A Cyclic Analog to Digital Converter for CMOS image sensors
The constant strive for improvement of digital video capturing speeds together with power efficiency increase, has lead to tremendous research activities in the image sensor readout field during the past decade. The improvement of lithography and solid-state technologies provide the possibility of manufacturing higher resolution image sensors. A double resolution size-up, leads to a quadruple readout speed requirement, if the same capturing frame rate is to be maintained. The speed requirements of conventional serial readout techniques follow the same curve and are becoming more challenging to design, thus employing parallelism in the readout schemes appears to be inevitable for relaxing the analog readout circuits and keeping the same capturing speeds. This transfer however imposes additional demands to parallel ADC designs, mainly related to achievable accuracy, area and power.
In this work a 12-bit Cyclic ADC (CADC) aimed for column-parallel readout implementation in CMOS image sensors is presented. The aim of the conducted study is to cover multiple CADC sub-component architectures and provide an analysis onto the latter to a mid-level of depth. A few various Multiplying DAC (MDAC) structures have been re-examined and a preliminary redundant signed-digit CADC design based on a 1.5-bit modified flip-over MDAC has been conducted. Three comparator architectures have been explored and a dynamic interpolative Sub-ADC is presented. Finally, some weak spots degrading the performance of the carried-out design have been analyzed. As an architectural improvement possibility two MDAC capacitor mismatch error reduction techniques have been presented.
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