms.
version is the time-interleaved A/D converter [3], which
has been implemented utilizing both bipolar silicon and
GaAs MESFET technologies [4]. It is realized with a instance, implemented with an array of four successive
time-multiplexed array of lower speed A/D converters approximation subconverters would use about one fifth of
(subconverters) as shown in Fig. 1. Although any type of the die area required by an 8-b flash converter, for a fixed
converter can be utilized in the array, by using successive sampling rate [3]. In practice, however, several other as-
approximation converters the speed of a flash converter pects have to be considered in order to guarantee a good
with the same resolution can be easily obtained with con- performance of a time-interleaved A/D converter.
siderable savings in the die area. An 8-b converter, for One of the problems of this approach is that it requires
a very accurate analog demultiplexer at its input in order
to convert a single high-speed signal into M low-speed
Manuscript received September 10, 1990; revised April 22, 1991. This analog sampled-and-held signals [ 5 ] . This is due to the
work was supported in part by CoordenaCio de AperfeiCoamento de Pes-
soal de Nivel Superior, CAPES, Brazil, and in part by a University of time uncertainty (jitter) of the sample-and-hold (S/H) cir-
California MICRO grant with matching support from the Rockwell Inter- cuit preceding each subconverter when switching from
national Corp. sampling to the hold mode, leading to a corresponding
A . Petraglia is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engi-
neering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93016, on leave from uncertainty in the stored value. It has been shown [6] that
the Department of Electronic Engineering, Federal University of Rio de for a time-interleaved array with sampling time offset er-
Janeiro, 21945, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. rors that are independent and identically distributed ran-
S. K. Mitra is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engi-
neering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93016. dom variables having zero mean and standard deviation
IEEE Log Number 9 102 155. U , and a sinusoidal input with frequency fo, a decrease of

0018-945619111000-0831$01.00 0 1991 IEEE


one effective bit of resolution results from an octave in- xk

crease of either ~7 orfo. To solve this problem, Poulton er
al. [4] proposed a two-rank S/H structure (shown in Fig.
l(a)) in which, during the sample-to-hold transition time
occurring at the second S/H, its input signal is held con-
stant by the first S/H. Another solution has been recently
proposed in [ 6 ] ,where an algorithm has been derived for
estimating the sampling time offsets at each S/H, and then
an automatic calibration procedure has been described
based on this algorithm. Fig. 2. Model for the kth AID subconverter.
A second major problem with the time-interleaved ar-
chitecture arises due to mismatches among the subcon-
verters creating aliasing distortion in the resulting digital Many factors contribute to the randomness of the errors
output [3]. While these mismatches can be reduced by ak and bk in a single A/D converter, namely, mismatches
using laser-trimming technology [7], [8], it is important among the passive elements, comparator gain and offset,
to evaluate analytically such distortions in order to prop- temperature, etc. In the analysis developed in the next
erly specify the performance to be achieved with the several sections, the gain errors akare assumed to be time-
structure. In this paper we use multirate building blocks invariant, independent, and identically distributed ran-
[9] to advance an equivalent representation for the array dom variables, having a Gaussian probability density
of mismatched subconverters, and develop an error anal- function with zero mean and variance a i . The offset errors
ysis to evaluate the distortion introduced by such mis- bk are assumed to have similar distribution, with zero
matches. Specifically, we obtain the spectrum of the error mean and variance 0;.
signal which is then used in the derivation of a signal-to-
An equivalent representation for the time-interleaved
11. MODELFOR THE SUBCONVERTERS A/D converter is as shown in Fig. 3, where the input u ( t )
The achievable performance of an A/D converter is al- is a sampled-and-held signal which results from the first
ways limited by the properties of the technology used in S/H in Fig. l(a). The analog down-samplers represent the
its implementation, despite the particular approach used. second-rank S/H with the clock waveforms of Fig. l(b).
In the context of MOS technology, for example, thermal The input and output sequences (uk(rzT)} and ( u k ( n T ) )
noise associated with the switch resistances places an ul- are related, in terms of their z-transforms, by [9]
timate limit on the dynamic range of the A/D converters,
while factors such as parasitic capacitances and overdrive
.I M - l
recovery are responsible for limiting comparator delay V(z) = -
M /=o
U(z”MW-‘ )
time [ 11. Other factors limiting the precision of A/D con-
verters include problems of charge injection from MOS where W = e-J2n/M.The digital up-samplers together with
switches, offsets in operational amplifiers, component the output delays and adders represent the multiplexer.
mismatching, etc. Each up-sampler inserts M - 1 zero-valued equally
Less important to our analysis, the quantization error is spaced samples between every two of its consecutive in-
inherent to any A/D converter due to the finite number of put samples. Its input-output relationship is defined by
discrete levels used to encode the incoming analog signal. [91
In a time-interleaved converter, where subconverters hav-
ing resolution of 8 b or more are used, a more severe Y k ( Z ) = Xk(ZM). (3)
distortion is introduced by the other errors cited above as
Considering initially the effects of gain errors alone, we
we show in the next section. Throughout this paper we
assume b, = 0 in (1). Effects of offset errors alone can be
neglect quantization errors and express the input-output
obtained as a particular case, when the input u ( n T ) is a
relation as
dc signal [3]. Thus, from ( l ) ,

Xdz) = (1 + Uk)V,(Z) (4)

where Vk and xk denote the input and output samples of so that combining (2)-(4) we obtain, for the kth path:
the kth subconverter, and ak and bk are obtained from the
straight line that best fits its quantization characteristic,
Y,(z) = -
1 + Uk
M- I
c u,(zw-‘).
as in Fig. 2. Observe that these parameters may also in-
M /=o
corporate the gain and offset introduced by the S/H’s pre-
ceding the corresponding subconverter. We refer to uk and Also, from Fig. 3 we have
bk as gain and offset errors, respectively, of the kth sub-

variables with variances a 2 = a i / 2 M . Now, if we use a

transformation of variables to display A/ in the polar form
A / = r/eje’, for 1 # 0, then r, and 0, have Rayleigh and
uniform distributions, respectively, and their probability
density functions are given by

Fig. 3 . Equivalent representation of interleaved A / D structure used in the
error analysis.
fs(e,) = %, o I e, I2n (13)

f o r l = 1, 2, . . , M - 1. In writing down (12) and (13)

and we made use of the fact that the real and imaginary parts
of (1 1) are uncorrelated random variables. In summary,
each of the M - 1 aliased components has its magnitude
scaled by rl and its phase added by e/. The mean and
Using (5)-(7) we finally arrive at variance of the magnitudes are, respectively,

Y(z) = z-(M-I)U(z) + z-‘M-”A 0 U ( z ) + Z - ( M - l ’ L ( z ) r

and U; = (1 - 7r/4);. (14)
where So, for example, if CT,= 0.01 and M = 4, each of the
M- 1 three aliased components generated by the time-inter-
L(z) = c
I= 1 u(zW-‘)A, (9)
leaved array is expected to have a magnitude of 20 log,,
pr = -47.3 dB (independently of the resolution of the
subconverters used!). It is interesting to note that as the
degree of interleaving M increases, the number of aliased
.I M-l
components increases, but both the mean and the variance
A, = - C a k ~ ‘ k of their magnitudes decrease according to the equations
M k=O
for pr and CT: above.
f o r l = 0, 1, * , M - 1. The right side of (8) contains As an illustrative example and with the purpose of ver-
three terms: The first one is a delayed digital version of ifying the analysis, we present the results of some simu-
the input analog signal, and except for the delay, it is the lations that were carried out with an array of unmatched
desired output. The second and third terms represent error subconverters having gain mismatches only (no offset
signals that are added to the correct output, and are due mismatches) with U, = 0.002. The model of each sub-
to the random errors ak. The error introduced by the sec- converter incorporates quantization effects as shown in
ond term AO is not a serious problem since it only adds a Fig. 4 [ 111, where Qk is an ideal quantizer. In all cases
constant bias to the output. As (10) indicates, AO is the the input is a single sinewave with a normalized frequency
arithmetic mean of the gain errors and, therefore, has a of 149/ 1024. The resulting frequency spectra computed
Gaussian distribution with a zero mean and a variance with a 1024-point FFT are shown in Fig. 5 , and was ob-
CT:/M. tained by averaging over 200 independent trials of the ex-
The third term represents aliasing and is much more periment for three different values of M : M = 2, M = 4,
difficult to correct. To analyze the effect of L ( z ) in the and M = 8. The dashed line corresponds to the theoretical
general case, we first observe that A , is a complex random mean value given by 20 loglop,..
variable and thus can be rewritten as The distortion introduced by offset errors alone can be

A -
c akcos ( z k )
+ j -M1 Mk - =’ ax
sin (5,) obtained as a particular case of (9) and (10) when the in-
put is a dc signal. Accordingly, the output spectrum en-
compasses spectral lines located at 2wk/M, for k = 0, 1,
. . . , M - I , as we show briefly. Let us assume that the
(1 1)
analog input signal is zero, i.e., u ( t ) = 0, V t . In this case
f o r l = 1, 2, . . , M - 1. Again, assuming that the uk’s the only input to each digital up-sampler is the offset in-
are uncorrelated Gaussian random variables and identi- troduced by the preceding A/D converter. In other words,
cally distributed with variances ai, both real and imagi- a sequence of constant sample values, bk, is the input of
nary parts in (1 1) are thus zero mean Gaussian random the kth digital up-sampler. As a result, the output of the

which is similar to (10) corresponding to the gain mis-


Fig. 4. Model for the kth A I D subconverter used in the simulations. IV. SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO(SNR)
In the previous section we obtained the spectrum of the
signal resulting from an array of subconverters having gain
and offset mismatches. Many dynamic parameters have
been defined in the literature to specify, in the frequency
domain, the performance of an AID converter [2]. In this
section we evaluate the ratio between the energy of the
input signal and the energy contained in the error signal
formed by the aliased terms due to gain mismatches and
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 the spectral lines resulting from offset mismatches. This
0 ~ " " " " ' " " ' ~ " " ~ ""1
3 M=4
error can be obtained from (8) as the difference between
9 bits - the output and the desired signal:
a u,=o.o02 -
-50 - - E(z) = z ~ - I Y ( z -
) U(Z). (17)

Thus the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is given by

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5

SNR = 10 log10 (4,/4,) (18)
where 4, is the input signal energy
m P27l
0,=0.002 I
-50 4, =
n = -m
(u(nT)I2= g IU(eJw)12dw (19)

and is the average signal error energy

- 100
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
Normalized Frequency ( w / 2 7 ~ )
Fig. 5. Frequency spectra of an array of M AID converters having gain
4, = E c
[ n =m - m

where E { * 1 denotes expectation, and the sequence

1 (20)

mismatches, obtained by averaging over 200 independent 1024-point

FFT's. The dashed lines are theoretical mean values (see text). The input ( e ( n T ) ] is the inverse z-transform of E(z). We empha-
is a single sinewave with a normalized frequency of 149/1024. size at this point that SNR does not include quantization
noise. Observe also that, for a sinusoidal input, which we
consider later in this section as a particular case, SNR
reduces to the Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) [2], one

;;.... ...

... 3 Z -

of the performance parameters often specified by the man-
Neglecting quantization errors and assuming that offset
and gain errors are uncorrelated, we can calculate the con-
tribution of gain and offset errors separately and then add
them to obtain the overall signal error energy. So, if 4, is
the energy of the error signal E,(eJ") due to gain errors
U t-T+ only, then (8)-(10) and (17) give, on the unit circle:
Fig. 6 . Distortion introduced by offset errors alone M- 1

~ , ( ~ j "=) c A/U(ejb+2Tl/W).
time-interleaved converter is periodic with a period of M
samples (as shown in Fig. 6), whose Fourier transform Using the definition in (20) and Parseval's relation, it can
can be written as [lo] be shown [12] that the energy contained in the signal
e,(nT) is given by
4, = &,, (22)
meaning that the aliasing noise due to gain mismatches is
where 6 ( * ) is the Dirac delta function and B, is the lth proportional to the energy of the input analog signal, and
coefficient of the discrete Fourier series of the output, i.e. independent of the number of subconverters M . If now we

consider offset errors alone, then a procedure similar to ated. After fitting a straight line to the transfer character-
the one adopted above for the derivation of [,, gives istic of each subconverter, gain and offset errors have been
defined to characterize such mismatches. As a conse-
Eh = 2xa;. (23)
quence of gain errors, aliased terms appear at the digital
The total signal error energy 4, is obtained by adding (22) output. Offset errors, on the other hand, are independent
and (23), and finally, from (18), the signal-to-noise ratio: of the input signal and have a smaller contribution to the
2nu; aliasing distortion than gain errors. A signal-to-noise ra-
SNR = - 10 log,, (U: +
7). (24) tio, defined as the ratio between the energy of the input
\ 41, /
analog signal and the energy of the error signal due ex-
Once U , and U,, are known for a specific technology, the clusively to these mismatches, has been obtained. The
above equation can be used to predict the error introduced analysis has shown that the above distortion is compara-
in a time-interleaved A/D converter by mismatches among ble to the one generated by nonuniform sample timing in
the subconverters. In general, the energy of the input sig- the analog demultiplexer when converting a single high-
nal is relatively large, so that, in (24), the term corre- speed signal into several low-speed sampled-and-held sig-
sponding to gain error predominates as the most important nals. The results of the analysis can be used to specify the
factor for the aliasing noise. degree of precision to be achieved in an actual monolithic
A . Sinusoidal Input
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