Gain-Adaptive Single-Slope ADC

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Tsinghua University, Beijing, China publishes MDPI paper "A Low-Power Column-Parallel Gain-Adaptive Single-Slope ADC for CMOS Image Sensors" by Jingwei Wei, Xuan Li, Lei Sun, and Dongmei Li.

"A low-power column-parallel gain-adaptive single-slope analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for CMOS image sensors is proposed. The gain-adaptive function is realized with the proposed switched-capacitor based gain control structure in which only minor changes from the traditional single-slope ADC are required. A switched-capacitor controlled dynamic bias comparator and a flip-reduced up/down double-data-rate (DDR) counter are proposed to reduce the power consumption of the column circuits. A 12-bit current steering digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with a two-dimensional gradient error tolerant switching scheme is adopted in the ramp generator to improve the linearity of the ADC. The proposed techniques were experimentally verified in a prototype chip fabricated in the TSMC 180 nm CMOS process. A single-column ADC consumes a total power of 63.2 μ W and occupies an area of 4.48 μ m × 310 μ m. The measured differential nonlinearity (DNL) and integral nonlinearity (INL) of the ADC are −0.43/+0.46 least significant bit (LSB) and −0.84/+1.95 LSB. A 13-bit linear output is acquired in nonlinearity within 0.08% of the full scale after calibration."

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