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Idle Channel Tones and Dithering in Delta-Sigma Modulators

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Audible idle channel tones exist in delta-sigma modulators even if the loop filter order is greater than two or if the modulator has a multistage (MASH) structure. This can obscure the lowest 3 LSBs in a 16-bit converter. The audibility of the tones is demonstrated in some commercial digital audio D/A converters. A new method of directly dithering the quantizer of the delta-sigma modulator eliminates the tones without significantly decreasing the dynamic range of the modulator.

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