DC-Coupled, Single-Ended-to-Differential Conversion Using the AD8138 Low Distortion Differential ADC Driver and AD7357 Dual, 4.2 MSPS, 14-Bit SAR ADC
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Circuit Function & Benefits

This circuit provides dc-coupled, single-ended-to-differential conversion of a bipolar input signal to the AD7357 4.2 MSPS, 14-bit SAR ADC. This circuit has been designed to ensure maximum performance of the AD7357 by providing adequate settling time and low impedance.

Figure 1: AD8138 as a DC-Coupled, Single-Ended-to-Differential Converter Driving the AD7357 Differential Inputs (Simplified Schematic)

Circuit Description

Differential operation requires VIN+ and VIN− of the ADC to be driven simultaneously with two equal signals that are 180° out of phase and centered around the proper common-mode voltage. Because not all applications have a signal precondi-tioned for differential operation, there is often a need to perform a single-ended-to-differential conversion. An ideal method of applying differential drive to the AD7357 is to use a differential amplifier such as the AD8138. This part can be used as a single-ended-to-differential amplifier or as a differential-to-differential amplifier. The AD8138 also provides common-mode level shifting. Figure 1 shows how the AD8138 can be used as a single-ended-to-differential amplifier in a dc-coupled application. The positive and negative outputs of the AD8138 are connected to the respective inputs on the ADC through a pair of series resistors to minimize the loading effects of the switched capacitor inputs of the ADC. The architecture of the AD8138 results in outputs that are very highly balanced over a wide frequency range without requiring tightly matched external components. The single-ended-to-differential gain of the circuit in Figure 1 is equal to RF/RG, where RF = RF1 = RF2 and RG = RG1 = RG2.

If the analog input source being used has zero impedance, all four resistors (RG1, RG2, RF1, and RF2) should be the same as shown in Figure 1. If the source has a 50 Ω impedance and a 50 Ω termination, for example, the value of RG2 should be increased by 25 Ω to balance this parallel impedance on the input and thus ensure that both the positive and negative analog inputs have the same gain. This will also require a small increase in RF1 and RF2 in order to compensate for the gain loss caused by increasing RG1 and RG2. Complete analysis for the terminated source condition is found in Tutorial MT-076, Differential Driver Analysis and in the ADIsimDiffAmp interactive design tool.

The AD7357 requires a driver that has a very fast settling time due to the very short acquisition time required to achieve 4.2 MSPS throughput with a serial interface. The track-and-hold amplifier on the front end of the AD7357 enters track mode on the rising edge of the 16th SCLK period during a conversion. The ADC driver must settle before the track-and- hold returns to hold (39 ns later for 4.2 MSPS throughput on the AD7356 using an 80 MHz SCLK). The AD8138 has a specified 16 ns settling time, which satisfies this requirement.

The voltage applied to the VOCM pin of the AD8138 sets up the common-mode voltage. In Figure 1, VOCM is connected to 1.024 V, which is a divided version of the internal 2.048 V reference on the AD7357. If the on-chip 2.048 V reference on the AD7357 is to be used elsewhere in a system (as illustrated in Figure 1), the output from REFA or REFB must first be buffered. The OP177 features the highest precision performance of any op amp currently available and is a perfect choice for a reference buffer.

Note that in Figure 1 the AD8138 operates on dual 5 V supplies while the AD7357 is specified for power supply voltages of 2.5 V to 3.6 V. Care must be taken to ensure that the input maximum input voltage limits of the AD7357 are not exceeded during transient or power-on conditions (see Tutorial MT-036, Op Amp Output Phase-Reversal and Input Over-Voltage Protection). In addition, the circuit must be constructed on a multilayer PC board with a large area ground plane. Proper layout, grounding, and decoupling techniques must be used to achieve optimum performance (see Tutorial MT-031, Grounding Data Converters and Solving the Mystery of “AGND” and “DGND”; Tutorial MT-101, Decoupling Techniques; and the AD7357 evaluation board layout).

Common Variations

The OP07D, an ultralow offset voltage op amp, is a lower cost alternative to the OP177. It offers similar performance with the exception of the VOS specification. Alternatively, the AD8628 or the AD8638 offers very high precision with very low drift with time and temperature.

Sample Products





Available Product
Models to Sample

AD8138 Low Distortion Differential ADC Driver




AD7357 Differential Input, Dual, Simultaneous Sampling, 4.25 MSPS, 14-Bit, SAR ADC



AD8638 16 V Auto-Zero, Rail-to-Rail Output Operational Amplifier



OP177 Ultraprecision Operational Amplifier

Contact ADI

OP07D Ultralow Offset Voltage Operational Amplifier