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Basics of ADC latency

Posted: 20 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:delta-sigma  ADC  multiplexer 

Low-level, sensor signals often generate slow-moving DC signals. For these types of sensors, the delta-sigma analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) eliminates most of the analogue input circuitry by providing a high-resolution, low-noise solution. Some systems have multiple sensors, all of which are generating low-frequency signals. In this situation you may need a high-resolution, low-noise ADC that has a multiplexer at its input. An automotive-diagnostic application is an example of a multiplexed sensor system, where numerous small-signal, sensors monitor temperature, tyre pressure, airbag readiness, and so forth.

Examples of other sensor-input, multiplexed systems are found in industrial controls, medical, avionics, and process-control applications. Even though the sensors at the input of the multiplexer in these systems present low-frequency (nearly DC) signals, switching from channel-to-channel creates the need for an ADC that is capable of a high-speed response.

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