Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name


First Advisor

Ahmadi, Majid


Applied sciences, Analog-to-digital converters, CMOS, Sigma-delta modulators




The growing trend in VLSI systems is to shift more signal processing functionality from analog to digital domain to reduce manufacturing cost and improve reliability. It has resulted in the demand for wideband high-resolution analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). There are many different techniques for doing analog-to-digital conversions. Oversampling ADC based on sigma-delta (ΣΔ) modulation is receiving a lot of attention due to its significantly relaxed matching requirements on analog components. Moreover, it does not need a steep roll-off anti-aliasing filter. A ΣΔ ADC can be implemented either as a discrete time system or a continuous time one. Nowadays growing interest is focused on the continuous-time ΣΔ ADC for its use in the wideband and low-power applications, such as medical imaging, portable ultrasound systems, wireless receivers, and test equipments. A continuous-time ΣΔ ADC offers some important advantages over its discrete-time counterpart, including higher sampling frequency, intrinsic anti-alias filtering, much relaxed sampling network requirements, and low-voltage implementation. Especially it has the potential in achieving low power consumption.

This dissertation presents a novel fifth-order continuous-time ΣΔ ADC which is implemented in a 90nm CMOS technology with single 1.0-V power supply. To speed up design process, an improved direct design method is proposed and used to design the loop filter transfer function. To maximize the in-band gain provided by the loop filter, thus maximizing in-band noise suppression, the excess loop delay must be kept minimum. In this design, a very low latency 4-bit flash quantizer with digital-to-analog (DAC) trimming is utilized. DAC trimming technique is used to correct the quantizer offset error, which allows minimum-sized transistors to be used for fast and low-power operation. The modulator has sampling clock of 800MHz. It achieves a dynamic range (DR) of 75dB and a signal-to-noise-and-distortion ratio (SNDR) of 70dB over 25MHz input signal bandwidth with 16.4mW power dissipation. Our work is among the most improved published to date. It uses the lowest supply voltage and has the highest input signal bandwidth while dissipating the lowest power among the bandwidths exceeding 15MHz.