Design Resources

Design & Integration Files

  • Schematic
  • Bill of Materials
  • Gerber Files
  • PADS Files
  • Assembly Drawing
Download Design Files 1144 kB

Evaluation Hardware

Part Numbers with "Z" indicate RoHS Compliance. Boards checked are needed to evaluate this circuit

  • EVAL-CN0261-SDPZ ($79.00) Optimizing AC Performance in an 18-bit, 250 kSPS, PulSAR Measurement Circuit
  • EVAL-SDP-CB1Z ($99.00) Eval Control Board
Check Inventory & Purchase

Features & Benefits

  • 18-Bit, 250kSPS PulSAR ADC
  • Low Noise Driver
  • Greater than 100dB SNR @ 1kHz Input
  • Greater than 118dB THD @ 1kHz Input

Circuit Function & Benefits

Choosing complementary products for high performance ADCs can be a challenge. The circuit in Figure 1 shows a complete front end solution for the 18-bit, 250 kSPS PulSAR® ADC, which is optimized for ac performance. 

The circuit centers on the AD7691, which is a low power ADC (1.35 mW @ 2.5 V and 100 kSPS) from the PulSAR family. The ADC is driven directly from the AD8597 ultralow distortion, ultralow noise amplifier, and the ADC’s reference is the ultralow noise 5 V ADR435. The circuit achieves 101 dB SNR and 118 dB THD with a 1 kHz input tone.

Figure 1. High Performance, 18-Bit ADC Front End (Simplified Schematic: All Connections and Decoupling Not Shown)

Circuit Description

The heart of this circuit is the AD7691, an 18-bit, 250 kSPS charge redistribution, successive approximation, analog-todigital converter (ADC) that operates from a single power supply.

It contains a low power, high speed, 18-bit sampling ADC with no missing codes, an internal conversion clock, and a versatile serial interface port. On the CNV rising edge, it samples the voltage difference between the IN+ and IN− pins. The voltages on these pins swing in opposite phases between 0 V and REF. The reference voltage, REF, is applied externally and can be set up to the supply voltage. The AD7691 power scales linearly with throughput.

For the experiments carried out for this circuit note, the AD7691was interfaced to the SDP (System Demonstration Platform board, EVAL-SDP-CB1Z), and the ADC SPIcompatible serial interface was connected to the DSP SPORT interface VIO supply.

The AD7691 is housed in a 10-lead MSOP or a 10-lead QFN (LFCSP).

The ADC is driven from the AD8597 (4.8 mA/amplifier), which is a low noise, low distortion operational amplifier ideal for use as an input buffer. The low noise of 1.1 nV/√Hz and low harmonic distortion of less than −120 dB at audio frequencies give the AD8597 the wide dynamic range necessary for preamplifiers in audio, medical, and instrumentation applications. The excellent slew rate of 14 V/μs and 10 MHz gain bandwidth product make it highly suitable for medical applications.

The AD8597 can be operated on supply voltages up to ±15 V. In the circuit, supply voltages of +8 V and −2 V were chosen in order to minimize power dissipation.

The AD8597 is available in 8-lead SOIC and LFCSP packages. The 180 Ω resistors and the 2.7 nF capacitors form a single-pole 327 kHz low-pass filter to further reduce noise.

The voltage reference used in this application is the ADR435, which is one of a family of XFET® voltage references featuring low noise, high accuracy, and low temperature drift performance. Using patented temperature drift curvature correction and XFET (eXtra implanted junction FET) technology, voltage change vs. temperature is minimized.

The ADR43x family can source up to 30 mA of output current and sink up to 20 mA. It also has a trim terminal to adjust the output voltage over a 0.5% range without compromising performance.

The ADR435 is available in either an 8-lead MSOP or an 8-lead narrow SOIC package.

The dynamic performance of the above configuration is shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3 and is summarized below:

SNR = 101.02dB

THD = 118.44 dB

SINAD = 100.94 dB

Dynamic Range = 101.5 dB

Figure 2. Evaluation Board Software Output Screen Capture

Figure 3. FFT Details for 1 kHz Tone Sampling at 250 kSPS

Common Variations

Other pin-compatible 18-bit ADCs in the PulSAR family are available with higher sampling rates: AD7690 (400 kSPS), AD7982 (1 MSPS), AD7984 (1.33 MSPS).

The AD7986 (2 MSPS) is available in 20-lead 4 mm × 4 mm LFCSP (QFN).

The AD8599 op amp is a dual version of the AD8597 and can be used in the circuit, if desired.

The ADA4841-1 (single) and ADA4841-2 (dual) are lower power op amps (1.1 mA/amp), but have slightly higher noise (2.1 nV/√Hz).

The ADA4941-1 is optimized for driving differential input 18-bit ADCs and has 2.2 mA/amplifier and 10.2 nV/√Hz noise.

A summary of PulSAR ADCs and recommended drivers can be found at PulSAR® Analog-to-Digital Converter Evaluation Kit.

Other reference voltages within the ADR43x family or from other reference families are available from the Analog Devices portfolio.

The inclusion of a buffer to create the VCM signal to bias the input would be normal, however, specified performance was achieved without the need of a buffer in this circuit.

Circuit Evaluation & Test

Equipment Needed (Equivalents Can Be Substituted)

  • EVAL-CN0261-SDPZ circuit evaluation board
  • System Demonstration Board (EVAL-SDP-CB1Z)
  • Function generator, Audio Precision SYS-2522
  • External 10 nF ceramic filter capacitor as shown in Figure 4
  • Power supplies: +8 V @ 50 mA, −2 V @ 50 mA, +5 V @ 500 mA.
  • PC with a USB port and Windows® XP or Windows Vista® (32-bit), or Windows® 7 (32-bit)

Setup and Test

The block diagram of ac performance measurement setup is shown in Figure 4. The EVAL-CN0261-SDPZ board is driven with bench supplies as shown. Complete documentation for the board can be found at www.analog.com/CN0261DesignSupport.

To measure the frequency response, the equipment was connected as shown in Figure 5. The Audio Precision SYS-2522 was set to output a 1 kHz tone at an input signal level of 0.5 dB below full-scale. The external 10 nF capacitor acts as a low-pass noise reduction filter for the output of the signal generator. Using the evaluation board software, the FFT data was then captured and analyzed.

The software analysis is part of the evaluation board software, which allows the user to capture and analyze ac or dc performance.

In addition to ac performance, the evaluation board software also allows users to analyze the waveform data and create a histogram for the measured input signal.

Figure 4. Test Setup for Measuring AC Performance

Sample Products




Available Product
Models to Sample

AD7691 18-Bit, 1.5 LSB INL, 250 kSPS PulSAR® Differential ADC in MSOP/QFN




ADR435 Ultralow Noise XFET Voltage References with Current Sink and Source Capability





AD8597 Ultralow Distortion, Ultralow Noise Op Amp (single)



Buy functionality exists in desktop site
Evaluation Boards Pricing displayed is based on 1-piece.
Pricing displayed is based on 1-piece. The USA list pricing shown is for budgetary use only, shown in United States dollars (FOB USA per unit), and is subject to change. International prices may vary due to local duties, taxes, fees and exchange rates.