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Delta-Sigma DAC Topologies for Improved Jitter Performance

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Specifications for audio digital-to-analog converters (DACs) place requirements on the analog circuit design that contradict physical design conditions in a modern, digital-oriented system on a chip process. Because of low supply voltages, use of current-steering DACs has become the dominant choice for high resolution applications. Fed by a delta-sigma modulator that requantizes the digital signal to a manageable number of bits, the current-steering DAC is a continuous time type converter without any discrete time filtering. This makes it very susceptible to sampling clock jitter. In this paper, jitter induced distortion is addressed at a topology level, investigating design choices for the delta-sigma requantizer and the possible use of semidigital multi-bit current-steering filter DACs to reduce problems with jitter susceptibility.

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