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TDFT-Based Measurement of Analog-to-Digital Converter Nonlinearity

Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are central to modern audio, video and RF systems, with some modern converters providing 23-plus significant bits. The measure of performance (effective bits) is recognized as depending upon system linearity. Consequently linearity tests, analogous to distortion measurements, are adapted to test performance. Total different-frequency distortion (TDFD) is a modern standard for distortion measurement in the audio field, and its uniquely powerful advantages may be transferred to the realm of ADC testing. Building on existing work, the paper describes and demonstrates a straightforward TDFD test for ADC systems. Measurements of example ADC systems are presented to demonstrate the method. Testing guidelines are given.

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