A New Current Calibration Scheme Suitable for Generic DAC Architectures

G.I. Radulov, J.A. Hegt, P.J. Quinn, A.H.M. Roermund, van

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


This paper presents a new start-up calibration method and algorithm for current-steering D/A converters. The method extends the ideas presented in [1] and the proposed current cell allows its application on generic DAC architectures, i.e. binary, thermometer, segmented. With respect to the thermometer type implementations, the binary implementations are area efficient and the calibration may even further reduce their size. Unlike the thermometer converters, which use identical currents, the binary converters are problematic for calibration at the level of current sources due to the different weights of their current sources. A new transistor level architecture for scaled current cells is proposed. It uses a set of parallel calibrated unit elements to construct a signal current source. When after the calibration, these are assembled back, the accuracy of the current sources is improved. Moreover, the method is independent from the architecture of the converter. Therefore, for all current-steering DAC architectures, an optimal area solution through optimising the calibration strength exists. Further, the paper analyses the start-up calibration requirements for generic DAC architectures. It offers a tool to estimate the calibration strength for an optimal area solution. An example of a 12-bit self-calibrated DAC, a high-level model and simulations verify the presented and analysed method. A general discussion on the advantages and constraints of the new calibration method is offered and conclusions are drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th ProRISC, Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing (ProRISC 2004) 25 - 26 November 2004, Veldhoven, the Netherlands
Place of PublicationUtrecht, the Netherlands
PublisherSTW Technology Foundation
ISBN (Print)90-73461-43-X
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event2004 Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing (ProRISC 2004) - Veldhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Nov 200426 Nov 2004


Conference2004 Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing (ProRISC 2004)
Abbreviated titleProRISC 2004


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