A 12-bit high-speed column-parallel two-step single-slope analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for CMOS image sensors

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Abstract

A 12-bit high-speed column-parallel two-step single-slope (SS) analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for CMOS image sensors is proposed. The proposed ADC employs a single ramp voltage and multiple reference voltages, and the conversion is divided into coarse phase and fine phase to improve the conversion rate. An error calibration scheme is proposed to correct errors caused by offsets among the reference voltages. The digital-to-analog converter (DAC) used for the ramp generator is based on the split-capacitor array with an attenuation capacitor. Analysis of the DAC's linearity performance versus capacitor mismatch and parasitic capacitance is presented. A prototype 1024 × 32 Time Delay Integration (TDI) CMOS image sensor with the proposed ADC architecture has been fabricated in a standard 0.18 μm CMOS process. The proposed ADC has average power consumption of 128 μW and a conventional rate 6 times higher than the conventional SS ADC. A high-quality image, captured at the line rate of 15.5 k lines/s, shows that the proposed ADC is suitable for high-speed CMOS image sensors.

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Lyu, T., Yao, S., Nie, K., & Xu, J. (2014). A 12-bit high-speed column-parallel two-step single-slope analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for CMOS image sensors. Sensors (Switzerland), 14(11), 21603–21625. https://doi.org/10.3390/s141121603

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