Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis, Vol 9, No 3 (2017)

Increasing a Resolution of Time to Digital Converter

Marijan Jurgo (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania)
Romualdas Navickas (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania)


Time to digital converter (TDC) is one of the main blocks of all-digital frequency synthesizer (FS), where it is used as phase detector. The output of TDC is digital, therefore it introduces quantization noise to the output of FS. The resolution of TDC has to be increased, to improve phase noise level at the output of FS. It can be achieved by improving CMOS technology or structure of the TDC. The simplest TDC is based on inverter delay line. Its resolution is inversely proportional to the time interval, which can be measured with such TDC, i.e. delay time of the inverter. Decreasing of this delay is essence of technological increasing of TDC’s resolution. In this work the dependency of inverter delay on technological parameters is shown and its value is calculated in 65 nm CMOS technology. Calculations show, that in this technology delay time of the inverter can vary from 7 ps to 54 ps. If the design is restricted to the usage of specific CMOS technology, in which inverter’s delay does not ensure needed noise level at the output of FS, structure of the TDC needs to be improved. The aim of this improvement is to measure time interval smaller than inverter’s delay. Some of the TDC structures, which can measure sub-inverter delay time, are reviewed in this work: TDC – Vernier delay line, TDC – 2D Vernier plane, stochastic, ring and multistage TDCs.

Article in: Lithuanian

Article published: 2017-07-04

Keyword(s): time to digital converter; resolution; delay time; CMOS.

DOI: 10.3846/mla.2017.1041

Full Text: PDF pdf

Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis ISSN 2029-2341, eISSN 2029-2252
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