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Avoiding IIR instability in DAC

We use 16bit 16ksps CODECs and have some problem when our central DSP inserts a "zero-signal" when squelching an audio input that have no sufficiant audio energy: that squelch is randomly causing our DAC to produce self oscillations in frequencies higher then the 16khz sampling of our system. We think it is the IIR instability for no-signal at the DAC, as the DAC has decimating post filter that may not designed to handle sero-signal conditions. Do anybody knows a work-around for this fenomenom, or a better CODEC DAC that is better behaved in this situation? Is gradual squelch helps? Is a "non-audio" tone injection may help?

5 Replies

  • What you experience is most likely the idle tone problem that is inherent to basic delta-sigma DACs. It is produced by the modulator for DC and very low frequency input data. TI has high performance delta sigma DACs that address this problem and have reduced or no idle tones.

    Please take a look at the PCM17xx family or the PCM4104.

  • In reply to Dominik Hartl11:

    Can this sensitivity to low-frequency input can cause a persistant self-oscillations of 16 khz & up while the digital input to the DAC is hel at zero TDM?

  • In reply to uric:

    Yes. Idle tone (digital input held at 0) can (and will) produce self-oscillations (in your case at 16kHz+) in sigma-delta DACs that don't have an idle-tone reduction mechanism (like internal dithering, which essentially always presents a non-DC signal to the DAC internally).

  • In reply to Dominik Hartl11:

    Thanks. Can you recommend some codcs that do not have this instability?

  • In reply to uric:

    The PCM17xx family and the PCM4104 are examples that don't have this problem with idle tones.

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