High-speed ADC family claims best-in-class performance and power

High-speed ADC family claims best-in-class performance and power

New Products |
By eeNews Europe

The entire family provides unparalleled performance and offers a significant reduction in power consumption over competitive devices, consuming as little as one-third the power. Power amplifier linearization, radar and satellite antenna array processing, broadband communications, high-performance data acquisition and communication test equipment are ideal applications that benefit from the industry-leading performance and low power consumption.

The first device to be introduced is the ISLA214P50, a 14-bit, 500 MSPS ADC that consumes 63% less power while sampling at a rate 25% higher than any other 14-bit ADC. The ISLA214P50 was designed using Intersil’s proprietary FemtoCharge technology and operates from a 1.8 V power supply. The new converter’s ultra-high sample rate and resolution improve sensitivity and accuracy, while the decrease in power consumption allows simplified thermal and power system design. The new ADC also combines breakthrough performance with extensive configurability, making it one of the most flexible and easy-to-use ADCs on the market. At a sample rate of 500MSPS, the ISLA214P50 features a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 72.7 dBFS with spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of 84 dBc for fIN = 30 MHz (-1dBFS).

The ISLA214P50 was recently selected by Spectrum Signal Processing By Vecima, a leading provider of high-performance, software-reconfigurable signal processing platforms, for use in their RF-4902 Wideband Frequency-Agile RF Transceiver.  

Because the ISLA214P50 consumes 835 mW of power, it can be used in systems that cannot tolerate the bulky heat sinks and fans that are needed to cool competitive devices. A serial peripheral interface (SPI) port provides access to the ADC’s extensive feature set, such as power-management functions, output test pattern generation and output code format selection. Digital output data is presented in selectable LVDS or CMOS modes.

The ISLA214P50 uses two time-interleaved 250 MSPS ADCs to achieve the resulting 500 MSPS sampling rate. A single 500 MHz conversion clock is presented to the converter, and all interleave clocking and correction is managed internally. The proprietary Intersil interleave engine optimizes performance using automatic fine correction of offset, gain and sample time mismatches between the unit ADCs. The combination of FemtoCharge and I2E technology results in the industry’s most power-efficient architecture for achieving extremely high sample rates without sacrificing dynamic performance.

Other members of the family will include single and dual 12-, 14-bit, and 16-bit ADCs, offering unparalleled dynamic performance and ultra-low power consumption. All single channel devices have been designed to be pin-compatible to facilitate design reuse and significantly reduce time-to-market. Similarly, all dual channel devices are pin-compatible. All devices will be available in space-efficient 10×10 mm, 72-pin QFN packages. For area-constrained PCBs, a subset will be offered in a 7×7 mm, 48-pin QFN package, reducing the already small footprint by an additional 51%. All family members include the ability to synchronize multiple ADCs, which, when combined with exceptional low power consumption and small physical size, make them ideal for multi-channel, highly parallel systems.

Intersil is also making available a flexible evaluation system, developed to enable designers to analyze performance in both time and frequency domains. The system features a modular design with one motherboard that supports multiple ADC families. Matlab code is available for hardware-in-the-loop analysis and can capture greater than 1 Megasample in a single, contiguous stream. Users can download captured data to standard CSV files to apply specialized post processing.

Availability and Pricing

The ISLA214P50 is available in a 72-pin QFN package with an exposed paddle. Pricing starts at $185 each in 1,000-piece quantities. Evaluation kits for the ISLA214P50, including complete support from Intersil, are available for $300 each. Samples for this new ADC family are available now, with full production planned for early 2011.

More information about the ISLA214P50 ADC at

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