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Voltage-reference Impact on Total Harmonic Distortion

Authored on: Aug 1, 2016 by Jose A. Duenas

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Understanding the load presented by the reference pin of SAR ADCs is key when designing data-acquisition systems with low harmonic distortion. The internal circuitry connected to the reference pin of most successive-approximation-register analog-to-digital converters (SAR ADCs and some wideband delta-sigma ADCs) consists of switched-capacitor loads. During the conversion process, a switched-capacitor load imposes a current demand that can cause the external system's reference-output voltage to fluctuate in time. Consequently, the SAR ADC reference-pin voltage also fluctuates.

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