Submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2012.
Analog-to-digital converters (ADC) are a vital part of a many applications that require an interface with real-world analog signals. Fueled by the ever increasing demand for higher bandwidth and lower power consumption in many areas, the energy efficiency of ADCs becomes a critical performance criterion. Today, there exist a variety of ADCs that provide high energy efficiency solutions only for low bandwidths (below ~100 MHz). In the high-speed space (above 100 MHz), however, the energy efficiency of ADCs degrades dramatically, and this is especially visible for pipelined ADCs, which take 3-5 times more energy than other architectures that do not emphasize high speed. Furthermore, existing non-pipelined solutions for this bandwidth range are few in numbers, and this presents an opportunity for innovation at both the architectural and circuit design level. This thesis explores a pipelined ADC design that employs a variety of low-power techniques such as dynamic residue amplification and incomplete settling in a unique way to maximize the speed while maintaining low energy (98 fJ/conv-step). The resulting work advances the state-of-the-art by simultaneously achieving a high conversion rate (500 MS/s), low power (5.1 mW), moderate resolution (8 bits), and low input capacitance (55 fF). The experimental converter was implemented in a 65-nm Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) CMOS process and is among the first high-performance ADCs employing this technology.