How important are the differences between sigma-delta and successive-approximation architectures in choosing an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter? They can often be an important factor in initiating the selection of a converter for a specific application. This technical paper describes four major circuit architectures used in A/D converter (ADC) design and outlines the role they play in converter choice for various kinds of applications. The descriptions are augmented by three examples that illustrate tradeoffs and issues associated with architectural considerations.

Reproduced with the permission of Analog Devices, Inc.