Practically every electronic product today contains one or more analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). As an engineer, you have no doubt already encountered the ADC in a design project. If not, then you will eventually.
ADCs are tricky—they have some design quirks that must be addressed in order to achieve design success. Where do you learn the fine points of ADC design? Many get it from experience. Others are lucky to learn from a colleague or mentor. Textbooks can be a big help with the basic theory, but sources of the real-world application particulars are harder to come by.
Not any longer. Texas Instruments offers some attractive learning alternatives about ADCs. And these are things that you definitely didn’t learn in college.
TI Precision Labs
The TI Precision Labs offers an on-demand ADC curriculum that pairs theory and applied lab exercises to deepen the technical expertise of experienced engineers and accelerate the development of those early in their career. The ADC curriculum consists of a mix of videos, multiple-choice quizzes, and short answer exercises. The main topics are:
- Introduction to Analog to Digital Converters. Covers dc and ac specifications and input types.
- ADC Drive Topologies. Gets into how to determine the linear range of an ADC and front-end driver design with differential and instrument amplifiers.
- Error and Noise. Covers statistical analysis of errors and determining the total noise.
- AC Specifications. Addresses frequency-domain-related topics, fast Fourier transform (FFT), sampling and filtering for signal-to-noise ration (SNR) and total harmonic distortion (THD), and anti-aliasing filters.
- SAR ADC Input Driver Design. Front-end design is the emphasis, including driver amplifier and component selection.
- Low-Power SAR ADC System Design. Covers power scaling.
Since ADC design also typically involves related op-amp use and selection, you may be interested in learning more about that. TI Precision Labs offers a training series on op-amp design.