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Sunday, October 17, 2010

4-Bit Analogue to Digital Converter

The operation of the converter is based on the weighted adding and transferring of the analogue input levels and the digital output levels. It consists of comparators and resistors. In theory, the number of bits is unlimited, but each bit needs a comparator and several coupling resistors. The diagram shows a 4-bit version. The value of the resistors must meet the following criteria:
  • R1:R2 = 1:2;
  • R3:R4:R5 = 1:2:4;
  • R6:R7:R8:R9 = 1:2:4:8.
The linearity of the converter depends on the degree of precision of the value of the resistors with respect to the resolution of the converter, and on the accuracy of the threshold voltage of the comparators. This threshold level must be equal, or nearly so, to half the supply voltage. Moreover, the comparators must have as low an output resistance as possible and as high an input resistance with respect to the load resistors as feasible. Any deviation from these requirements affects the linearity of the converter adversely. Circuit diagram:4-Bit Analogue to Digital Converter Circuit Diagram
If the value of the resistors is not too low, the use of inverters with an FET (field-effect transistor) input leads to a near-ideal situation. In the present converter, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) inverters are used, which, in spite of their low gain, give a reasonably good performance. If standard comparators are used, take into account the output voltage range and make sure that the potential at their non-inverting inputs is set to half the supply voltage. If high accuracy is a must, comparators Type TLC3074 or similar should be used. This type has a totem-pole output. The non-inverting inputs should be interlinked and connected to the tap of a a divider consisting of two 10 kΩ resistors across the supply lines. It is essential that the converter is driven by a low-resistance source. If necessary, this can be arranged via a suitable op amp input buffer. The converter draws a current not exceeding 5 mA.