Subranging ADC

This example shows how to model a 6-bit Subranging ADC with pipelining and an error correcting second stage.

Subranging ADCs are typically faster than sigma delta and successive approximation ADCs but provide less resolution. Typical sample rates are in the 10M sample/sec range, and typical resolution is 8 to 16 bits. Additional stages and/or bits per stage yield higher resolutions.


The subranging ADC is a two stage data converter. The first stage converter is a 3-bit Flash ADC. It drives a 3-bit ideal DAC, which in turn drives the second stage. The second stage converter is 4-bit flash ADC. The extra bit corrects the errors in the first ADC and improves conversion accuracy. The sampling rate of the ADC is 100 MHz, and is defined in the model initialization callback by MATLAB® variable Fs.

The model is based on the following Analog Devices tutorial: ADC Architectures V: Pipelined Subranging ADCs.

The first ADC serves as a coarse 3 bit converter. The quantization error due to the first ADC is itself quantized by the second ADC. To quantize this error, a 3-bit DAC converts the coarse ADC output to an analog signal which is subtracted against the original analog input. The difference is the residue signal. The residue signal is amplified and converted back to a digital signal by the second ADC. The 3 bit ADC output (MSBs) and the 4-bit ADC output (LSBs) are concatenated to form an overall 6 bit unsigned ADC output.

model = 'subranging_adc';

set_param(model, 'StopTime', '0.001');
set_param([model '/ADC AC Measurement'], 'Commented', 'off');
set_param([model '/ADC DC Measurement'], 'Commented', 'on');
set_param([model '/Subsystem/Buffer'], 'N', '0.001 * 2 * Fs')
set_param([model '/Time Scope'], 'TimeSpan', '1e-6');
set_param([model '/Time Scope'], 'TimeSpanOverrunAction', 'Scroll');


Dynamic Testing

This model uses one of two test sources. Use a sine wave for dynamic testing, e.g. ENoB, SNR, and SFDR. Use a ramp signal for static testing, e.g. missing codes and nonlinearity quantifiers.

To determine SNR, ENOB and other dynamic characteristics of the subranging ADC, use the ADC AC Measurement block from the Mixed-Signal Blockset™. Select he correct switch position to use the Sine Wave as input source.

set_param([model '/Source Select'],'sw','1');
set_param([model '/Sine Wave'], 'Frequency', '2 * pi * 10e6');
set_param([model '/Sine Wave'], 'Amplitude', '0.5');
set_param([model '/Sine Wave'], 'Bias', '0.5');

open_system([model '/Time Scope']);
open_system([model '/Spectrum Analyzer']);

Add another sine wave to the input to test intermodulation distortion. Observe and measure the results using the spectrum analyzer.

set_param([model '/Sine Wave'], 'Frequency', '2 * pi * [10, 12] * 1e6');
set_param([model '/Sine Wave'], 'Amplitude', '0.25');
set_param([model '/Sine Wave'], 'Bias', '0.25');


Missing Code Analysis

This example uses a histogram block to plot the frequency of occurrence of each ADC output code. Uncomment the histogram by right-clicking on it and selecting Uncomment from the menu. Use the Ramp block as the input source by setting the input switch to the proper position.

Because there is no need to collect multiple periodograms for DC measurements, change the simulation time to 1.28e-5 s, then comment out the ADC AC Measurement block and the Spectrum Analyzer. To collect quantitative data to go with the histogram, uncomment the ADC DC Measurement block.

set_param([model '/Source Select'],'sw','0');
set_param(model, 'StopTime', '1.28e-5');
set_param([model '/Subsystem/Buffer'], 'N', '1.28e-5 * 2 * Fs')
set_param([model '/ADC AC Measurement'], 'Commented', 'on');
set_param([model '/ADC DC Measurement'], 'Commented', 'off');
w = warning('off', 'msblks:msblksMessages:ADCDataTruncated');
set_param([model '/Time Scope'], 'TimeSpan', '1.28e-5');
set_param([model '/Time Scope'], 'TimeSpanOverrunAction', 'Wrap');

close_system([model '/Spectrum Analyzer']);
open_system([model '/ADC Output Histogram']);

You can observe how the second stage corrects errors from the first by adding Offset Error and Gain Error in the impairments tab of the MSB ADC. Any fraction of an LSB introduced as a form of gain or offset error results in an imbalance or missing code in the ADC output histogram. Anything other than a flat histogram with a sawtooth input signifies some amount of non-ideal ADC behavior in the form of integral non-linearity, differential non-linearity, or missing codes.

Errors of up to 1 LSB in the MSB ADC are corrected by the extra bit of the LSB ADC. Larger errors influence the output.

set_param([model '/MSB ADC'],'OffsetError','0.5');
set_param([model '/MSB ADC'],'GainError','0.3');


View the results of the ADC DC Measurement block by clicking the Plot measurement results button in the block mask.

ADC Testbench

Verify that the results of your tests are due only to properties of the ADC rather than of the input signals or output processing with the ADC Testbench. Connect the inputs and outputs of the converter to the inputs and outputs of the ADC Testbench and run the simulation. The results of the test will show up on the block mask once you run the simulation.

model = 'subranging_adc_testbench';
warning(w.state, 'msblks:msblksMessages:ADCDataTruncated');

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