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Column Cyclic A/D Converter

1-stage column parallel cyclic ADC

High performance CMOS image sensor with low noise, high-speed signal readout, low power consumption, and slow operation rate of ADC can be achived by implementing column parallel ADCs. We have been integrated know-how by design and testing ADCs several times, which leads to performance enhancements of column parallel cyclic ADCs. As a result, measured random noise is reduced to 1.49 LSB, which corresponds to 363 uVrms in 12-bit, 1 V full-scale, and the differential non-linearity (DNL) is within +0.3 LSB / -0.3 LSB.

12-bit column parallel cyclic ADC with noise cancellation circuit. Circuit connection for each working phase.
Histogram plot with DC input. Differential non-linearity (DNL) plot.

2-stage column parallel cyclic ADC

A cyclic ADC with pixel noise cancel and column-wise offset cancelling for CMOS image sensor is developed. By adding cross connected switches to a cyclic ADC, a column-wise fixed pattern noise due to the amplifier's offset variation is greatly reduced. A prototype 12-bit cyclic ADC implemented using 0.25um CMOS technology exhibits a 1.5mVp-p column-wise offset deviation. The ADC has 62dB SNR at 1Msample/s. The power dissipation is 0.43mW at 3.3V supplies, and the area of one channel is 0.04mm x 1.2mm.

Schematic of the proposed cyclic ADC with the pixel and column-wise FPN canceling. Chip photograph.
SNR vs sampling frequency. Comparison of the offset variation.


  1. M. Mase, S. Kawahito, M. Sasaki, Y. Wakamori, and M. Furuta, " A Wide Dynamic Range CMOS Image Sensor with Multiple Exposure-Time Signal Outputs and 12-bit Column-Parallel cyclic A/D Converters," IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 40, No. 12, pp. 2787-2795, Dec., 2005
  2. J. H. Park, M. Mase, S. Kawahito, M. Sasaki, Y. Wakamori, and Y. Ohta, " A 142dB Dynamic Range CMOS Image Sensor with Multiple Exposure Time Signals,"," Proc. 2005 ASSCC A2L-3, pp. 85-88, Taiwan, Nov. 2005.
  3. M. Furuta, S. Kawahito, T. Inoue, Y. Nishikawa,"A cycic A/D converter with pixel noise and column-wise offset cancellation for CMOS image sensors", Proc. European Solid-State Circuits Conf., pp.411-414, 2005
  4. M. Furuta, T. Inoue, Y. Nishikawa, and S. Kawahito, " A 3500 fps High-Speed CMOS Image Sensor with 12b Column-Parallel Cyclic A/D Converters," Symp. VLSI Circuits Dig., pp. 27-28, Jun., 2006.

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