Octal ADCs achieve power savings in multi-channel designs

Arctic Silicon Devices (Trondheim, Norway) has designed a family of octal 12bit analog to digital converters (ADCs) that will save power in high performance applications such as medical ultrasound and multiple antenna radio systems.

The Norwegian analog start-up introduced its first range of standard ADCs, the SNOWFLAKE family, in November 2008. The octal range – called the GLACIER family – is based on this, but integrate eight channels plus high-speed LVDS outputs.

The GLACIER family consists of four speed variants: 20, 50, 65 and 80MS/s. Both 12bit and 14bit LVDS output modes are available, selectable through the SPI control interface. The claimed noise performance (SNR) is 50MS/s with 8MHz input frequency and 14bit output is 72.2dB (typ) and 71dB (worst). Power dissipation at 50MS/s is said to be 40mW per channel, including LVDS outputs.

The GLACIER family offers various power saving modes, which switch the converter off during idle periods. For example, a power down mode dissipates less than 10uW and has a wake-up time of 18us, whilst during sleep mode, power dissipation is 3mW per channel and there is a 0.5us wake-up time.

ASD's octal ADCs are available in 64pin QFN packages that are pin-compatible with Texas Instruments' ADS527x and ADS528x families. The company intends to make later versions pin-compatible with Analog Devices' AD9222, AD9212 and AD9252 ADCs. For more information, visit

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