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Methods and draft standards for the dynamic characterization and testing of analog to digital converters


A first aim of this project is to contribute to the improvement of the European rules concerning the test methods for ADCs, by proposing to CENELEC a draft norm concerning the parameters specifying the dynamic behaviour of ADCs, the measurement conditions and the data processing algorithms.
A second objective is the investigation of new test methods to circumvent the limits of the measurement instrumentation. The measurement of parameters required by specific applications (e.g. audio or video) and techniques for debugging new designs will also be investigated. Divulgation of the knowledge gathered during the activity is the third objective, to be achieved by conference presentations and publications.

State of progress
At the end of the first year, the activities related to the study and to the detailed definition of the procedures for time-domain, frequency domain and statistical analysis of the data collected using a sinusoidal stimulus are practically completed: the partners have prepared detailed reports explaining how to collect and analyze the data and why . Within the end of june a draft of norm concerning sinewave testing will be available on the web.
The implementation on ATE equipment of the static tests described in IEC 60748 and IEEE Std 1057 was investigated, and a report concerning possible improvements to the existing norms will soon be available. Finally, the specification requirements for general purpose ADC IP cells to be embedded in dedicated microcontrollers were analyzed.
State of progress
Preliminary information on the project is available on the web site

At present, the standardization of ADC test procedures is not so well developed: IEC 60748 covers only static operation, while IEEE Std 1057 deals with dynamic testing, but is addressed to digital waveform recorders. An IEEE committee is presently developing a new standard, 1241, specifically aiming at ADCs. In fact, both the markets of stand-alone ADCs and of ADC macrocells, to be embedded in complex ASICs, require specification parameters accurately describing the dynamic behaviour of the ADC and clearly defined test methods.
The first workpackage concerns the "classical" dynamic test methods based on the application of a sinusoidal stimulus to the ADC. The various methods will be compared, and a draft norm on the dynamic characterization of ADCs using sinusoidal stimulus will be prepared. The measurement of other dynamic parameters, either requiring a non- sinusoidal input, or dependent upon specific applications (e.g. video or digital audio) is covered by the second workpackage. The third workpackage is devoted to longer term research; dissemination of the knowledge acquired is the object of the last workpackage.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Università degli Studi di Parma
Viale Delle Scienze
43100 Parma

Participants (3)

INESC Porto - Instituto de Engenhariade Sistemas e Computadores do Porto
Praça Da Repáblica 93
4007 Porto
Infineon Technologies Microeletronic Design Centers Austria GmbH
Siemensstrasse 2
9500 Villach
Italtel S.p.A.
Via G. Reiss Romoli
20019 Milano