A fast new analog-to-digital converter (ADC) could help advance
the state-of-the-art in signal processing boards.
16-bit ADC, known as the AD9467,
is said to offer a 25 percent higher sampling rate, while operating on 35
percent less power than predecessors. Analog
Devices Inc., maker of the new device, is targeting its
250-mega-samples-per-sec speed at defense and aerospace electronics, test and
measurement systems, satellite communications and radar.
this is the highest speed, publicly known ADC on the market," says Jon Hall,
strategic marketing and applications manager for Analog Devices. "In a lot of
markets, we know that people have been asking for more bits and greater speed." Mercury Computer Systems
is employing the speedy
ADC in a new digital receiver that it says provides "faster time to
information." Known as the Echotek
, the receiver is aimed at defense and aerospace systems, as well
as medical imaging technology.
Mercury is using
eight of the new ADCs on the digital receiver's FPGA mezzanine card. Up to now,
Mercury engineers say that ADCs have sometimes acted as a bottleneck in such
applications, preventing data acquisition cards from reaching higher speeds.
But by employing the new 16-bit device, instead of a 12- or 14-bit ADC, Mercury
says its new cards can operate at a higher bandwidth with greater fidelity.
the first time we've been able to handle this much bandwidth and still get the
desired resolution," says Lorne Graves, engineering manager for Mercury
Similarly, National Instruments
is employing the new ADC on
an upcoming FPGA-based data acquisition card for test and measurement
Devices attributes the new ADC's higher performance on the company's use of
0.18-Âµm linewidth silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology. Predecessors
typically were fabricated using conventional CMOS technology, they say.
ability to acquire a target and understand it is going to be made easier by
this technology," Hall says.